Jimquisition: Perfect Pasta Sauce

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Perfect Pasta Sauce

This week, Jimquisition gives you a brief lesson in pasta sauce, and ties it into the misguided quest for perfection currently plaguing the so-called "AAA" title scene.

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Siris

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Jan 15, 2009
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Jim, I don't know if the hat is a good look for you...
 

I.Muir

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I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario

I mean just look at how the killed Banjo Kazooie by turning into a racer and stating as much in game. They literally said they were broadening the demographic and assumed gamers nowadays just want to shoot things with some serious 4th wall breaking. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO RARE!
 

Theminimanx

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Mar 14, 2011
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Can somebody list the zillions of columns/blog posts Shamus made in which he stated this exact point? Would be useful as a reference.
I completely agree with everything Jim said by the way. Just because the largest market won't buy something doesn't mean nobody will buy it.
 

DRTJR

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I think a good Single player low magic Conan Game would sell like hot cakes since Age of Conan did well initially then it dropped off. Also look at Obsidian, those guys take existing engines and make amazing games with them in a little over a year when typical development time is a little over two to three years, and they make money. Look at Nintendo, sure they carved their niche as the Disney of video games but they have in their history only lost money one quarter.
 

Sam Rothrock

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Did a brit just totally rip on the royal family? Anyways, while I can certainly get behind his message, I do not see an easy solution to the current problem. Perhaps continued, painful economic losses are the only way to derail the pursuit of the "perfect" game. The only issue is that it leads to a bunch of talented people getting laid off for doing what their idiotic bosses told them to do.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Jim I completely agree with the episode except you contradicted yourself trying to defend the previous episode. Prego succeeded by focus testing. You would have been better served by making the connection to prego clearly just saying that they merely learned that Variety was the spice of life, not that you MUST innovate. The innovation you're unhappy with shouldn't be called innovation. Call it "feature spamming.". That's a bit more on the nose.
 

Godhead

Dib dib dib, dob dob dob.
May 25, 2009
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I.Muir said:
I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario
Well there's Braid and Limbo to name off the top of my head.

OT: First off this is a wonderful idea, we must throw pasta sauce on the heads of the AAA industry until they can absorb the information that they're being absolutely idiotic and ridiculous (and delicious). They need to learn that not every "new" direction or different genre than the high budget CoD games that make yachts filled with money a risk that is not worth taking; mainly because most of the time there is no risk or it's so small that there isn't much point trying to quantify the potential losses.
 

Alfador_VII

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Sam Rothrock said:
Did a brit just totally rip on the royal family? Anyways, while I can certainly get behind his message, I do not see an easy solution to the current problem. Perhaps continued, painful economic losses are the only way to derail the pursuit of the "perfect" game. The only issue is that it leads to a bunch of talented people getting laid off for doing what their idiotic bosses told them to do.
Yes and he's right, both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are direct descendants of Queen Victoria... Although they are bringing in some new blood finally these past couple of generations.
 

Jennacide

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Any time focus testing is mentioned I get really worried. It was shocking when Naughty Dog mentioned that no women were brought in for focus testing, and half of that was just because they were bothering to focus test The Last of Us at all. Focus testing is where ideas go to die in the name of homogenization. It's also why I'm worried about Broken Age, as Tim is allowing the community to influence some ideas, and that's downright frightening.

Sure, with some testing Bioshock Infinite may have made more sense to those that didn't understand it's ending, but it would have been worse off for it. It's why I respect Ken Levine so much. He doesn't care what others think, he does what he want with his creative freedom and goes nuts.
 

Deathlyphil

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Sam Rothrock said:
Did a brit just totally rip on the royal family? Anyways, while I can certainly get behind his message, I do not see an easy solution to the current problem. Perhaps continued, painful economic losses are the only way to derail the pursuit of the "perfect" game. The only issue is that it leads to a bunch of talented people getting laid off for doing what their idiotic bosses told them to do.
Yes, and it's quite common over here. Unelected spongers with no qualifications between them...

