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Old 06-13-2006, 05:12 PM   #1
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EDITORIAL: Creativity in Video Games is DEAD (Chris Crawford)

Quote:
"Chris Crawford earned his gaming stripes by working for Atari as a game designer in 1979. Following the company’s collapse in 1984, Crawford went on to publish several simulation titles for the Macintosh. In 1982 he wrote “The Art of Computer Game Design,” considered by many to be a classic in its genre.
In 1992 Crawford left the arena of commercial game design and focused his time and energy on the concept of interactive storytelling. He took some time to speak with Gamasutra on the concepts behind it and his project, Storytronics, which is now 14 years in the making.

Gamasutra: You've been quoted as saying that video games are dead. Do you still feel that’s true?

Chris Crawford: What I meant by that was that the creative life has gone out of the industry. And an industry that has no creative spark to it is just marking time to die."

http://gamasutra.com/features/20060612/murdey_01.shtml


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Old 06-13-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
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wow, could you be more negative? I love this guys approach, everything they're doing is wrong, but nothing i'm doing is right, but hey, my system is still better. His idea for interactive storytelling is interesting, but the way he's talking about it makes little sense to me. A story is a story is a story, they've had similiar progressions for a millenia, i don't think he's capable of rewriting that bit of history. I do agree with him on some points, but he goes too far, which I think might be his exact purpose.
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Old 06-13-2006, 06:09 PM   #3
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He says himself that he isn't making a "game"... so for the last ten years he's been making a choose your own adventure/chat room, and he's trying to preach to the world about the lack of innovation in video games... I think I would value his opinion more if he had been trying for the last 10 years to innovate video games with no success because of politics and corporate agendas. The way he talks though, it almost seems as if it's not possible to innovate video games at all.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 06:56 PM   #4
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ok things I learned today:

- the 80's were a magical time of innovation in games

- The games industry has been creatively dead for the last 10 years

- In order to regain our creativity we should look to hollywood as our creative inspiration (???)

- In the future, people will rush home to read stories where the dialog and plot changes.

Wow...just...wow.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:19 PM   #5
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Chris Crawford is a dinosaur who pops his head out of his hole every couple of years to spread FUD over the game industry. I don't know why anyone takes him seriously anymore. Yeah there's a lot of people making a lot of crappy games but there's been some really fun and innovative games in the last few years. He's overly negative, and really I think he's as bad as many of the developers he despises so much. I think he and his book are at least partially responsible for the current state of the game industry. He believes a game has to be a narrative that players become emotionally invested into, sometimes I think a game just needs to be a game; something people can pick up and play and have a little fun with; no plot, no character development, no emmotional investment, just a pure test of motor skills and brain power that's a clever, enjoyable diversion.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronholio
Chris Crawford is a dinosaur who pops his head out of his hole every couple of years to spread FUD over the game industry. I don't know why anyone takes him seriously anymore. Yeah there's a lot of people making a lot of crappy games but there's been some really fun and innovative games in the last few years. He's overly negative, and really I think he's as bad as many of the developers he despises so much. I think he and his book are at least partially responsible for the current state of the game industry. He believes a game has to be a narrative that players become emotionally invested into, sometimes I think a game just needs to be a game; something people can pick up and play and have a little fun with; no plot, no character development, no emmotional investment, just a pure test of motor skills and brain power that's a clever, enjoyable diversion.


Yep i agree, i picked up table tennis for the 360 the other day, and i am having so much fun playing it. I think this guy needs to take a chill pill, and get on with what he wants, and let other people do what they want.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 07:50 PM   #7
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The only people claiming zero innovation in the game industry are the people who keep ignoring the niche titles. No duh you'll find nothing in innovative from EA. But look to the underdogs...
 
Old 06-13-2006, 08:22 PM   #8
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wacked!

Innovation. There is plenty of it in the gaming industry, although there are just a lot more
games out. The Sims!!! Grant it, you have the whole FPS genre, which is redundent, but
there are still a number of great games coming out. Dance Dance Revolution is huge.
I respect that this guy helped mold the gaming industry, but he definitely is a little disgruntled
with what happened to it. It's the number one grossing market in the Entertainment industry.

