Game Credits Out Of Control

2018-05-15

Dear Games Credits, we need to have a talk. You are out of control and you seem to have lost the point of "credits".

As a perfect example, the PS4 God of War lists way too many people. They literally roll for 30 MINUTES!!

Imagine if the credits for Lord of the Rings listed not only Tolkien but also the person(s) that typeset the book. The person(s) that printed the book. The person(s) that managed the people that typeset the book. The person(s) that managed the people that printed the book. The person(s) who provided HR for the persons that printed and typeset the book. The president of the company that typeset and printed the book. The people that made the ink the book was printed with. The people that managed the people that make the ink the book was printed with. The assistants to the people that managed the people that made the ink the book was printed with. The people that delivered the ingredients to the ink factory to make the ink and on and on.

Sure, at some level you should be thankful for all of those people but that doens't mean they need to or should be listed in the credits.

Yes, who gets in the credits and who doesn't can be a contentious issue in the middle but it shouldn't be at the edges. The director of the game should get credit. The assistant to the salesperson in the foreign office should not. The caterer to the company should not get credit anymore than the cook at the burger place across the street should get credit no matter how much you love each of them. The art director should get credit. The team that makes the console's online store should not get credit. By that account every game on steam should be listing all members of Valve in their credits.

I don't know how to concretely define who should get credit. Off the top of my head credit should be given to those who materially contributed to the creation of the product. The keyword there is "creation". If you created parts of the content you could get credit. If you only indirectly supported people who created parts of the content you probably should not get credit with few exceptions.

Listing all the artists at an outsourcing company might make sense if all of those artists actually worked on the product. Listing the teams and managers that maintain the Playstation Network used by all games does not make sense anymore than listing the people that made the capaitors that sit on the electronics inside the machine or the guys that mixed the plastic for the power cables, or the captians that piloted the cargo ships that delivered the PS4s.

Serilousy, it's really a punch in the face to the actual God of War team that spent blood and tears working for 5-6 years on this game to then have their names diluted to the point of homeopathy with an extra 25 minutes of names. Just STOP IT. PLEASE!

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Atarisoft Mario Bros for Commodore 64

2018-02-15

A friend recently found this video of someone playing the Mario Bros for Atarisoft that my friend John Alvarado and I created right out of high school when we were 19 years old.

I'm embarrassed to say at 19 I couldn't figure out how to make the platforms warp when you bonk your head into them given the sprite limits on the C64. Similarly I could not figure out how to make the platforms freeze for some reason. (Of course I could do it now ..... probably )

The problem was the C64, in that mode, is tilemap based so the best I could do is change the 4-6 tiles above your head which wouldn't match where you actually hit your head, at least if I only had one set of tiles. Maybe if I had a set for every other pixel or something but you only get 256 total but assumign we just needed every 4 pixels and 4 frames of animation that would 6 x 4 x 4 or 144 tiles. Some of the tiles are needed for numbers etc. Maybe I should have done that! No idea if I thought of that and was just too lazy or didn't think of it. Of course it would need a few more for the edges and then a different set for the bricks and another set for the ice so maybe it isn't possible. Less positions and less frames maybe. 10 tiles (edges) by 2 frames by 2 positions by 3 tile types is 120 tiles ... I wonder if it would have fit.

Looking at the Ocean version whichd did ship I see their solutions. They don't have any end pieces and the just push up whole tiles. Either 2 or 3.

What else I can add .... I remember being super late on it and getting flown out to Atarisoft to get asked when we'd be done. For some reason I seem to remember we went to some restaurant where I was introduced to fried bananas.

It was a cartridge so IIRC it had to fit in 8k. (Could be confused there). I know Centipede was 8k. Centipede was a port from Atari to C64. The Atari version only used around 6k of the 8k cart so we had room to add animation and a few other things.

Got paid $10k. Still feel guilty about that since it didn't ship. I don't think any of that was shared with John. Sorry John!

Comments below the video for our version seem be pretty positive. They say it plays better than the Ocean version. Of course it helps that both John and I were totally addicted to the arcade version. We'd play together all the time. Such a great co-op game!

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NES/Famicom, A Visual Compendium - Corrections

2017-04-07

I very nice book came out with images from tons of NES games called "NES/Famicom, A Visual Compendium". I saw several of my friends had backed the kickstarter and when they go their copies they mentioned one of my games was in it so I had to buy a copy.

It's a gorgeous book. I'm not 100% sure I'm into the sharp emulator captures graphics as they look absolutely nothing at all like the original games. As art they're very cool but as representations of what those games looked like they are far off the mark. You can see a comparison on this article and see how when blown up in an emulator they look all blocky but back when the came out they looked smooth. Still as graphic art it's cool to see them in the book.

That said I looked up M.C. Kids and was a little disappointed to see things reported incorrectly. I not blaming anyone in particular. I assume it's an issue of like the game "telephone" where as the message got passed from person to person it got re−interpreted and ended up in it's present form

For M.C Kids it implies Rene did all the enemies but that was not the case. I'm not sure the percent of enemies created by Rene but IIRC Darren Bartlett and Ron Miller both did enemies as well.

I then notice there was an unreleased section and sure enough there was Robocop vs Terminator listed.

It's also wrong. It's says "Graeme Devine moved me from Caesars Palace Gameboy to Robocop Vs Terminator". What actually happened though is Graeme Devine moved me from Caesars Palace to Terminator NES, not Robocop vs Terminator. I worked on an animation tool to be shared between Terminator NES and M.C. Kids NES. Later I was asked to work on M.C Kids and Terminator was given to David Parry to make Terminator for Sega Genesis. When I finished M.C. Kids and I was no longer at Virgin Games I got a contract from Interplay to code Robocop Vs Terminator for NES.

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Bloodborne - Objectively Bad Game Design

2016-12-29

Bloodborne fans, explain it to me.

Is Bloodborne only playable if you played Dark Souls first? I’ve never played any of them. Was told told skip those and so I gave Bloodborne about 1 hr and gave up. One of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.

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After 11 years of waiting The Last Guardian has some how lost the magic

2016-12-11

It's been 11 years since Shadow of the Colossus shipped for PS2. I was such a fan of Ico that even though I sat directly next to the Shadow of the Colossus team at Sony Japan and all I had to is stand up and look over my cubicle's divider to see work in progress I made my best effort to not look because I didn't want to spoil the experience of whatever they were making.

So, now, 11 years since then the team has finally shipped their next game, skipping an entire generation of console.

And ....

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Crunch in Games

2016-04-17

So this commentary on some other commentary is making the rounds.

http://ramiismail.com/2016/04/an−inline−response−to−wage−slaves/

Let me first make it clear I'm 100% on the side of less crunch. You'll probably forget that after reading my comments but, at least try to remember.

So I agree with Rami's commentary I just wanted to call out a few things

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GDC 2016

2016-03-23

Just a few random things from GDC 2016

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Tonde Iko, a 6 Screen 5 player game

2014-11-12

This is what some friends and I made in October

You can read more here

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HappyFunTimes

2014-05-09

Something like 3 years ago I made a game called PowPow that let a bunch of players use a browser to connect to a game and use their browser as the controller. Either a desktop or a smartphone browser could be used.

Back then I thought, "You know, I should really make a library out of this" but one thing lead to another and I what do you know, 3 or more years have passed.

Well, I finally got around to it.

Check out HappyFunTimes

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Bitsummit 2014

2014-03-10

A few notes from bitsummit 2014

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