BigAnt recently released. Hellboy: The Science of Evil on PSP.
"There's simply zero reason to even take a passing look at The Science of Evil."
"Thankfully, the game is nice and short. I know that when I put thirty bucks down for a game, four hours is right on the money as I have things to do, man. I'm like, important. Unfortunately that's still about three hours and fifty minutes longer than you'd want to play this game, but at least when you're done you can watch the interviews and look at the concept art, and maybe try and figure out how the concept art could look so good, but the game could be so bad."
Pocket Gamer UK (20/100)
"While we certainly weren't expecting The Science of Evil to reinvent the wheel, nothing could have prepared us for this hopeless, shambling mockery of a game. Avoid as if your very soul depends on it."
Highest score (60/100)
"It could have been a contender, but The Science of Evil is merely above average, and leaves a sour reminder that the cynicism we harbor toward licensed games isn’t exclusive to the people playing them. It’s a real shame."
Where's the constructive criticism, folks? Or is this going to be the norm here, where a few of you just gloat over bad game review scores? Read the responses to this thread, and tell me if this is the quality of conversation people want around here.
Frankly, if I just stumbled onto this thread as a new visitor, I'd think this place was just full of douchebags. Please prove me wrong.
I'll go first.
I think that companies are doing their best, but are also having some problems. Making good games is hard and the competition is TOUGH!!!!
Australian games are going right onto the shelves next to Half Life2, GTA4, Metal Gear Solid 4. We are side by side with these astonishing software products.
I'm pretty sure its just down to bad processess and poor management. These are usually the reasons titles go bad. The development team itself are usually geniuses and superstars.
I'm speaking from a decade of international and local experience by the way, from delivering multimillion selling AAA content "Max Payne" to embarrasing resume killers like "Jumper"
Management and processes. Let people be creative, but manage them properly. Managing them properly means providing strong leadership so they look up to and be inspired to their best work for you. Listen to them also.
The last step is to get as many people as possible on the team to 'share the vision' Those by the wayside will still be challenged by their allocated tasks, and still enjoy working on them - because there ideas\input have been listened to and respected. The 'team' has shaped the game, and thats a very rewarding feeling when things are done the right way.
With the inclusion of Anon posting comes the dread of gutless unfounded herd responses. Even if an online identity can be synonymous to an Anon, it's still an identity to place a post to. Without a unique name or face to place it to those who haven't seen a titles failings first hand will often sing praises of the first review that comes to hand.
I've had mixed experiences with game reviews. For example my personal taste and response to BioShock was different to many that I knew. It took a long time before I tried it personally despite the ravings from fellows and initial reviews. I saw over shoulder the demo, watched a trailer or two and it didn't grab me. Then a later review buried deep in a thick mag seemed to point out all the initial flaws with the game that I wasn't hearing from others. The usual cries of linear this, world not self-interacting enough to support the story that etc etc. Funny enough it was after reading that negative review I decided I had try it out. I knew a work mate who had it and tried it out, I got a little way past the decision to save the little sisters and put it down. There wasn't enough of an immediate difference to anything else I recall doing in other titles and few things making less fun to keep with.
But a few things the bad review gave I didn't actually take notice of at that point which gave me some reprieve from my negative hunch.
Where's the constructive criticism? There is none, because if they are citing a "low score" to not provide some it is clear evidence they haven't played the game to know its flaws to criticise on.
So I agree with you Souri and sadly I fear I may see the term "douchbags" a recurring theme in your posts. ):
I'm sure Bigant will identify the problem this title [Hellboy] had and devise solutions to make more solid market products.
I've played the game for about 2-3 minutes watching the QA testers at Krome Melbourne. I think hellboy overall just didn't have a fun factor about it. It was all button mashing and the puzzles were simply 'keep hitting this button until the action occurs'.
There were quite a few reasons for this, but I imagine the PSP version just suffered from having to play up to big brother. Shrugs.
This isn't Yahoo chat, if you've got nothing interesting to say then give it a miss. And hey, if you don't care about your project feel free to bugger off and let someone else have a crack at your job. I know I've worked on worse licenses than Hellboy and still been professional about it.
I can't help but suspect that the problem is it's yet another licensed title. Neither staff nor management seem to be able to get behind licenses anymore. Why, I don't know. It's not like we're too damn cool for them, they're your meat and potatoes when you're trying to get bigger projects. Any license is better than being unemployed. Why this particular license did so badly I don't know, seems odd given the support it was getting (not to mention it's an awesome project). How does it stand up to the 360/PS3 versions? Maybe it was just the combination of license/handheld ennui?
