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View Full Version : It's finally happened!


Frank the Tank
03-09-2006, 02:11 PM
Every game freatured on the LucasArts front page is a Star Wars game.

I was wondering when Mercenaries would be booted off for yet another game in Lucas's tired franchise.

itchythesamurai
03-09-2006, 04:30 PM
Well the only next logical step for LucasArts is to go to painful lengths to make it seem like they've only made Star Wars games, wiping out any trace or memory of originality. Maybe Indy can stay.

Joshi
03-09-2006, 05:31 PM
LucasArts can be original? When did this happen? I thought they only ever cashed in on their big franchises! I mean, that's what the LA front page shows!

Frank the Tank
03-10-2006, 03:42 PM
Anyone know of anything worth-while coming down the LA pipeline anytime soon, besides yet another cash-in sequel?

The problem is, I still get suckered into buying some of these games, and while they're not bad, they're nothing compared to the polish, complexity, and innovation produced in the "good ol' days". I wouldn't mind so much all these Star Wars games if they were on par with the likes of Tie Fighter...

Joshi
03-10-2006, 03:57 PM
Why would they want to do anything but Star Wars? They're making money off of it, people actually liked Empire at War. Frankly, you can take any genre of game and slap on a Star Wars label in order to sell it. If Psychonauts had lightsabers and it was called Star Wars: Jedi Power! it may have sold better (although I would have lost all respect for the Schafer).

Just a side note, if you click on the games section on LA's official page, there are 22 games (a lot of games being repeated for platform, so only really 11) 2 of them is Mercenaries (for PS2 and X-Box). Take a guess at what all the other games are.

EDIT
20 more SW games under the classics menu, against 9 that aren't SW (although 2 are Indiana Jones, but at least they were good). Something tells me they like Star Wars...not sure why.

Udvarnoky
03-11-2006, 05:54 PM
I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the new indy doesn't suck.

itchythesamurai
03-11-2006, 07:15 PM
Honestly though, would you rather have a well-done Indiana Jones or Han Solo game? I'm sure Han was up to plenty of entertaining mischief before A New Hope.

Gabez
03-12-2006, 06:34 AM
That's true... it's not that Star Wars games suck per se, it's just that they're mainly too unimaginative and too rushed. A good Han Solo game would be cool.

Murray the Chao
03-13-2006, 08:40 PM
Or rereleasing the Super Star Wars Trilogy on the GBA.

ThunderPeel2001
03-15-2006, 09:09 PM
The fact that they've turned into the "Star Wars Game Factory (tm)" isn't doing anyone any favours as they're just saturating the market and eventually it will blow up in their faces. Back in the old days George didn't let them touch Star Wars, it was all done out of house, they were only allowed Indy and original things.

Of course, the fact that Grim Fandango was the only game not to make a profit probably scared them ****less. Oh well.

Scummbuddy
03-17-2006, 01:39 AM
Tim says that Grim was a success and wishes people to stop spreading that Grim was a failure. You make double-headed babies cry.

Samnmax221
03-18-2006, 05:18 PM
Just because it was the last non-sequel Lucasarts adventure doesn't meen its a failure, Lucasarts is

ThunderPeel2001
03-26-2006, 12:33 AM
Tim says that Grim was a success and wishes people to stop spreading that Grim was a failure. You make double-headed babies cry.


Really?! I thought it was the only game in LucasArt's history not to make a profit? What's the truth on this?

Joshi
03-26-2006, 06:51 AM
It's been disputed. Some people say they did, others say they didn't.

Know thy Moby (http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/grim-fandango/trivia)

ThunderPeel2001
03-26-2006, 10:33 AM
In the link you gave it simply say: "As of 2004, Grim Fandango is the only game that didn't make LucasArts a profit." with no-one disputing the claim?

Thrik
03-26-2006, 11:18 AM
I haven't got any figures on hand, but as far as I'm aware the game had slightly disappointing initial sales but managed to snowball in the following years as word got around — it's commonly referred to as a "sleeper hit", and some believe that Psychonauts will go the same way.

I think it was still selling fairly well until only a couple of years ago, as I saw DVD restocks of it appearing in game shops over here in the UK during 2004.

elTee
03-26-2006, 12:34 PM
A lot of people who would have bought the game were probably put off by the way it abandoned the traditions of the point-and-click genre which LucasArts themselves pioneered. I remember thinking "meh, not interested" when I saw it in GAME during its first release. It was only my Uncle (what is it with those Uncles and Adventure Games eh?) who convinced me it was just the same but with a different control method, and was actually better than most previous LucasArts adventures. I probably bought my own copy around 1999 - 2000.

