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Kreij

Troika Shuts Down

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I just found out. My first reaction was "oh, my God." Truely, this is the end of computer gaming as I once knew it. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that came from the guys at Troika was pure genious. To make matter worse, Bioware have sold their souls to the Dark Side, so to speak. And I can't trust them to produce a quality BG-level RPG any more. Admit it, KOTOR is RPGlite - and universally Teen rated. As will be anything else they pump out. The future of Bethesda Softworks is hazy at best. Despite the fact that Morrowind was nowhere even remotely near the quality of Daggerfall, Bethesda has begun to take a TEEN-rated stance on it's RPGs as well. Add to that we have NO idea what will become of Fallout 3 in their hands and Troika's unannounced postapocalyptic RPG is never going to see the light of day to make it better if Bethsoft's sucks. Then there's Call of Cthulu which has been in development about as long as Duke Nukem Forever. Oh man, they're really our last hope for quality RPG experiences. And I'm near-positive they are going to screw it up.

But then there's the people who brought us Gothic - and there's The Longest Journey. All foreign titles - we get about 1 every 2-3 years. Is that it? Is that all thats left for people who appreciate deep, complex, SATISFYING gaming experiences?

With that, I hereby denounce myself as a gamer. There's just nothing left to look forward to - film politics has destroyed gaming - and games, unfortunately, are not yet feasable for independant developers save one (and we all know who that is). Those days are over. F*** the games industry. It's over. We lose.

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quote:

Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that came from the guys at Troika was pure genious.

While their creativity is not in question, their Quality Assurance left a lot to be desired.

I bought ToEE when it came out and it was so riddled with game stopping bugs I had to stop playing it. Not to mention the fact that a Fan came out with a patch to fix it before Troika did. Makes for bad PR.

quote:

The future of Bethesda Softworks is hazy at best.

Given that Morrowind was the first game ever to go double-platinum on the Xbox and the world wide PC sales were excellent, I am not sure hazy is the right word. Will be interesting to see how the Cthulhu game does when released.

quote:

Morrowind was nowhere even remotely near the quality of Daggerfall

How so ? I would really like to hear your opinion on this. I thought Morrowind was much cleaner than Daggerfall. (although it has some bugs too)

quote:

Bethesda has begun to take a TEEN-rated stance on it's RPGs as well

TEEN-rated = larger market, does it not ? Seems kind of self-defeating to make a 'M' rated game with all the nonsense going on these days with Grand Jury testimonies on violent and mature content. Besides, why should the game company take the hit making it 'M', when all they have to do is release a modding tool and let the modders "strip" away the rating

quote:

film politics has destroyed gaming

Hmmm ... most film based games are pretty weak, but the Riddick (Butcher Bay) shooter got stellar reviews, so I am not giving up hope yet.

I do, however, hate the trend now where there is a game for every movie released. Bleechk.

quote:

With that, I hereby denounce myself as a gamer.

Pffrft ... There goes my coffee on my keyboard.

We know that is impossible to do, Scriv.

-Kreij

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Quality Assurance - For TOEE this was largely Ataris fault. They pushed the game out early despite Troikas protests. I was working at EB at the time and was shocked to get TOEE in shipment while the computer still predicted 3 more months before release. Troika even cut the multiplayer early on to reduce development time - and STILL Atari screwed them. To make matters worse, Atari provided NO MONEY for patch development. What patches Troika DID release were done by employees on their own time.

Bethesda Softworks & Daggerfall - I didn't mean to imply that they are in financial trouble. I meant to imply that they were in *creative* trouble. Daggerfall had innovations that have not been seen in any RPG before or since. It stood to reason (at least among loyal TES fans who had played ALL of the previous games) that Morrowind would have all the same features and gameplay, but with cutting-edge graphics. What we got was a game where the graphics were pretty good but the gameplay was unbelievably shallow (for a TES game). Ratings aside (previous TES games were very realistic/dark/mature), Morrowind was just flat out missing most of the features that TES fans just assumed would be there. Concepts such as seasons, day-night NPC routines, holidays, weather, large randomly-generated dungeons, vampirism, lycanthropy, dynamic world politics, MOUNTS... the list goes on and on and on. It was TES lite for consoles. In short - it lacked CONTENT, the one thing that always made TES games so special. I play Daggerfall to this very day and have an 'old' computer dedicated to it. Morrowind (and it's expansions) collects only dust and angst. IMO, Gothic 1 & 2 and Arx Fatalis were spiritually more TES games than Morrowind was.

