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Old 29 August 2009, 17:14   #1
mattbarton.exe
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New Matt Chat on "Autoduel"

Well, it's no "Minutemen" extravaganza, but I did crank out another "Matt Chat" episode this week--Autoduel.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 29 August 2009, 17:29   #2
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Just seen it earlier and it's one of the games I heard about, but haven't played it myself yet. Well, there is an Amiga version, so guess I'm running out of excuses Thanks for the heads up Matt and a great review as always
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Old 29 August 2009, 17:37   #3
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Well, it's no "Minutemen" extravaganza, but I did crank out another "Matt Chat" episode this week--Autoduel.

[ Show youtube player ]
Hi Matt.

I know there is a bigger user-base at youtube, but have you thought about using a site that allows videos to be longer than 10 minutes or do you like having a limit? Does it help make sure you don't waffle on for too long?
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Old 29 August 2009, 17:55   #4
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I wouldn't mind having the option to go longer, but, it's mainly time management. YouTube is one of the few video sites left that welcome gaming videos. Most of the rest forbid them as part of their user policies. Also, I don't want to spend more time on these than I am already. It's a fun hobby, but unless I find a way to make money doing it, I need to stay reasonable in terms of time commitments.

And yeah, nothing worse than to see some dude waffling on just to fill up a time slot. Not my style.
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Old 29 August 2009, 18:10   #5
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I wouldn't mind having the option to go longer, but, it's mainly time management. YouTube is one of the few video sites left that welcome gaming videos. Most of the rest forbid them as part of their user policies. Also, I don't want to spend more time on these than I am already. It's a fun hobby, but unless I find a way to make money doing it, I need to stay reasonable in terms of time commitments.

And yeah, nothing worse than to see some dude waffling on just to fill up a time slot. Not my style.
I can understand that. I think you should continue to plug the books, if people can't appreciate how much effort you have put into the books and videos(including the DVD), then more fool them. What do you do for a living? Have you thought about applying for jobs at some magazines or online sites?
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Old 29 August 2009, 18:28   #6
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I'm a university professor -- an "English professor" in a broad sense, though my research is focused on writing technology and new media (though I'm trying to focus on game studies). It works out well for me since my two biggest interests in life are writing and computers. I'm known in academic circles mostly for my wiki work, since I jumped on that bandwagon before Wikipedia got popular and have pushed hard for using wikis in the classroom.

I wouldn't mind working for a magazine or getting paid to do a website, but only if I could get as much money (or more) that I'm making now. I seriously doubt that would ever happen, so I'm much better off sticking to what I'm doing. Besides, what other job lets you play all the games you want for the sake of research?

The only job I've seen that I really envied was "game design consultant," which amounted to talking with and helping companies develop their game ideas. That looked like a LOT of fun, and something I could probably do really well. Still, not sure how to get started doing it, and also not sure if I'd be comfortable living with the uncertainty of employment, etc. (it's all contract stuff).
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Old 29 August 2009, 18:37   #7
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I'm a university professor -- an "English professor" in a broad sense, though my research is focused on writing technology and new media (though I'm trying to focus on game studies). It works out well for me since my two biggest interests in life are writing and computers. I'm known in academic circles mostly for my wiki work, since I jumped on that bandwagon before Wikipedia got popular and have pushed hard for using wikis in the classroom.

I wouldn't mind working for a magazine or getting paid to do a website, but only if I could get as much money (or more) that I'm making now. I seriously doubt that would ever happen, so I'm much better off sticking to what I'm doing. Besides, what other job lets you play all the games you want for the sake of research?

The only job I've seen that I really envied was "game design consultant," which amounted to talking with and helping companies develop their game ideas. That looked like a LOT of fun, and something I could probably do really well. Still, not sure how to get started doing it, and also not sure if I'd be comfortable living with the uncertainty of employment, etc. (it's all contract stuff).
I plan on going to university(again ) and studying computer science, I want to develop games on some sort of level, ideally game design, since I can just tell people what game I want.

Game design is probably one of the hardest fields to get into because you need a very broad range of skills and qualifications, but I would say you are ideally suited to it. Just keep applying and you will eventually get something, but I would say it is unlikely you will be able to jump into something that pays the same or better than what you are getting now, not that I know how much you are earning...

When I start my own company I will give you a call.
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Old 29 August 2009, 19:43   #8
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I plan on going to university(again ) and studying computer science, I want to develop games on some sort of level, ideally game design, since I can just tell people what game I want.

Game design is probably one of the hardest fields to get into because you need a very broad range of skills and qualifications, but I would say you are ideally suited to it. Just keep applying and you will eventually get something, but I would say it is unlikely you will be able to jump into something that pays the same or better than what you are getting now, not that I know how much you are earning...

