Friday, January 12, 2007

Carmack's Back

Having not heard anything from the guys at Id in a while (then again, I don't follow the hardcore space so closely anymore), a long interview with him popped up on Game Informer.

I've always been a fan of Id's games, and of Carmack as a developer. While they seem to have fallen behind guys like Valve and Epic in terms of their development model (old skool small team vs large team w modular development, etc), I secretly (not so secretly, I guess) root for Carmack to come out and ship something that kicks everybody's ass.

Of note, this quote about Gfx HW, and when and what users should upgrade to:

I don’t think that there’s any huge need for people to jump right now. All the high-end video cards right now—video cards across the board—are great nowadays. This is not like it was years ago, where they’d say, “This one’s poison, stay away from this. You really need to go for this.” Both ATI and Nvidia are going a great job on the high end.

Wow. It's not just me then. If HE doesn't care about the latest and greatest graphics, then who does?

Also, a game-biz-101 bit from Todd Hollenshead for those that think that digital distribution will make their publisher-dependence woes go away (Steam is the topic of discussion, but to be fair, they are just a proxy here for all digital distribution services):

there were serious flaws in the economic analysis that [Valve] laid out for developers. The problem for most developers is not one of not getting paid enough once the game is out, it’s that they don’t have the seed funding necessary to internally fund development of their titles. That’s why they work for publishers on milestone schedules and advances against future royalties, and Steam offers no solution for that. It also doesn’t offer any solution for the marketing spend question, where if developers don’t even have enough money to fund themselves internally to develop their product, then they’re not going to be able to pay for a multimillion dollar marketing campaign, which is a huge amount of risk that as an industry standpoint is offloaded from developers to publishers.

1 comment:

archie4oz said...

Well anybody who's done indy work or even been in the game industry (or hell just done any commercial software development) could've seen through Valve's "economic analysis" in a heartbeat. All Steam really solves is distribution (and to a lesser extent simplies some of the eCommerce aspects).

And in the end you don't really need Steam to do even that. The biggest hurdles are generally like Hollenshead says; money. IMO the main speedbumps are time if you (or your team) have real jobs to pay bills. The next becomes money once you've managed to break away from needing a day job to fund your game development.