the Mouth of Madness:
By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
What's up this week in loonygames? Ask our editor.
was thinking to myself the other day about this here column, and while I still won't be ranting about every tiny little thing that pisses me off, I believe I'll start editorializing a bit more, since well...this is my site, and dangit, I just want to.
So, in cases when I do this, this week's loonygames schedule will be conveniently posted at the bottom of the page...scroll down if that's all you're here for (but come back! It'll be worth it!).
ANYway, i've been thinking a lot lately about all of these great new games shipping soon...Trespasser, Half-Life, SiN, Duke Forever, Grim Fandango, Messiah, Shogo...the list goes on and on. And I came to a very strange conclusion: I probably will be totally into all of these games...but how many of them will remain on my hard drive for more than a week?
Probably none of them.
And that's of course of no fault of the developers...it's simply the way things are. Being a Game Tester, I have to play every game that comes out (it's a tough life, believe me). And let's face it...I rarely have time to actually finish any games. The more time I spend on one particular game, the more games that pile up on my desk. As I write this, I've got about six or so games that I've yet to really play...Rainbow Six is just sitting here waiting for me to read that huge-ass manual, and Need For Speed III is just begging me for some attention. But while I've got those great things, I still have to finish Unreal!
I've never made any attempt to conceal my preference for single player over multiplayer gaming, but let's face it...I rarely even have time to complete even the best single player game. Forsaken was a happy exception, although I did cheat a bit.
The more I think about it though, the more I think that I'm not alone in having this problem. Is it possible that as more and more great games flood the marketplace, the days of actually completing a game are at their end? Lord knows that's the last thing developers want to hear, but hey...nobody told them all to release their games simultaneously.
I've got this unopened copy of Dune 2000 sitting on my desk, and you know what? I can't for the life of me figure out when I'm going to get to it (unless I find myself really needing something to review for the Top Shelf). Whenever I get that need for real time strategy, I pull out Starcraft, which I've also yet to complete.
Now, chances are that I will (well, hopefully) complete one or two of these great new games. Trespasser in particular I'm expecting to suck me in and never let me go, likewise with Half-Life and Messiah. As for the rest? Well...I'll play them a bit, say "yeah, that's a really cool game" and proceed to delete them from my computer.
What disturbs me, is that every day, more and more games are announced, each promising great new things, and begging for the attention of the hardcore gamer. But come on! Even the most hardcore of gamers isn't going to have the time to play half of these games. And don't even get me started on add-on packs! I barely completed Quake II, let alone the mission packs!
It seems awful to me, since developers are putting in incredible amounts of time on these games which could very well be fantastic, but aren't going to be seen by enough people simply because of the sheer volume of games out there. Remember System Shock? It was a great game, but got swamped in with all the other Doom clones out there, and missed by a huge number of people. I expect the same thing to happen to Trespasser, Wheel of Time and others.
Say what you will about Quake 1, but id did something nobody seems to think about these days...they were first. Sure, a lot of these new games shipping may blow away Quake in technology and gameplay, but they'll be shipping years later along with everything else out there. If Trespasser had shipped when Quake came out, it would have been huge beyond comprehension. Now, it's just going to get blown away by more high profile games.
But hey...that's just what I think. Got an opinion? Send it in to our MailBag.
This Week in loonygames:
Monday: Interview: Taking Aim At Paul Steed!
Tuesday: Thinking Outside the Box, Pixel Obscura
Wednesday: Code on the Cob
Thursday: The Bargain Bin, Guest Editorial ("Steve 'Magicman' Thoms")
Friday: Community Profile, The MailBag
- Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is the editor-in-chief of loonygames.
Credits: From the Mouth of Madness logo illustrated by and is © 1998 Dan Zalkus. From the Mouth of Madness is © 1998 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 1998 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited, you naughty boy, you.