Like many of you quick looks and bombcasts are the most enjoyable time of my week. The feeling that I'm eavesdropping in on a room full of good friends who share my hoobie so much and you have the same sense of humour and who just make me feel so warm.
I remember lying in bed in a hotel in glasgow when I had university open days the next day, I was 16, with Jeff and Ryan talking about gatorade tiger in my ear and i felt like we were at the start of something brilliant, laughing like I hadn't laughed in years! Then we went on to how to build a bomb and looking at the awesemome basement office, and flea bombs and everything! Not really knowing who coonce was. Then the podcast in which Brad and Vinny joined the fold! The old blog format, thinking that it was all I needed. All I cared about was a podcast and I got it... then it got longer and longer. I went through girls and friends but Jeff, Ryan, Vinny and Brad were always ther and are still here today helping me get through 2000 word essays on politics and history. Still looking every day to see if there is a new quick look, even when there is a smokin' hot girl in my bed or a bunch of my friends wanting to get ready to head to the pub or the club.
I think of our brilliant memories. The Giant Bomb song by Evan Brass, the E3 Never conversation, MUH BALLS and all our great in-jokes. I think of the jokes to come, the jokes that we will have to make us smile and laugh in the future. For me I have memories like building hay stacks in a field on a sunny day in Scotland and just laughing at some conversation that was going on on the bombcast with the bright sun beating and sweat running down my brow and I think, Some day this will all be a memory, no new quick looks, no new endurance run speculation, no monday turkeys, nothing! and I get upset.
So guys all I ask is don't be uptight about people taking in-jokes too far, because this is the only oppertunity we have. Mods, don't be too strict, because Giant Bomb means alot to us and we all want to feel part of it and we are sorry if we maybe get to carried away with the moments. Just enjoy being a Giant Bomb follower, as I do! Listen to the Bombcasts, play the games, watch the Quick Looks and just keep being fun. This website, this community, is an adrenaline shot I use to keep myself happy when times are rough and to make the good times fucking amazing. Wherever I go. Whenever I am, I will always have the bombcast and the old hotspot and this team that I love so much and all the great community members who have added to this place! All the people who have put the best Giant Bomb memories on youtube. Dave for loving his damn Russian games. Lemon for actually having a conversation with me on my wall, a guy who has actually met the guys and who himself has created brilliant stuff for the community. Kessler also for the same reason and for JRPG quick looks. Everyone. I love you all.
As the price of video game development continues to rise, we have to ask ourselves will something go wrong with the industry and if so when will it happen? We need to look at the numbers on this one. I admit i'm no business correspondant, but at the same time I'm no Leigh Alexander - "Hey Leigh I hear it costs $775 million" to rent out the staples centre, thats strange because it only cost $375 Million to build the damn place!" Sorry about that small dig it wasn't professional. Then again im not writing as a professional am I?
In 2004 the video game industry made $18 billion. This was the year of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2 and Need for Speed: Underground 2. The 18 Billion number is based purely on software. Four years later the ESA predicted the worth of software sales in 2008 was a record breaking $22 billion in the United States of America. Thats a rise of 22% over four years which on average is a rise of 5.6% every year.
In a 2005 Japanese development costs reports from CESA (Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association) they found that by looking at 194 different titles for the Playstation 2 that the average cost of development was $877,634 and that looking at 13 Xbox titles the average development cost was $1.8 million. These numbers are quite different to the numbers used in the IGN story - The Economic of Game Publishing which said that game development for games on the Xbox, Playstation 2 and Gamecube were $3-$5 million. For this sloppy story I am writing im going to use a $4 million average development cost, so lets now look at current generation development costs.
In a 2008 system comparison analysis by Ubisoft they said that PS3/Xbox 360/PC titles averaging 12 million to 18 million euros ($18.8m-$28.2m) to create for all 3 SKUs
Let's take that average at $23.5 million, that means that from all last gen development from 2005 to the current gen development of 2008 means that game devopment went up by 162.5% annually or 487.5% over 3 years.
Looking competely at the numbers development is growing 162.5% annually where the size of the market in the United States of America alone is growing by 5.6% annually. I don't claim to be some kind of ecomonic god but I cant see this going on forever. At some point in the next 10 years I think it is a sure thing that something bad will happen to this industry. With every publisher going after the big budget release trying to ape the success of Call of Duty it's only a matter of time that every publisher is spending more than they could ever get back from the sale of a video game.
Over the coming ten years something's got to give, and let's hope it's not your favourite publisher or developer who ends up going tits up.
So I completed Mass Effect 2 this weekend. It was awesome but I can't help but feel the ending for me wasn't so epic because everybody survived, on the bright side that means that my next playthrough where everything goes wrong will be shorter because I'm not planning on doing any loyalty missions. I also feel that in the final cutscenes none of the characters feel real. I guess it's because there were too many squad mates so they weren't given to much to say in the final minutes.
In the first Mass Effect you always feel like squad mates were hinting towards what decision they thought you should make. Garrus was one of these characters in my opinion. The final decisions in Mass Effect 2 however are strange because it is easy to see if they are paragon on renegade due to the layout of the conversation wheel but you don't really know what each of your squad mates would think about the decision. Sure after you have completed the suicide mission if you are still alive you can ask people still on the ship what they thought about the decision but thats after everything is done. I don't know I just feel like they weren't really there during the dramatic climax of the game and tat they were blindly following order whereas throughout the rest of a the game the were willing to criticise and second guess your decisions or advise you before making that decision. That's just my point of view but I still enjoyed Mass Effect 2 more than anything else from last year.
A small issue in the community.