Well that is certainly a better response than most of the rest and tells me more about the game. Button mashing does seem to be a big killer these days, an ex-admin at the office went to the QA demonstration for fury and spoke of his button mashing experience to 'victory'. And we know how that one ended up. Players tend to want to feel like they are hitting a button for a specific reason at a specific time. To feel like they have 'skill' to pull something off. If it seems like they can just press the button as fast as they can and look away from the screen and still play; there's little incentive to keep going as they are not engaged. What a player has to do during the gaming journey is pretty significant for a title.
I would care about anything I work on, because I take pride in my work. If I can't make myself care then it is time to move on. The way you behave when it is 'not important' is the same way you will behave when it is.
And hey, if you don't care about your project feel free to bugger off and let someone else have a crack at your job. I know I've worked on worse licenses than Hellboy and still been professional about it.
There's the rub. I worked on a title recently where the team was publically panned by it's lead designer for not "caring" about the game, though I will personally vouch for the professional efforts of (almost) every single person on the title.
The stories of computer games being made with the magic and pixie dust of love are just that - stories. This is the games industry, and despite it being full of brilliant and creative people it is after all an industry.
So, to me, being professional is about caring for the end result of your project. Games turn out the shape they do for any number of reasons - and just occasionally those reasons align with the stars and the reviewers to make the game a critical success. In this case, they didn't. Perhaps if the game had been released a year and a bit ago, before god of war etc then people would have thought differently. Perhaps not. Either way, the die is cast - but anyone who doesn't think that the professionals who made the game have taken lessons to their next project doesn't know how the world really works.
Australia just lacks creativity in the games ideas department. All we do is spurt out half loved licensed games and shitty MMOS that no one wants anymore. Australian game companies need to make their own IP. Create a blockbuster, and push to get producing for it. If the games idea and direction is great, has awesome concept art, is feasible and innovative, has something that people will want, the big boys will want to play, and it'll grab a cult following. Microsoft jumped on Halo back in 1999 because they knew it was going to be an outstanding, popular game. Game publishers are always looking for exciting new games, to make money off of. The problem is, Australia hasn't yet made it's debut, so all we are to the rest of the industry is a good place for outsourcing while they're artists do the real work.
It seems the Australian industry doesn't really have much of a love for a games narrative and story, because everyone seems so hard pressed on money these days. Epic Games started out as Tim Sweeny in his mothers basement, with a passion to make games.
id started out as Carmack and his bud Romero breaking into schools, stealing computers for their love and passion.
Bungie, same thing, couple guys who had been writing a great story made it to the big time. Jee, what are the fucking odds?
See, we couldn't even make a simple game like Hellboy good, the rest of the world truly must be laughing at us.
Dane Brennand - Texture Artist
Your talking about the humble roots of old game studios.
but the game dev time back then was nowhere near as long. the bar was a hell of a lot lower. Yeah, you could make a game like Tim Sweeny in your mum's basement, but it's never gonna be great. not in this day and age.
It's a lot harder these days to make a masterpiece. and the world revolves around money. most aussie companies are just happy to be able to keep people employed, making games. sure, we want them to be awesome games, but we are often so strapped for time by publishers that they don't get a chance to develop into the masterpiece you expect us to make.
No, I was talking about how good ideas flourish, and that Australia right now seems to be devoid of them. Chronology or not, ideas allways pave the way for profit.
All things start from a thought or an idea. If the idea is great, amazing, and is a sure thing, people will follow it.
I've seen community mod teams that gain more spotlight and attention then alot of published games do, because :shock horror: the people make amazing games and create wonderful ideas, that people want to play. Where did Counterstrike and Team Fortress start? Starting a movement and an idea has got nothing to do with money. Money is just the production and post production phase.
I know people who worked on UT mods unpaid, who are now working at places like Streamline and Raven, because they had great talent and ideas.
Like for instance Gearbox Softwares new IP, Borderlands. The game looks awesome, not because of it's UE3 visuals, but because they have developed a really cool idea, and it's an idea thats made me wait in anticipation for it, for me to shell out money to own it. Same with id's Rage. It started out as an idea. Someone would have devloped that idea. Then the publishers would have been shown a pitch, and the game would have been given the go ahead. Then money would have been the issue.
Australia just seems to be used as cheap outsource labor for the big boys. Sure there have been a couple of known titles to ship from australia, but it's never anything groundbreaking.
Dane Brennand - Texture Artist