Tag Archives: What Remains of Edith Finch

Achievements Unlocked, And Set To Change

Welcome, come inside, take your shoes off, slip on your comfy indoor footwear of choice and settle yourself in for another adventure with the Lost Spark Podcast as special guest James Thomas (@BigSheep) joins Antony and Darren once again to discuss Pizza, Circus tricks, Cinema silence, oh and of course, the reason we are all here – Video Games.

This week the debate gets interesting when James brings the news of an expected shake up of Xbox Live Achievements to the table and asks, are achievements in need of a change, are we happy with them as they are or even protective of the current ‘cheevo’ status quo and if we had the chance to make a change what could be done to improve a system loved by gamers worldwide? Is there any achievement in changing achievements? Continue reading

Does the Zelda Season Pass Make You Tingle?

This week the man himself (@BigSheep) joins the guys to discuss the gaming news of the moment in episode 90.

It’s a bit of a Nintendo-fest this week as the often visited Nintendo corner grows into the Nintendo-Annex in light of the sheer volume of stories over the last 7 days, in no small part owing to the phenomenal success of the Switch console which is showing no signs of slowing down in it’s meteoric mission from store shelf to gamers pocket.

The guys have been gushing about Breath of the Wild since release and with good reason and it looks like the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is shaping up to be just as much fun and just as successful with a 45% attach rate topping both the UK’s Individual and All Formats charts this week.

After some discussion about if we will see an up to now unrevealed big game on Switch between Arms and Mario Odyssey the conversation turns to ward the reveal of the Zelda Season Pass and the content therein (full details below). With the advent of a full fangled Tingle costume being a genius standout for the Sparks.

The question is, in a game world so big, will people want more, are the revealed features welcome and most importantly, does the lure of this extra content get you tingling enough to part with your rupees?

To hear what the guys think, listen in and enjoy the latest installment of the Lost Spark Podcast.

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There’s More To Gaming Than Just ‘Triple A’

In this weeks podcast we have all the usual fun frolics and frivolity as the guys discuss the week in gaming, what’s hot to play and everything in between. Hold on to your control pads gamers, it’s Episode 89 of the Lost Spark Podcast.

An interesting point in the news (courtesy of wccftech) this week was made by Cliff Bleszinski (Cliffy B) of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War fame and more recently the co-founder of Boss Key Productions.

During industry conference Reboot Develop 2017, Cliff took to the stage and put forward his view that ‘AAA games’ cost too much to make and the development of such games are a ‘nearly unsustainable’ model, his reasoning behind this is based on a number of points including the fact that:

  • Customers can only afford a few $60 dollar games a year and this price is a high point for most consumers
  • Consumers have been burned with DLC / Bugs in their games
  • Player expectations are very high in terms of Graphics. feature sets and polish and quality

Citing Horizon Zero Dawn as an example, Cliff went on to posit that the seven year development cycle for a project like this can be undertaken and afforded by Sony with the reason that they can get so heavily invested in something like this is that they will be the ones profiting from the sale of their consoles, which a game like Horizon Zero Dawn is very likely to have a positive effect on.  So Sony – whom Horizon Zero Dawn’s Developer Guerrilla Games belong to – has two branches here, both the software and their hardware, with which they can recoup their investment and further to this make a profit.

In contrast to this he then made a comparison to the financial commitment that was made by Take-Two with regard to Bioshock Infinite where the outcome of overstretching to fulfill a AAA vision resulted in a number of lay offs over at Irrational Games.

A remedy for this, he suggested, would be the advent of the ‘AA game’. These games would be games that despite a restricted budget focused on what matters most, giving examples of his type of game being the likes of Rocket League by Psyonix and Digital Extreme’s Warframe adding also that digital only would also be a consideration for success.

So, have our expectations got out of hand, or is the amazing high standard and polish of the games we see nowadays simply a result of the evolution of technology and the desire of creators to improve, innovate and deliver that next big thing? Is it all simply about the bottom line (obviously to a great degree, it’s business), or is there something to be said for the ambition of developers and creators to express themselves and push the limits of the gaming medium via the technologically impressive consoles we use today?

Whether it’s gamer expectation, businesses pushing for profit or creators with the passion and determination to bring their ambitious gaming visions to the gaming community, it does look like there is a point here. No one likes to hear about studios closing, job cuts, or devs not getting paid for their hard work and if this can be avoided by simply scaling back ambition on a project and being more realistic in financial terms of what can be achieved then that’s great. Though conversely, it would definitely be a shame if the spectacle of the ‘AAA game’ was only within the reach of the hardware manufacturers.

Ultimately, if the costs of the AAA’s continue to get out of hand and cause businesses problems the amount made will dwindle as the lessons are learned.

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