This guy should enlighten us with his refreshing competitive ideas. Pong is the bomb, but it's
totally boring to a 12 year old now-a-days.
 
Old 06-13-2006, 08:35 PM   #9
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i hear this all the time. the worse part is that its from older game developers from the "Atari era". i've talked and meet with people who sit back and judge the game industry and i've asked them if they own a DS, or the last time they tried a rhythm game like DDR/Guitar Hero. the majority of the time they don't even own a DS or any home system, just a PC.

yes, there is a bunch of junk out there. but there are some awesome new games and some games that take old game mechanics and present them in a different way that makes the game feel completely new.

sure, he has a point, but i'm to busy playing the New Super Mario Bros*, Kingdom Hearts 2*, and HL2 Episode 1* to hear him.


*none of these games are completely new and or have some kind of gimmich mechanic in them, they are just good games from beginning to the end... except Mario, that game was to easy.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:39 PM   #10
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*Pulls grape off vine. Places it in mouth. "Eww... " *Spits grape to ground.

"Do these taste sour to anyone else?"
 
Old 06-13-2006, 09:02 PM   #11
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Wow, he is so the old man in the garage who thinks he can invent cold fusion ("interactive storytelling" in his case). Just sad.

I hope to be a disillusioned crank someday. There's something so appealing about shutting your mind off from reality and just plugging away at some impossibly misguided project, absolutely and positively convinced you are on the road to great success. That must be a comforting world to live in.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:05 PM   #12
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Creativity in Video Games is DEAD


Yeah, no shit :(

Even the indie scene is horrible. It's impossible to get a game published which doesnt fit the strict criteria of companies like Real (i.e. Real Arcade), which usually means that your game has to be a "DinerDash" or "Bejeweled" clone....Talk about stifling creativity!

/indie developer
 
Old 06-13-2006, 10:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Array
Yeah, no shit :(

Even the indie scene is horrible. It's impossible to get a game published which doesnt fit the strict criteria of companies like Real (i.e. Real Arcade), which usually means that your game has to be a "DinerDash" or "Bejeweled" clone....Talk about stifling creativity!

/indie developer

I have so been there. And it's even come so far that a lot of gamedesigners have no intention of being creative. They just combine things they have seen on a low-level, instead of a complex level.

/student gamedesign
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:47 PM   #14
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Blah blah blah is all I have to say to this. There are more games released than ever before, does anyone really expect each of them to greatly innovate? It's little innovations in each games that make the industry go forward.

If we had to ask this guy at what time the industry was innovative, what would he say? June 6th 1979 to March 17th 1987? He's just bored with games like a few other big names who have their chances to make an editorial about what they feel like talking about. The market is full of new gamers. But those people don't tend to write editorials about the end of photography or TV.
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Old 06-13-2006, 11:14 PM   #15
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There really are only so many types of action gameplay in the known universe (not including word, puzzle or trivia games), and every game is a variation of these few basic types. I wish I could remember them all, but they are things like "capture the flag", "timed acqusition", etc. There were something like 7 of these and every level of every game ever made fits one of them or a combination of them. To say gaming is dead because there is no innovation is like saying blues music is dead because there are only a few chords and limited ways to combine them.

It's been proven over and over again that the same, tired old gameplay types can be made fun, exciting and profitable if they are combined and produced in imaginative ways. Yes, it's sad that every game company relies so heavily on copying what others have done, but that's how you get a publisher to fund your game. No publisher in their right mind would give you a dime if you say "we don't know what it is yet, but we will come up with a new type of gameplay never before known and we need your $10 million to do it." Click! That's the sound of them hanging up on you.

The truth is, if you have such a great idea for a new type of game that you think will be pure design genius and mega-profitable, then you should produce it yourself on a shoestring budget. If you are so certain it's groundbreaking and innovative, then you have nothing to lose, right? But it's a lot easier to run around saying the sky is falling than to work your ass off to create a fun and exciting game.
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