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."
Metacritic of 87 http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/puzzlequestchallengeo… quest
Don't see that every day do you.
Because its been almost 5 minutes since I heard a student or fresh graduate give a naive, self-righteous speech about Australian devs not having enough passion or talent.
Maybe you're right, maybe we just don't have enough creativity or we don't love story enough. Or maybe its to do with a whole bunch of other things, like:
- first to market opportunities enjoyed by Epic and Id Software are generally long gone by now.
- success is a quality product AND the timing, and there are heaps of great things that failed because they were before or after their time.
- the competitiveness of a heavily saturated market means great titles can still get lost and forgotten in the noise.
- it costs massive amounts of time and money to make games in most of the current markets (casual is less, but not to be under-estimated).
- there is a skills shortage that is holding back several companies from obtaining the talent and numbers they need for growth.
- its easy to work on a mod at your own pace; but its very hard to get a commercial title finished (let alone to the quality you want) on schedule and on budget.
- the difficulty of keeping a company viable in such a risky industry.
- there are a lot of talented people who have children and mortgages to support, and not everyone's mum has a spare basement.
But I might be wrong. Please make a wonderfully creative game and show us all how its done, so that we may all learn from your example. Or at least, please get some real hands on experience before you start your next Tony Robbins speech.
Thanks for posting this, I actually started writing something similar (possibly not as eloquent!) but ran out of bother halfway through. Sigh. Dane's comments are so mind-bogglingly far from reality, it's hard to see how you could even begin to explain things to him. Kind of like a Scientologist =)
I'd just like to add this: congratulations Dane, for not only demonstrating your ignorance and arrogance, but also insulting the entire Australian industry in a public forum, including an incredibly successful (and fun) original IP like Puzzle Quest. Great career move, you win! It's one thing to be an enthusiastic young guy who wants to do awesome things, and quite another to shoot your mouth off about how experienced industry people have no creativity or passion.
Ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone (including industry vets) have great ideas. It's realizing those dreams that's the hard part. There's no shortage of ideas, there's a huge shortage of ability however.
But fortunately it only takes a few months of working in the industry before the actual reality of game dev hits and the opinion goes away :) I just wish people like that would turn their enthusiasm to learning as much as they can, instead of running around telling everyone how it should be and looking ignorant.
I think my favorite part of his tirade was how he talked about 'creativity' and 'great ideas', then proceeded to list games from a well-defined and design-stale segment of first person shooters. Games which arguably have little in the way of design or story innovation, but instead choose small evolutionary steps and succeed on genre familiarity and sweet tech. Top job Dane!
dane stop voicing your retarded views, theres a handful of great innovative coming out of the indie scene right now from Aus, which is pretty much the equiv of id and epic in game scale in there younger days, dudes hammering shit out in there basement, just like you said. Ive worked on so many shitty games n flops in Australia so theres no denying the Australian big studio sort of industry is pretty screwed at the moment, infact I would go to say apart from the bigger studios who has there shit together, Australia is the ass end of the games industry.
And even after that I still see glimmers of great titles, small and indie teams, trying desperately with great ideas, no funding, doing it in after hours, forums like tigsource.com have a large aussie following with people doing exactly that, so plz don't generalize saying aussies cant make good games, just because your a ignorant shithead who's scope of gaming doesn't extend pass electronics boutique.
Heya, just catching this thread again.
Are there any people right now working in an established\known Australian studio who have a burning passion to take more risks and create a AAA hit?
Or do these same people feel safe\content\ignored\secure etc in their current roles and dont want to lose the chance to work in a creative industry?
Theres a lot of traffic from industry people here, would be interesting to read some honest heartfelt opinions (without naming any names)
I recently swapped to a company that does nothing but its own IP.
They took 2 years to get a publisher for their biggest hit, no-one was interested in the concept. After a lot of persistence they managed to get the title published and it became a bigger hit for the publisher involved then their own games. Mind you I suspect it was a tough time for them while doing this, i.e. they had to lay off staff.