(Sidenote: while I don't support the Royal Family I am very impressed that William and Harry both served in the Army, and went to Iraq/Afghanistan. )
 

Jimothy Sterling

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That was beautiful, Jim. Just beautiful. I've always thought of Jim as more capable as a consumer advocate than as a gaming intellectual, but I'm about ready to re-think that now. This episode is both ingenious and brilliantly executed. I can't believe game markets still can't notice that *gasp* different people might like different things. Or, to put it another way: if you release a new IP that takes a few risks, it might work, it might bomb. If you just keep churning the same crap that other people have done before and better, then there is a 100% probability that you will fail eventually.
 

Jennacide

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I.Muir said:
I know I would like more plat formers that are not Mario

I mean just look at how the killed Banjo Kazooie by turning into a racer and stating as much in game. They literally said they were broadening the demographic and assumed gamers nowadays just want to shoot things with some serious 4th wall breaking. DAMN YOU MICROSOFT I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO RARE!
Well here's the issue, there are great titles in some genres being made that are getting no love. No marketing or buzz is put around them. Let's look at platformers, Shantae: Risky's Revenge is a GREAT 2D platformer by Wayforward, and most people have never played it. Same with Harry Hatsworth. Psychonauts is a 3D platformer with a cult following but abyssmal sales. The same 3-4 platformer genre games are being turned out because they are the only ones that sell: Mario, Kirby, Ratchet and Clank, and Donkey Kong.
 

lolcatize

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Sam Rothrock said:
Did a brit just totally rip on the royal family? Anyways, while I can certainly get behind his message, I do not see an easy solution to the current problem. Perhaps continued, painful economic losses are the only way to derail the pursuit of the "perfect" game. The only issue is that it leads to a bunch of talented people getting laid off for doing what their idiotic bosses told them to do.
You are entirely correct and its been proven to work just look at square, as a last ditch effort they made something new
something fresh and it blew up, it was an absolute super nova. Last and Final fanstasy saved their skin.
 

IKWerewolf

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Jan 13, 2011
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I have three shooters on my Steam at the moment, Bioshock Infinite, Sanctum and Killing Floor each scratching a separate itch. It's an example of how I pick games to scratch itches. Infinite I'm playing for what is so far one of the richest worlds I have seen so far in a linear plot game, Sanctum is my love of tower defence and strategy and Killing floor... well the fun of watching zombie like creatures' heads explode when I pull off head shot after head shot with nothing more than the starting pistol.

All the other games are different, Highborn (Turn Based Strategy), FTL (Roguelike) Sins of a Solar Empire (Space RTS) Towns (Simulator), each as different as each other and fun for different reasons. The thing I agree with the Dishonoured analogy; if they even diverted £1000 into designing something new it would probably make higher returns percentage wise than CoD could.

Nice one Jim!!!
 

Jimothy Sterling

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piscian said:
Jim I completely agree with the episode except you contradicted yourself trying to defend the previous episode. Prego succeeded by focus testing. You would have been better served by making the connection to prego clearly just saying that they merely learned that Variety was the spice of life, not that you MUST innovate. The innovation you're unhappy with shouldn't be called innovation. Call it "feature spamming.". That's a bit more on the nose.
It's not that focus testing should never be used, it's that it can't be the be-all, end-all. Malcolm Gladwell is where I learned a lot about both the pasta thing *and* the perils of focus testing. Basically, you can learn a lot from directly asking your audience things, but you can't hang on their every word because, ultimately, a lot of what they say won't translate into what they do.

Also, the difference between Prego and the coffee thing is the difference between gauging an actual preference versus obtaining someone's perception of their own preferences. You can have someone taste different things and they can tell you what they like. You can simply ask someone what they like and they'll tell you what sounds good. Hence, people say they want "rich, dark roasted" coffee when, in reality, they prefer the taste of something weaker and milkier.

Had Prego just asked people what they wanted, it's likely they'd not have discovered extra chunky, because nobody would have said it.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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I've been playing the Mass Effect trilogy for the past 2 months or so. The first game was really sweet. I knew the other two parts are shootier and shittier but I really didn't expect them to go this deep into the bland 3rd person cover-based shooter mud hell.

Seriously guys, what gives?

In the meantime, I stopped by to grab Portal 2 this weekend and finished it in 2 sittings. Now, there's something new. How about some more non-3rd person cover-based shooters, please? No? Well, okay, no money spent then.
 

WoahDan

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Sep 7, 2011
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Could'nt agree more (though maybe not with the republicanism).

God save our gracious Jim.