Timothy Cain - It's a terrible Time for Games

Decided to watch this and for anyone interested it can be summarized like this:

He's heard this argument in many different shapes since before he went into the gaming industry 40 years ago, and thinks it's ridiculous. Gaming will stay interesting. What's trendy and the skills needed to create games will change over time. Try to make games if you want to, and don't get stuck thinking there's one true way to do that.
Feb 15, 2009
Ah, so he's speaking from a developer's point of view. Fair enough, that all makes sense.

From a consumer's point of view it's different kettle of fish.

Eternal development cycles and/or eternal Early Access/Open Beta and/or Roadmaps are things that have really crept into the marketplace over the last few years as industry standards rather than unusual oddities.

This makes it very difficult to know when to jump in to a game. When it is the 'best' time to play. What to wait for and what to not bother waiting for.

Take the much hyped and much anticipated Manor Lords. Announced in 2020, hyped for 3 years and then a demo emerges in 2023 with it entering Early Access a year later.

A month later from then and there are, predictably, already a gazillion videos on youtube detailing the best ways to break the game.

No doubt, by the time of release, much of these will be nerfed or changed - just like how MMOs periodically change all the OP stuff every patch. And the constant patch cycle of Early Access will no doubt break lots of saved games.

But by waiting for 'Full Release' one already is filled with FOMO (fear of missing out) and that if one waits for the full release, will it all feel a bit anti-climactic with most of the social conversation having moved elsewhere and all the game's secrets already fully detailed somewhere.

As if one is playing an 'old' game on release day.

And even then, lots of stuff will change after release. And then the DLC and/or expansion schedule will tempt one to hold back further.

Eventually, say in 2027/8 it will be as complete as it's possible to be, but you wont be able to talk about it with others in any critical or interesting way because every discussion will just be "did you use the XYZ mod?".

This is all a far cry from a mindset that always liked to just buy a game on release or near-to and play "what was in the box", an experience that would have been equally shared by most other players.

Obviously, the answer is just to play whenever it suits you and not worry about any of this stuff. But the paralysis of choice will effect people, it's a normal human condition.

There's no doubt that some don't mind at all this kind of 'piece of string' method of game development, and there's always been elements of this in the past, but there's no denying it's something that's radically changed the face of the hobby from a consumer's perspective, either privately or sociably, much more so in very recent years.
Nov 1, 2014
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