When I start my own company I will give you a call.
To save some time for both of you: finish something before you commit [money or time]. Having completed my 2 year gamedev education and developing game concepts, programming them, and managing each of those projects every day for those two years, I have a portfolio of about half a dozen finished games and half a dozen more game design documents completed.

You don't need education, and you need to do more than be good at playing games or getting "good game ideas". What you need is to finish a game design doc, and finish the game in the doc.

If you also want to get the game sold, you'll have to join a studio or "organization" that have previously sold games. No agents for 1/2-man-band games anymore.

To summarize, don't think "you could be good at designing games". Just design a game! Don't plan to study for years and start a company. Just program the game!


As for reviewing games, it would be nice if these guys reviewing old games reviewed them *after completing them*. I can take only so much of throwing controller in air with an "it sucks".
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Old 29 August 2009, 20:00   #9
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Hehe...Well, ideally they'd finish every game, but I think in general it's much, much better if a game can really get you hooked right away or at least after a half hour or so. I know some games don't get interesting until hours and hours of gameplay, and that's a bit much. Same with books or movies. If it takes until you're almost done with the book before it "gets good," that's a bad book in my opinion. That said, I have no problem with a game developer who expects you to read a manual or do something else to prepare before getting in. It may be more popular to cater to the lowest common denominator, but I respect games that don't.

I agree 100% with the idea that you should finish things before moving on. If I were serious about making a career at game design, I would take on projects and see them through. The only game I've made is a text adventure using only C++. I learned a lot--and I mean *a lot*--that I never knew before about coding and how games work just from that, and it didn't even have graphics. I can only imagine how much more you could learn with a more ambitious project.

I have also had the pleasure of talking to several "1/2 man band developers" who *were* making a living at it (not to contradict your general point, of course). One of them was making upwards of 50,000 a year just making one casual game per year. His strategy was to target game portals and market his games to "non-traditional gamers," such as women and older people. His games were very polished and slick remakes of things like Qix. Sure, he wasn't a millionaire, but he was thriving in his dream job without having anyone over his head. From what I hear, working for most game companies (EA spouse, hrm) is just undoable for family men.

Also--I've heard the same about the game design doc as well. Many people have "good ideas" but they're not really fleshed out. Sitting down to do a detailed design doc can really help them flesh out the idea and anticipate all kinds of problems, not to mention giving them a much better idea about what resources to bring to bear. With so much great middleware out there, I don't see why one man or a small team couldn't bring a game to market. I see it all the time in the casual and adventure game sectors.
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Old 30 August 2009, 19:06   #10
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All of the above posts moved to this new thread from the The worst game 'review' on YouTube thread
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Old 30 August 2009, 19:55   #11
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Thanks, DamienD.

What do you guys think I should cover next? There are a couple games that have been on the back burner for awhile now. Seems like out of all my videos so far, the RPGs are the most popular. Maybe I should stick to those for awhile. I've been wanting to cover Wizardry, Bard's Tale, Fallout, Might & Magic (have to decide which one is really the best; I like 6), Quest for Glory, and Temple of Apshai, or perhaps something a bit more obscure - Tunnels of Doom, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, or Dungeons of Daggorath. Of course, there's always Hired Guns and Bloodwych (neither of which I got to play in the 80s, but learned about later). I'm saving Baldur's Gate for episode #50 (assuming I make it that far!) Or perhaps I could cover a hybrid like System Shock 2, Warcraft/Heroes of M&M, or Syndicate. I suppose at some point I should do Rogue, Diablo, and Ultima I as well.

You guys will probably think I'm nuts, but I enjoyed the hell out of Alien Fires back in the 80s. Something about that game really clicked with me, though I was never able to beat it (too damn hard!). I also have a soft spot for A Rockstar Ate My Hamster and Mail Order Monsters, plus a really obscure Amiga game called Eco.
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Old 30 August 2009, 20:04   #12
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I also have a soft spot for A Rockstar Ate My Hamster and Mail Order Monsters, plus a really obscure Amiga game called Eco.
'A Rockstar Ate My Hamster' would make a great review Still love that game and really play it from time to time Never heard of Mail Order Monsters, but I guess I should have a look.

About which RPG to cover next : I think that Bard's Tale deserves a proper review
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Old 30 August 2009, 20:30   #13
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Ah Eco

It was probably remembered more for it's excellent Fred Gray scores but it's also very uniquely appealing - at a time when unique games seemed more the norm of course
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Old 30 August 2009, 21:35   #14
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Don't forget to give us all here on EAB a shout during your next review Matt !
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Old 30 August 2009, 22:31   #15
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Fallout! Please do you Fallout, but do it well.
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Old 31 August 2009, 00:09   #16
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@ adropac2: I was reading some contemporary reviews of ECO a few hours ago. The reviews were quite mixed. Most thought it was unique and inspired, but were unimpressed with the gameplay (too limited). I'd say it's yet another game that is long overdue for a remake, unless you want to count Spore as such.