On to problems within the Giant Bomb community. I don't know I guess I just don't like seeing so many locked threads in the off-topic section. I mean if theres anything we want the Giant Bomb community to be is random and funny bcause those are the reasons we all like Brad, Jeff, Ryan and Vinny and I think it is only appropriate that we as a community can echo their sense of humour as it is in-tune with our own. A small amount of the moderators however seem to think differently to how I do. I'm not going to call out any names and make this a personal attack but some of them seem to think that topics in the off-topic section need to have something very meaningful and almost philosophical to say to warrant a thread staying open.
They act like the only solution of a slightly silly thread is to close it. This community however I think is very intelligent and funny and if they see a topic not worth their time then they will ignore it. If they see a controversial thread they will argue and if they see a silly thread they will join in. I think that threads that cause arguements however are a very integral part of an online community such as this. We shouldn't be expected to agree on every single point. We are all unique people but who can agree on alot of things and that is why we all come to Giant Bomb regulary. A small minority of the Moderators on these forums though don't allow us to argue and debate and I have seen perfectly good off-topic threads being closed for 'becoming and arguement' or for ' descending into sillyness.' I mean I come to Giant Bomb alot of the time to descend into sillyness, it is my favourite thing about this website along with it's video game slant obviously.
You cant help but feel that the discussions the guys have on the bombcast would be locked in 3 minutes by the moderators if they were a thread here on the website. I don't feel it is appropriate that this is the case. We are here because we all enjoy the discussions of Brad, Jeff, Ryan and Vinny along with their writing skills and also like to have similar hilarious and off the wall discussions but a certain minority of the moderators will not allow this discussion because it is silly or is nothing worth discussing. I don't know I just feel this small minority have lost touch with what Giant Bomb has become and they are a bit overzealous with the power of policing the community that they have been given.
I think that if my blog gets more than 20 comments with some comments that one or two of these moderators dont agree with it also will be locked, but if I am open and don't mind the comments on my blog why should it be closed? It's on my page can't we just keep peace allow blog comments to only be disabled by the person writing the blog, that makes sense to me.
Again these are all my opinions and I'm not trying to get into trouble and start a flame-war or get banned so please don't be too harsh if somebody doesn't like what I've said. I'm sure the majority of people don't have a problem with the way the forums and being policed and if the majority think that then it's not really a problem it's just me thinking there is.
Not blogged in a while.
So some people will have noticed that I've not blogged in a while, thats because I don't think im really that good a writer (the same reason I don't have many forum posts) or that I do have that much worth say. I like taking in content alot more than producing comment, huess thats just the kind of person I am. Anyway I'm sorry if the writing quality in the blog is very poor and I'm sorry if there is alot of bad spelling and punctuation. I read most of it over before posting.
Money though doesn't grow on trees anymore, as much as it did when you were a kid, all of these $60 games will mount up to quite a height and I don't feel I'll be able purchase them all while feeling alright about it, also I dont have the time to sit down and play all of these game. Theres also the prospect of a crowded Q1 for 2010 with games like Splinter Cell: Conviction, Mass Effect 2, Dark Void and Bioshock 2, whats a guy supposed to do...
I guess alot of trimming is in order, think i'll shove out Dragon Age: origins because I'll be getting Mass Effect 2 and atleast thats a bit of money going to bioware. There is still going to be alot of trimming, guess i'll be getting some of these games in 2 years time for $20 a pop, I just wish my release and mainly my media cycle was 2 years behind so they all felt brand new when I got them and that I wasn't so alone playing these games for the first time.
I have been playing Prince of Persia on the Xbox 360 recently. The start of it was really fun, the Quick pace of jumping into the world as hell (in the form of the dark god Aruman) is brought upon it and then defeating all four bosses the first time was really enjoyable.
The Character of the Prince and Elika are good in a summer movie kind of way, not incredibly deep but as a person who thinks the characters in gears of war do exactly what they have to do, I think the are good.
However when I began to get further on and healed the first large area and kiiled the Hunter for good I started to loose the will to keep on playing. I felt the pace was getting severly driven down by the quest to try and collect all of the light seeds from the areas I has already healed. I also think that the fact for alot of the areas you have to go buy another power that you didn't use to heal the area was a bad decision. I thought it would have been better to allow the player to kill the boss, heal the area, collect the light seeds and be done with it.
Instead the game forces you to move to the temple alot of times to unlock these new powers and gives you a tutorial for each power even though there's never much user interaction in the powers and this too just pulls the pace down.
I really like the game to start with, the art style is top not and I could spend years just standing the prince infront of the corrputed tree of life to see how beautiful the background for it is with the perfectly designed prince in the foreground. The gameplay is really enjoyable and I liked standing nd talking to Elika everytime I got the chance.
The pacing and arbitrary powers and steep requirements of light seeds have made me full out of love with the game at the moment. I hope I will complete it but I just feel like there is not enough to do in the world. I realise though that this emphasises the emptiness and lonliness of a corrupted land but I would be nice to see interesting persian characters move into healed areas and begin to work in the mills or tend the royal gardens and allow the player to talk to them like he does with Elika. 4 Comments
Before anyone asks I don't think that Dynasty Warriors games are really good and I havn't bought any of the latest ones, but because I had a good time with Dynasty Warriors 3 when I was young has allowed me to fill in some of the pages also they were an easy way to get some points since not many other people contribute to them... Anyway back to Mass Effect second playthrough.
The activity feed presents a problem to me being the Ninja that I am. I usually do all my work without anybody knowing unless they are within my own organisation. With this feed people can see everything I edit on Giant Bomb. I am afraid I may be compramised, the enemy will still not be able to find me though. I will lurk in the shadows and destroy the demons. Ninja OUT!