Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seriously? Voice acting ups a game by millions?

Kind of in the 'Things they'll believe' basket.

Reading on another blog I hear a repetition of the idea that voice acting, even 40 novels worth of voice acting, upped the cost of SWTOR to 300 million dollars?

Now, I'm not saying it'd be free. But even one million dollars for some studio sound work?

I think this goes along with how many mmorpg gamers seem to believe it costs vast sums to run a mmorpg and that any tiny change is moon landing in difficulty to perform.

But I dunno, does voice acting cost that much? I recently heard of a guy who hired the narrator from a game to record some voice work for his wedding. It's not crazy expensive - and I don't think SWTOR is using actual actors for its voice work?

I think there's a culture out there that hears '40 novels of voice acting' and thinks this must be like building the pyramids or running a moon landing?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Character Non Death and are you really a hero for killing?

That's the thing that bugs me about the many games where you just cannot die, you just respawn or reload. So you kill, but actually your utterly safe from being killed. Oh sure, maybe your character doesn't know that he can't die. But what's going on, eh? Aren't we supposedly playing out the ancient moral imperative that if someone threatens your life, killing them in defence is okayz?

A: The games mechanics basically determine the fiction and those mechanics say you can't die. So that's part of the fiction. And so your playing out a character who cannot die, and so you can't at all be playing out the part of someone defending their life.


B: What, your not playing out that ancient moral imperative? So what the you playing out? Nihilism ala carte? If your going to say it's just a game, why pick one with depictions of killing in it over tetris, for example? Maybe fiction doesn't matter to you somehow - if so, okay, it's just a game but you mustn't be able to enjoy novels, which is sad for you. Or if you do, no, I don't think you have managed to turn your sense of fiction off like a light switch when it comes to games. You aught to consider that you are enjoying the fiction, and exactly what kind of fiction it is your enjoying. I bet some would think fiction full of consensual sex would be seen as RL morally wrong, yet this type of fiction, where the guy cannot die yet regularly kills others, as something just fine.

Here I'm basically against just thoughtlessly enjoying, for extended periods, killing while immune to death. If you want to consciously think about those elements when playing, yeah, I get that. But just relaxing into it and turning off your brain - like an Aesop's fable about the ant and the grasshopper that imparts a lesson, so to does the fiction of these games impart a lesson. Over and over, for as many hours that you play, that when your immune to death, killing is just fine.

Some will say it doesn't work that way, that somehow you have infinite free will to ignore that. I would be really interested in a scientific test where a game promotes something a bit more mundane, like eating a red icing cake type of cake over one with white icing. Don't tell the participants about it and run them through a week of gaming. Then send them into a room with actual cakes, see which ones get eaten the most.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Driftwurld: Wurld Shaping

I'm plotting out the open world part of Driftwurld. It's one of those things where alot of technical fiddling imposes itself on actually putting in gameplay. Just being able to move around AND have some sort of movement point allowance for the day - fiddley. Indeed since I have the code for moving around, I think I'll skip the movement points allowance even, to begin with. Just get it online, perhaps with some nodes where if a player passes over it, they find an artifact (eg, gain cash).