Wednesday, May 25, 2005

This Title Has Been Procedurally Generated

For this week's post I present to you this, a link to a link to a video clip of (as I've called him before before) master-of-the-art Will Wright's presentation at this year's Game Developer's Conference. Most of the presentation, which changes titles quite a few times throughout, is dedicated to Wright's upcoming game Spore. The presentation is mainly aimed at other people in the field of game development, but Will's humor combined with the gameplay aspects we're shown make it a must see to anyone who takes gaming seriously. A registration is required to watch the video, but sites like help you to retain your anonymity during the process, if that's your cup of tea.

I'm not going to ruin the presentation by going through all the details for the remainder of the post, but this is clearly something to be excited about. With all the flash and sparkle of this year's E3, I haven't seen anything come out of it that seemed truly next generation. With it's procedurally generated everything, and all the possibilities hinted at with it's transparent player created content, Spore is a game that shows that real innovation is still very possible. Several times while watching the presentation, I was unable to stop the creeping of a huge grin on to my face, while other moments literally caused my jaw to drop. Go see for yourself.

In other, ahem, "news" - I've been playing the Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst open beta a bit the week. Honestly, the more I play of it, the less interested I've become with the game. If the combat were more interesting, or if the game world offered more to explore, I could see myself enjoying the game quite a bit more. I guess I've been spoiled by the dynamics of Monster Hunter's combat system, which has a whole lot more depth than PSO's weak attack, strong attack, heavy attack system.

Just because I'm only going to be allowed to play it for a short time, I'll continue to mess around with PSO: BB, but I can't see paying a monthly fee for it, or anything for that matter. Hopefully more games will start to take the route that Anarchy Online has taken with it's "pay if you don't like ads but do like expansion packs" subscription model, because I can see the bursting of the bloated MMO bubble coming sometime soon, and the small time players may be entirely forced out of the industry. Anyway, go watch that Spore presentation.

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