@peter: I've been meaning to do that for some time. I'll have to find some way to work it in.

@skateblind: I can take another look at doing fallout. Someone had suggested ways to capture footage from the game using some homebrew patches. I was having a helluva time trying to get footage last time I tried and just had to give up.

I'd be a bit torn doing Fallout since Wasteland came first. And of course Bard's Tale inspired a lot of Wasteland's gameplay. Hm.
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Old 31 August 2009, 01:28   #17
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@ adropac2: I was reading some contemporary reviews of ECO a few hours ago. The reviews were quite mixed. Most thought it was unique and inspired, but were unimpressed with the gameplay (too limited). I'd say it's yet another game that is long overdue for a remake, unless you want to count Spore as such.

@peter: I've been meaning to do that for some time. I'll have to find some way to work it in.

@skateblind: I can take another look at doing fallout. Someone had suggested ways to capture footage from the game using some homebrew patches. I was having a helluva time trying to get footage last time I tried and just had to give up.

I'd be a bit torn doing Fallout since Wasteland came first. And of course Bard's Tale inspired a lot of Wasteland's gameplay. Hm.
Well, I have read very little on Wasteland, so I would like to hear your opinion on that too. It is a real shame about the video capture problems, but there must be a version that works with capture software or some sort of work around, because I have seen other videos with it in. I don't mind waiting.
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Old 31 August 2009, 02:40   #18
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@ adropac2: I was reading some contemporary reviews of ECO a few hours ago. The reviews were quite mixed. Most thought it was unique and inspired, but were unimpressed with the gameplay (too limited). I'd say it's yet another game that is long overdue for a remake, unless you want to count Spore as such.
Hmm yes Matt it's not hard to imagine a more ambitous follow up to what really isn't a game at all i suppose - not in the traditional sense at least.I do personally think this is a game, though one that maybe hasn't been expanded to a more ambitious level

That said i find the tension built up from trying to stay alive each time, to be something you rarely get from games - maybe it's design was this way for a reason and a sequel would in fact miss the point as to why this worked for some
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Old 31 August 2009, 04:14   #19
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@skateblind - If you've played Bard's Tale, just imagine that but with a totally different campaign setting. You also needed to consult a printed journal frequently for flavor text. It remains a cult classic, though not nearly as well known as Fallout of course. I believe that some of the folks who worked on Wasteland also worked on Fallout.

@adropac2 - Seems funny that people don't consider it a game. It's clearly a game. The only overtly educational bit is the quote from Darwin at the beginning. I just liked it because it had good variety (at least at first), learning how to thrive as a spider vs. a fly and later humanoid. I'd like to see someone remake the game with a similar framework (i.e., emphasis on action), but greatly expand the number of species and types of mutations. Then again, part of the game's appeal is the ambiance, and it wouldn't make sense to try to duplicate that on modern machines.
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Old 31 August 2009, 07:52   #20
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@skateblind - If you've played Bard's Tale, just imagine that but with a totally different campaign setting. You also needed to consult a printed journal frequently for flavor text. It remains a cult classic, though not nearly as well known as Fallout of course. I believe that some of the folks who worked on Wasteland also worked on Fallout.

@adropac2 - Seems funny that people don't consider it a game. It's clearly a game. The only overtly educational bit is the quote from Darwin at the beginning. I just liked it because it had good variety (at least at first), learning how to thrive as a spider vs. a fly and later humanoid. I'd like to see someone remake the game with a similar framework (i.e., emphasis on action), but greatly expand the number of species and types of mutations. Then again, part of the game's appeal is the ambiance, and it wouldn't make sense to try to duplicate that on modern machines.
I personally like anything that attempts somthing different and usually the most bizarre looking of games i sometimes try for that very reason.Eco is of worth though and does genuinely manage to engage in a most unusual way.I can certainly imagine how something like Eco could grow into a much larger version of itself but i guess it's actually getting that to work in a way that still feels the same.I'd certainly love to have the time to invest into things like this though(programming) but for now my dreams of heading in this direction any time soon are on hold

Talking of games that stand out in a different way, it's probably why i watch your reviews actually, as you have already pointed out a couple of games from your videos that i should be looking to try at some stage

Autoduel looks to be another game i would probably like so iv'e added it to my ever growing list of games to never be played because i just don't have the time.In fact i only ever seem to put games on these days so i can imagine how nice it will be to play them one day.Some of them require real quality time of course that i guess a lot of us just don't have.Plus there is simply too much great stuff already needing to be played that i have missed over the years.Life is far too short it really is but i must try and play some of these gems soon
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