Monday, June 23, 2008



Two things have me very pissed off:

#1- G4...come on guys. What is with this ultra sensationalist headline? I HATE Spiderman games?!? Would you PLEASE show me where in my 2 posts about COMIC BOOK GAMES (not Spiderman games, by the way but hey, good try) that I say I HATE- or even come close to saying I HATE Spiderman games...or hate ANYTHING?!?! What the fuck Patrick Roche-Sowa (author of the article)? Did you go to school for journalism or for tabloid reporting?

Always loved G4, love doing stuff with them. Appreciate the interest and the body of this web article was great. Accurate, fair, all that good stuff. But the headline just sets people off...and that's ok, that is your job. But the problem I have with it is that it's a fucking lie and it's a lie attributed to me....

#2- Always flattering when gaming press feels I've posted something worth putting on their sites via links and stories. I am really grateful for the interest. So thank you, gaming sites. But damn, some of ya'lls readers are just fucking stupid. Have you read your comments section? You guys need to post a reading comprehension test that must be passed before anyone gets into your site. Suddenly I want to take THE POWERS of out superhero games? I want the games to be ALL story and no gameplay? I want to remove all swinging from Spiderman games?!?! Where are the readers getting this shit?!?! Probably from the sensationalistic headlines and not from the actual body's like: fucking READ THE SHIT before you make an ass of yourself and comment, people. What the hell...

Ok, chat later ya'll!


Follow up on the Spidey/Marvel/Superhero game deal...I had a fun discussion last nite about the very issue on neogaf (if you don't go there daily, you are missing out on the best game talk around).

Thought I'd repost some of my comments from there on here given that alot of these neogaf reposts contain stuff I wish I had written in the original post but just kinda didn't...sort of clarifies my stance on the issue, especially for those people who assumed I was simply calling for more cut scenes ( to help with story) in super hero games....

Out in Utah next two days so I may not get a chance to post. If not, chat with you guys Thursday!


ps. To those who have asked, yes I played Ultimate Spiderman and enjoyed aspects of it very much and feel it was one of the best Spidey games ever. Some great moments. That said, it still suffered- to me- from the rinse/repeat syndrome.


POST #1-If you read my post on my blog, you'll see I'm not saying that a super hero game needs a great story told via cut scenes to be good. It's not that I don't want to DO the cool superhero things...I totally do. And it's not like I feel that a dud of a superhero game would be great if the story were great. What I am saying is that I want to take a journey into the Marvel Universe in the same way I step into Solid Snake's universe or Link's universe or the Call of Duty universe. I want to be immersed in an experience, not play a tech demo...which is- to me- what alot of the superhero games end up being.

It's like they do some cool powers, do the window dressing of setting the game in the licensed world, and then have the player tackle 3-4 generic goals and then rinse/repeat. To me, not only is this dull- once the fun of using the powers wears off- but it (and this is the gist of my post on my blog) goes against what makes comics great in the first place.

I agree- for example- the combat video on 1up looked great! In the same way that the Indy Jones combat video Lucasarts showed last year looked cool. But if history serves, I would not be surprised if combat was the crux of both of those games and it's combat combat combat all day long and to me, not only does this get boring, but it doesn't speak to the promise of playing a game set in a comic universe, or Indy's universe.

I hope that makes a bit more sense?


ps. and by the way, I appreciate some of you may not have liked/loved Calling All Cars. But I don't think that limits my right to have an opinion about the industry or game design in general. I mean, when I think back to your last game I think abo-....oh wait, that's right. So Shut the fuck up. :)


POST #2: The license holder is ultimately responsible for the quality of the product they allow to come out into the marketplace. They choose who they work with, they have language- I assume (as most license holders do)- in the contract that says they have to approve milestones and approve the game in general before it comes out,etc.

And as I said in my post, Marvel is making money and so are many of the publishers and devs who work with them. They seem to be doing good business and I don't fault them for that.

But I address them directly because they are- end of the day- the ones responsible for what happens to their licenses. And they should be the ones who care the most. Not saying they are not but if Activision can ship a Marvel game based on a hit Marvel movie using a pre-existing engine/design and a developer can do the same, it is usually in the pub/dev best interest to do so. While everyone benefits from a game that takes chances and succeeds, in this scenario, Marvel would benefit the most because it would increase the value of their brand within the game space.


POST #3: Part of the problem is everyone assumes that story=cut scenes.

Good story in games IS mission design and IS character mechanics. For me, good story in game design for a spidey game would be stuff like:

-Spidey swinging above the city when his powers begin to give out and he has to- on the fly- adjust to slowly losing his powers (one by one, but in the order you- as a player choose- so there is some strategy to which powers you keep the longest before you are drained of them all)- it begins with him battling the Green Goblin as Spidey- with all his Spidey powers- and by the end of the battle, you've lost all your super powers and all you've got is Peter Parker's very limited abilities (which=nothing but his intellect)...but you've still got to figure out how to stop the bad guy (cause, as Peter, you've still got this massive sense of responsibility)....granted, if not tuned right, this could be annoying to play, but for the sake of this discussion, assume it's tuned right. To me, this is a great example of a story scenario that you would see in the comics tied into the gameplay.

-Spidey being forced to deal- thru gameplay- with his ever present 'with great power comes great responsibility' dilemma...again, have not thought this thru play wise but perhaps over time there is some sort of guilt that builds up if Spidey takes the easy way out too often (allows pedestrians get hurt when battling bad guys, doesn't go after some bad guys that are able to be captured but do not need to be caught in order to win the mission,etc). Once the guilt meter is filled up, it begins to affect play or story/mission. Sort of like the fear meter in Eternal Darkness but less surreal and more tied into the actual mission design. A great way for the classic aspect of Spidey's character to come thru via play.

Again- it's very late (can't sleep) and I am not putting these out here to be judged as great play mechanics (I know they need work) but more as an example that- when I say story- I don't mean cut scenes and spoken dialogue but story that affects the core play itself. In essence, mission design and play mechanics taking into account the character and story elements seen- and loved- from the comics.

Good nite ya'll.



POST #4: You are not wrong...BUT this is the same sort of thinking that kept Marvel from making hit movies for years. But eventually they realized: oh wait, if we put passionate directors and writers and actors into our movies, we get MASSIVE hits...from the big guns like Spidey, to more obscure- to general audiences- characters like IRON MAN.

Same thinking- if applied to the games- would yield- I feel- similar results. One need only look at the staggering success of GOLDENEYE to see what happens when a great license is given the time and passion to be turned into a product that can stand alone WITHOUT the license. When that happens- in any medium- you tend to get gold. That scenario- sadly- is all too rare in the game biz.

Which is my main point: I LOVE Marvel comics and want to see them start making games worthy of their amazing history of great products and characters. I want to see them apply their smart logic to making films to their games division.