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Friday, March 24, 2006

Everyone Loves A Rant

As is her way, Alice has transcripted the latest rant session from the GDC. Some excellent quotes:

Justin: Chris Crawford: what happened to so embitter you?

Chris Crawford: When you guys can do people stuff, do it. You can’t do it.

Audience: huh?

(Seamus:) You go to the Fairmont. You hang out, have a coupla 9 dollar beers. Pretend that you like the guys who screwed you 6 years ago at some other company. And you hear a whole bunch of people bitching and moaning about how their awesome games aren’t getting published by those jackass publishers who wouldn’t know a good game if it smacked them in the head. I used to really be into this.

Now all I can say is let’s just stop fucking ourselves and realise what’s happening here. We don’t HAVE a good business around most of the ideas we wanna make. We can’t go to guys like EA who, incidentally, are really smart - and present them a business case for some of these ideas. I made a decision about 2 years ago to wear a suit and tie every day. I guarantee you that you can feel the IQ flowing from you body down the tie. It’s all down to sacrifice. But I went there because I thought we might be able to hack into Hollywood a bit, help the game biz. In fact, Ted Price can give a talk at DiCE about finance, and I’m talking about off balancesheet financing. That was a great moment in my career but I’m not bitter about it.

Also.. Eric says we have a bit of time left over. I wanna see if Chris Hecker.. ?

Chris Hecker.
You guys couldn’t fill up the time? Now you want me to do something about it??

Heckler: how often do developers get MORE TIME!

Q: Cheesy award ceremonies. That important? Why?

Heckler: it’s just masturbation!

Seamus: and that’s bad for you? Well that’s fine. Hehe. No. The ceremonies.. that “Hollywood horseshit” is critical to a business system. It gets the word out. It builds a biz around things you’d never otherwise try. You get celebs going to see Brokeback Mountain, a film that OTHERWISE would have totally offended a bunch of red states.. but now they go see it.

(Frank:) So what’s wrong with this? Why does the phrase ‘the player will be able to go anywhere and do anything’ sound like nails on a chalkboard to me? It’s based on a very na├»ve and unsophisticated understanding of how simulation, how representation works. You have a thing, a part of the world, and you have a simulation of that. There’s a gap in between, the gap is made up by all the differences, the way that this is not this.. the immersive fallacy is this idea that computer simulation allows us to close this gap and makes these things identical. But this gap is an essential part of how this representation works, this gap is where the magic happens.

I especially like the last one. I mean, I'm all for free form and player emergent play and all that fine old stuff. But I also think that the drive to make perfectly believable, ultimate interactive, emulations is distracting.

Sorry for the lack of last names, that's how Alice reports it.

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Jeffool said...

I also liked:

Eric: let’s take Jane’s comment seriously. If we’re gonna do something, and not just talk about it, even though talking is a good first step – can you guys offer advice out there?

Chris Crawford: go off into the mountains for 14 years and develop interactive storytelling.

Chris Crawford has that excellent mix of "Hey, this is the way! I've found it! C'mon! Please?" and "Get off my lawn, ya damn kids!" And his book on Interactive Storytelling made good sense.

Josh said...

I also liked that they introduced him as a "curmedgeon", a title I would never personally object to, myself.

Also thought it was interesting with the usual EA bashing when I'm assuming the "Robin" is Robin Hunicke, recently an EA employee herself if I'm not mistaken.

Patrick said...

I kinda wish Chris would have given a rant that described why games about characters and social play are important, without alienating everybody. I guess that'll be my job when I speak at the conference next year (and I will).

Robin made a great mini-rant about "hot chicks", showing off the variety of photo-real CG pics posted at the conference, featuring "coy naked babes too afraid to approach you, lesbian babes, studded babes, babes who can't help touching themselves," ect. It was funny. She works for Maxis, so she's as guilty of working for EA as Will Wright (who in my opinion, is quite quilty of this complicence, something often overlooked because the man is a genuis).

But yeah, Chris Crawford should've been more conducive to the needs of the audience. What I can tell you about Storytron is that its hard to build with, not so easy to play, and is regardless a bold step foward in doing characters in games.

Josh said...

We'll probably all wake up someday and realize we work for EA.

Course, they'll be owned by AT&Citibank.