I have the utmost respect for game developers. They work so hard to craft the fantastic experiences that we all enjoy. The art of making games, to use some of Queen’s lyrics, “It’s a kind of magic.” According to Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford (Borderlands), game making and magic have a lot in common. The former professional magician (as opposed to the amateurs that cast spells in the Olympics) told Gamasutra:
A magician can create wonder by creating a set of logic, and then proving that the logic is impossible and false. Now if I repeat the same trick over and over again, as long as it’s still surprising, it’s fine. I’ve got you. But as soon as you start understanding how the trick works, you get bored and you lose interest. So, I’ve got to create a new trick. I’ve got to hit you with new magic.
I’ve always pegged Pitchford as some sort of sorcerer. I’m pretty sure he just admitted it in the quote above. I wonder what house he belonged to. Gryffindor? Hufflepuff maybe?
Legendary Nintendo game creator Shigeru Miyamoto addressed a crowd of Japanese retailers to assuage any fears that New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be anything but a blockbuster hit. According to a Games Maya manager, Miyamoto said:
It’s a Mario that will continue selling even after one year has passed.
It’s interesting that Nintendo felt that trotting out Miyamoto was necessary. I can’t imagine the game doing anything but ridiculous numbers, but Andriasang’s Anoop Gantayat (hi Anoop!) feels that some retailers might be concerned with Super Mario Galaxy not selling as well as previous Mario games. I think those retailers should have their heads examined — New Super Mario Bros. Wii will be a fun game that appeals to gamers of all ages and skill levels. I will stand on my head if it doesn’t sell millions of copies.
Are you dudes and dudettes looking forward to this game? Or do you think it’s a case of Nintendo selling the same title over and over again?
Gamasutra has an excellent write up of Jordan Mechner’s keynote from GDC China. The Prince of Persia creator covers a wide range of topics. One of the tidbits I found interesting was him talking about his mindset going into Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Mechner said:
You really couldn’t find a better example of what not do than the first 10 years of Prince of Persia. The franchise was like a garden that I was neglecting. By 2001 Prince of Persia was really a dead franchise — completely and totally dead.
We really felt we were underdogs, because it was a dead franchise. We really felt we had to make an original game, as if nobody had heard of it.
And take a look at the franchise now, with Jake Gyllenhaal flashing his pecs as the prince. My, we’ve come a long way.
Seriously though, The Sands of Time was an excellent game and really brought the franchise back to life. While some of its sequels were not quite as good, the whole reboot is a fine of example of how to modernize a classic franchise. Hopefully someone will reboot a franchise so that Jake’s sister will bare her chest in a movie (again).
Apparently Hideo Kojima is working out again. While he’s at the gym, the Metal Gear Solid master likes to comment on world affairs, including American President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. While Kojima’s eccentricities are well known (though certainly embellished), pumping iron appears to have taken his thoughts to a new power level. His comments on Obama are interesting and confusing…and maybe a little scary. Andriasang translated his words:
“President Obama, who declared ‘A World Without Nuclear Weapons’ in Prague, has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Has the era at last started shifting?
The start of the Peace Walker plan? I hope that comes to be.
‘Peace will not walk to you’
‘You must both walk towards one another.’
From the gym.”
It’s possible that something was lost in translation. It’s also possible the Kojima’s brilliance completely flew over my head. My personal theory is that the Stairmaster has made him a bit wacky. What do you guys and gals think?