I joined the company over a much bigger Australia developer, just because I like the way the company was heading, and the fact that they are willing to take risks. I think they are going places just because of their ability to take risks but produce great addictive games in the process.
inexperienced staff = I know everything and nobody knows games like me, Its obvious how to make a great game you're all just morons, winge winge winge, it's not my fault, it's the leads fault, its the bosses fault, it's the clients fault, the dog ate it, My mum thinks I'm great, THEY are out to get me, THEY hate me, Why can't we have fresh asparagus in the bathroom I only wipe my arse with fresh vegetables, all my work must now be redone by someone that knows what they're doing but I want a pay rise anyway because only I know how to solve all the problems we have. How can we possibly create a AAA game without fresh asparagus. Everyone's a Moron except my Lead Artist cause he worked at SUCH AND SUCH a place and he will oneday start a game studio that will be great and we should all join him because he can drink 4 pints of beer and still balance on one foot while sticking his finger in his ear and the ladies love him.
experienced staff = analysis/ opinions and options, quality work, less hours worked with more results, work doesn't have to be redone. The games are of a higher quality. Less people needed to make it happen. No special asparagus requirements. Nobody blames leads, management or the client for thier own failures.
Problem with Australian development = winge winge winge, it's not my fault, its everyone elses fault I can't do my job blah blah blah.... Only Americans, English and Canadians can make great games, I have asparagus stuck up my arse. We deserve a payrise because we're Australian's, where's the f*&cking beer mate, oh shit I worked a full 8 hours today I need a sickie thank god for Mondays.
Just a general comment (as I have not played BigAnt's game and would not base arguments off comments of any reviewer alone) on licenced games. For some reason (I'm not even sure) Australia seems to develop a lot of licenced games, but maybe it's just more noticeable when you are Australian. I truthfully do not remember the last licenced game I enjoyed other than KOTOR, which as the 20,000th Star Wars game you'd expect the experience and feedback will pay off. But a few traps I always feel game designers/developers fall into:
1) Following the movie/story/novel/series to the letter - sometimes a movie may not be long enough, a world not vast enough or the character's not engaging/interactive enough and it needs to be expanded upon or bits cut out.
2) Not Following the movie/story/novel/series to the letter - of course, one still has to balance the 'canon' storyline with the above, however too often I've seen terrible sidequests made to make the game "game-length" which might as well have been pulled from a seperate plot and universe.
3) Relying on the fans - If a game is made for the fans only, it will likely fail. If it's made for the public, with extras for the fans it would achieve more.
Of course, time pressure also seems to be quite prevalent in licenced game production to coincide with a release date, but time pressure applies to many games in a modern world.
I think also that many developers & publishers tend to grossly underestimate the audience which is going perhaps buy their games, and err on th' side of being quite condescending as far as content & features. Sure it's all to do with limiting your scope, but then again gamer's expectations are a moving target an' something that seems to be quite common with alot of Australian developed games is that creative direction or management do not reward innovation.
Surely, developers must realise that they need to make games that excite themselves otherwise how do you expect another sane person to fork over AUD$60-100 for what you're working on? I think we treat our audience like shit in this respect an' suffer th' consequences accordingly with bad reviews an' short shelf-lives. It's also worth listening to Dane, because those guys are right in th' thick of things reflecting what your audience actually seeks.!
Fact is that nobody at retail is going to buy your game because they pity th' amount of time you spent on it, or th' kinds of compromises that were made [ unfairly ]. It just needs to be good, an' from my perspective the best way to do that an' stay sane is to work on something that innovates, that excites yourself an' th' people working with you as invariably some of that core feeling is going to make it to th' end product; even though it gets dilited somewhat by scope an' budget. We are a creative bunch, why not make more creative games given that th' risks to market with digital distribution are far less?
IMHO it's also really important to look ahead an' be flexble in our mindset to what we can be producing. It's hyper competitive producing big ticket games, an' finely honed studios are competing for those niches in a saturated marketplace. Why not, as Tin Man Games are brilliantly doing look towards th' platforms that are now on offer an' look at th' potential that each affords from both a creative & economic perspective.