Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lawnmower Man

See I didn't really wanna get all deep into this, 'cause there's a part of me that says I should just concede all your points, since I actually want your side of the argument to win, well, in certain ways, and I think you need to be a bit over-the-top about some things in order to dislodge some of the crud that's got people stuck in an infinite loop of suck, and I don't really care about the collateral damage and error, and I also don't wanna nitpick shit or make you feel like I don't prefer you to be outrageous and trying to shake shit up or whatever heh.

But whatever, I can't think of anything else to type right now ahaha.

Alright, back in the very beginning of 3d programming, when we thought of it more as "Virtual Reality" than "Games," we realized (pretty quick) that there was a serious hardware accessibility problem, because we built these huge-ass lawnmower man machines with crazy helmets and gloves and rollcages and motorized chairs and stuff, and we knew that not everybody was going to be able to afford (or even want) to have one of those things in their living room.

Let alone two or three, so that everybody in the family could play a "multiplayer game" together, which really burned me up, 'cause that's exactly what I wanted to do with the things.

Compared to the good old passive entertainment system, the Family Television set, where everybody thought they were doing something "together" whenever they sat around it and turned into zombies in front of it, y'know, that was our enemy heh.

But at least they didn't have to wear thirty-pound helmets that made you look like an idiot or glasses that burned pictures in the back of your eyes with lasers (don't worry its harmless! ahaha).

So we knew the thing we had built was never going to become popular, even though it was cool as hell when you could actually feel the bullets bouncing off your chest 'cause of the special suit filled with inflatable pockets of air and all that shit ahaha.

The software from all those mad phat experiments carried over into the world of regular computers just fine, y'know, we gutted the 3d positional audio and graphics programming and all that, but the hardware, the big ass lawnmower man machines, were left to gather dust in laboratories and warehouses, or cannibalized for parts for other mad phat experiments, like robots with chainsaw arms and stuff.

Consoles are like those old machines, in a lot of ways, I think they might be the thing that eventually evolves into a replacement for TV, and there's a part of me that roots for consoles.

But computers are always going to be the things that outlive them, because computers have other reasons to stick around the house, and the school, and the libraries, and the workplace.

The same hardware is also used for email, schoolwork, taxes, sharing recipes, TPS reports, and whatever.

I have a laptop (somewhere heh) with every Arcade Game Ever Made, and every Atari game, and every Nintendo game, and every Supernintendo game, and every Sega game, and every Commodore 64 game, and every Amiga game, and everything, and I can play most of 'em on the network with other people, and it doesn't even take up hardly any space heh.

Computers do things like that to stuff like consoles.

They're not (always) better than consoles, they're like humans, they're just more adaptive than all the other animals, to different sorts of tasks, and so they survive, 'cause we want to keep them around.

To say nothing of how it can seem to your parents as if you were doing your homework while watching TV, when you are actually chasing some robot through a maze or something heh.

Or how your wife thinks you are working on your taxes ahaha.

Or whatever, y'know.

That's why I have to pick the shitty laptop.

Its cheap, its portable, its everywhere, and its multifunctional.

And I'm guessing that there'll be a lot more households with more than one laptop, especially once the kids of Gen X grow up a little bit more and start using 'em for stuff besides games, than there will be households with more than one console system.

Not that consoles don't have their advantages, especially right now, when the kids are too small to read and type (well, well) and shit.

Hello wii! ahaha.

"Its nice that they're doing something active instead of just sitting there like lumps!"

And parents will spend tons of money on their kids (or on something that could be disguised as something for their kids heh) where they won't spend hardly any money on themselves.

But in the long term, nah, not happening man.

I almost don't want to argue, 'cause I actually concede to most of your points, and I'm on your side as far as content goes, totally, man, I'm not really in favor of the PC or in favor of the console, or anything as far as programming goes, they're the exact same thing to me.

Its just that consoles would have to become computers to do all the other stuff that computers can do.

They'd have to be just like shitty laptops to have all the powers of a shitty laptop interface.

Nobody is gonna be pretending to do their taxes on a gameboy with that tiny little screen, y'know ahaha.

And aside from content (I read the shit you've said about the game you're working on and I think that's as cool as it is applicable to any platform), I kinda wanna stay away from the "graphics quality" issue, not because its a weakness of consoles, or a weakness of PCs (when you consider high powered graphics PCs, or a strength of consoles when you consider shitty PCs), but because I think you should apply your content accessibility logic to that, just like the guys who did WoW did, instead of the Vanguard Mistake.

If you only know two people at work who can play computer games on the net, and they can't play the game you play, because their computer won't run it, well, guess which game you are gonna be playing with them heh.

Y'know there's a whole universe of physics to why that kinda thing is a smart play.

Just like there's a whole universe of physics to why making some luxury item that nobody can afford is nice, since you don't have to make a whole lot of 'em or sell a whole lot of 'em to make money.

But software is the one thing that doesn't really fit that luxury model, you can send it all over the world in the wink of an eye without having to ship it by truck, you can copy it as many times as you want without requiring any raw materials.

So consoles aren't really taking advantage of the strengths of software, they take advantge of the Old Ship It In a Box model, which a lot of old business guys are more used to, heck, they've got all their age-old tricks and deals worked out ahead of time for stuff like that heh.

You don't need to play a computer game on a computer that you own.

Anyways, the most important element of this whole thing from my perspective is that you want to get your art into the hands of the largest amount of people possible, to maximize the effect of your art (and all the goddam energy you wasted making it) on the world.

Maximum Impact.

And its is safe to think from that perspective, since that almost always converts into cash and power somehow, well, unless your art totally sucks and everybody hates it ahaha.

And if you gotta do WoW-type graphics tricks to do that, insteada wow-ing the pitiful small handful of people with the latest in killer graphics cards (who happen to be the people that everybody in the neighborhood hates because they're jealous of 'em haha) then so be it heh.

Y'know, when you argue that consoles are more accessible (on some levels) I have to concede that I'm in favor of things being more accessible.

But I don't think consoles are more accessible, I think they're actually a luxury item, with a limited amount of usefulness, and since every house doesn't need a console, let alone 2.5 of 'em (or whatever), they're just not all that heh.

Maybe you think I shouldn't even really be arguing this way since I'm such an elitist prick and I never do anything for "regular" folks 'cause I ain't got any use for 'em, but I'm not selling anything to anybody y''know ahaha.

But I do think it'd be better if your light could shine down into all the darkest places, where its most needed, and give those kids a break or a leg-up or something.

I think its the awesomest thing in the world to be able to cheer folks up and give hope to folks in crappy places and third world countries like the dudes that did Star Trek and shit, man.

That's the shit, when all is said and done, y'know.

And people ain't gonna learn how to program consoles on a console, and I want them to want to learn how to program so they can entertain me and advance the medium farther along and all that too heh.

Good junk don't usually come from the spoiled brats, y'know?

There's that whole son-of-a-rich-man syndrome heh.

Plus I don't wanna keep 'em all stupid, or they won't make any money, and then they can't buy all my shit ahaha.

Anyways that's all the stuff going on in the back of my head besides the fact that a computer can have paddles, and still be a computer, but a console can't have a keyboard without becoming a computer

And the fact that computers are never gonna go away 'cause you need a computer to make games for a console.

Oh, and there's also the bit about remote desktop software and virtual desktop software, where a server might be optimized to create all the graphic images for the game your playing, and so your "client" only needs to be able to display the updates and take your input, which makes everything as hardware-independent as it is bandwidth-dependent, but that's way down the line and not every parallel universe has that heh.

Its nice on the customer support side of things though ahaha.

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