Film politics - The world of film is extremely politics-driven. This could not be demonstrated any more clearly than by this years absolutely ridiculous Academy Awards. It's not about the art any more - its about the bucks. It's no longer an elite field - its a field that caters to dummies and retards and the general inbred masses. Cinema's salvation comes from those magical independant and foreign films where the creators have absolute freedom to express themselves. Unfortunately, technology is now so advanced that it is outside the means of aspiring game makers to do retail-viable independant games. Therefore, we only get served the same muck we've played and hated 3-dozen times before. The western RPG is dead. Adventure games are dead. Space sims are dead. What is left? MMORPGs, FPSs, and RTSs... and the Japanese 'JRPG' (which are really just interactive anime 'adventure' games with yawn-inducing combat). Furthermore, most games these days are published and funded one of a handful of giant beancounting numbers-driven superpublishers - just-like-movie-studios. THATS what I mean by 'Film politics has destroyed gaming.'

Denouncing gamerdome - Being a 'gamer' these days now means approximately bollocks. Everyone is a 'gamer.' The name used to imply that you were a member of some elite societal subclass - a class of people who appreciated the complex art of designing and playing deep, complex, and rewarding games. I am no longer a gamer - because gamers are people who play games. I don't DO games. I do experiences. The only term left to me is grognard - previously used to describe veteran soldiers in Napoleons army, or which the french use to label someone a 'grumbler'. I am a gaming veteran - I have seen games more spectacular and magical than 'gamers' today can even dream of... and they will never know this because the games don't look 'pretty' enough and because they are 'old.' Leave me to my Zork, Elite, Daggerfall, Battlecruiser, and MechWarrior 2. This new generation of games holds nothing for me. I am a grognard. A grumbling veteran of old battles - who has seen and misses his past days of glory. THATS what I mean.

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Ok, back on the front lines (at home with 56K so the battle front is weak lol)

To place the blame solely on the shoulders of Atari ignores the fact that the Devs at Troika are the ones who "made the game". Deadlines or not, there is no excuse for bugs that STOP a game in progress. I don't mean crashes or the other inevitable problems that come with trying to write a game for a miriad of hardware configurations, I mean bugs that a simple choice by a player makes the game unusable. That is the job of the developer, not the producer.

Bethsoft : They made a game that was cutting edge in the world of RPGs. True, it was not perfect, and yes it did not have all of the things in it that Daggerfall had, but they were pushing their game to the limits of what RPGs were before. For that I give them credit. I cannot wait to see what they do with the upcoming Oblivion (TES 4) game, and also to see what the soon to be released Cthulhu (sp?) game is like with the "insanity" factor. Similar to SC, this is a company that makes their own rules.

Film based movies : You're right. Bleach. Film comanies are killing all the genres. But the indies are not dead and that is why one of the places I look for information is here on the UC boards.

If you search on the web for information on SC you will find people who have made it their life's goal to discredit him. Why ? The obvious reason is that they need to get a job. This game and forum is the place I come to learn about UC and also get a fresh perspective on the gaming industry without 4.6 billion posts about total crap.

You are correct in stating that the media has now plopped everyone who has even looked at the box of a game in the category of "gamer". However, we know better than that. Who are "we" ? We are the real gamers. We are the ones who do not fall for the hype of the media driven empire. You call it "experience", I call it "discovery". What makes a game great is the ability to have that awesome feeling of something new and exiciting when you "discover" the games depth, plot, and uniqueness.

Grognard : You have hit it right on the head. We are Grognard. It is the Gorg's who are here discussing gaming's future. It is the Grog's who will fatten their ranks and determine the outcome of the media's attempts at generic gaming. And in a most respectful voice I remind you of one of the leading Grog's ... Derek Smart.

Long live the Grog's.

-Kreij

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