Winter and Wii

“Game journalism,” quotation marks intended, is not known for actual journalism. More like just rewriting the press releases. As one person put it, “it’s like being told by Deep Throat to follow the money and only writing an article about the existence of money.”

That is why I find this sort of interview refreshing. It isn’t PR bull, but actual questions being answered and some insightful comments into how the industry thinking when it makes video games. Personally I think the game Winter sounds like one hell of an experience, but unfortunately it’s been shelved. The reason? Because a standard, done before survival horror game is too risky. This is an interesting looking game. See for yourself.

I didn’t get it either, until I understood how a publisher’s mind thinks in this era of gaming. See the game was ideally supposed to be on the Wii, which publishers see as a kiddy game console, mainly because all they see on it are kiddy games. Kind of a stupid loop of consequence. We have an industry where publishers go to where they can make the most money, i.e. the console with the largest install base, and shark away from unsure things, making innovation a difficult and slow process. Now, ironically, they are in a situation where the console with the largest install base IS the most innovative thing to hit gaming since 3D.

wii_console

I personally don’t own a Wii, because I figure it would be a waste of money on my part. There are games I want to play on it and it has Gamecube backward compatibility, but even with that the number of games I want to play can be counted on one hand. Not really worth the $250 price tag.  This comes to the problem with the Wii. Financially it is a success, but when it comes to software it is very lacking. Mature  and innovative games are absent for the most part on the console. Innovation might not be as big a problem if it weren’t for the unique control system. For new and innovative game to develop they have to take advantage of the unique control system otherwise we are left with bad ports and mini game compilations. Or we are given games that make better use of a Gamecube controller than the actual Wiimote. Irony aside I’d rather try innovative games on an innovative console rather than a game I could play on my PS3 or 360 on it. I could play those games on the PS3 and do. The Wii offers something different and I wish it live up to it.

This game could have opened the flood gates and still can. But it is a two step process. One it has to get made and two it has to sell well. Otherwise it will become further evidence against the viability of such games.  Well that’s my rant and anyway here’s the link to the interview.

http://wii.ign.com/articles/946/946492p1.html

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Eric Swain

A graduate of Boston University, majoring in English and Creative Writing and has spent significant time studying story structure and theory in the mediums of books, film and video games. His articles offer unique perspective on deep game development and design through his eclectic prose. you can find his critical analysis on www.thegamecritique.com.

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