Joshi
03-26-2006, 01:50 PM
In the link you gave it simply say: "As of 2004, Grim Fandango is the only game that didn't make LucasArts a profit." with no-one disputing the claim?

Indeed, I'd only linked to a site that gave you one side of the "dispute" when I gave the impression that it gave both. My bad. IMDB seem to think it's been disputed though (and we all trust them). I really don't know any of the figures or facts so I couldn't say.

Samnmax221
03-26-2006, 10:33 PM
Pyschonauts a sleeper hit? I thought it sold pretty well right off the bat

Thrik
03-26-2006, 11:06 PM
Unfortunately, no. Even Tim has admitted (http://www.working-title.de/artikel.php?artikel_id=76&page=1) that one, and there are sales reports lying around somewhere that can back it up. :~

ThunderPeel2001
03-27-2006, 01:45 PM
I think "flop" is the word, isn't it?

I think that's why they need a new demo, because the one they gave out is of the second worst level of the game!

Joshi
03-27-2006, 01:52 PM
Basic Braining wasn't that bad was it? I enjoyed it.

Gabez
03-27-2006, 02:07 PM
Did Majesco's multi-billion dollar advertising campaign come into fruitation?

All I heard from it was Yufster seeing an ad for Psychonauts in some magazine in Ireland, like a year before the game was released. I also saw a few in PC Zone around Christmas, telling us that the game was "wanted: November!"

That can't have helped...

Joshi
03-27-2006, 02:11 PM
Sasw a review in PC Format a while ago, long before it came out and they seemed to like it (love it), but I haven't seen much. Then again, I don't really have my eye on the latest gaming news anyway, so who knows.

Thrik
03-27-2006, 04:39 PM
Er, Basic Braining was ace. :¬:

There was an advertisement campaign, the most prominent part being that "Psycho Portals" competition; there were also large ads on various websites for a while, both around the US and the European releases. It's also done very well critically (http://www.razputin.net/?page=razputin/tracker), and has won quite a number of awards from all the large websites, and even Eurogamer's game of the year award.

So, yeah. Why exactly it failed is, like Tim said, not completely clear. The general gaming audience does seem slightly reluctant at the moment to try games such as Psychonauts out, though — when Eurogamer gave it their GOTY awards, there were literally over 200 comments moaning about how Resident Evil 4 should have gotten it, despite very few of them having actually played Double Fine's baby.

ThunderPeel2001
03-27-2006, 07:04 PM
Basic Braining wasn't that bad was it? I enjoyed it.

You enjoyed swinging from those bloody poles? The level itself was overlong and same-y and while it wasn't that bad... it wasn't a patch on some of the later levels! I came away from the demo thinking, "looks interesting, but the platforming stuff is pretty boring". Little did I know how cool it was going to get!

Samnmax221
03-27-2006, 09:30 PM
I enjoyed basic braining, I thought it was extremely clever

Joshi
03-28-2006, 06:05 AM
You enjoyed swinging from those bloody poles? The level itself was overlong and same-y and while it wasn't that bad... it wasn't a patch on some of the later levels! I came away from the demo thinking, "looks interesting, but the platforming stuff is pretty boring". Little did I know how cool it was going to get!

Agreed, not a patch on the later levels, but I really didn't think it was that bad, after I'd figured out that you could actually turn around on those poles, that part wasn't too bad. But, then again, save for Prince of Persia, I haven't really played that many platform games (unless Beyond Good and Evil counts) and therefore, don't have much of a frame of referance for saying whether it was better or worse than other platform games.

Samnmax221
03-28-2006, 11:11 PM
I'd like to see more of combining adventure with action like they did with Pyschonauts, of course for the most part the game industry doesn't seem too tapped into what people want.

Joshi
03-29-2006, 02:50 AM
Actually they are, the majority of games that come out these days please the majority of gamers out there. The action/adventure games isn't what most people want and so people don't tend to make them as much, but instead make whatever they know will make money.

Thrik
03-29-2006, 11:39 AM
It's more a case of games that do try to do that type of thing having a distinct track record of totally flopping, regardless of how good they actually are. You can't really blame publishers for not wanting to green light another multi-million game budget, when their last one completely sank. Case in point: Psychonauts.

The gaming audience is the problem, not the developers or publishers (with some exceptions). It's very easy to blame the latter, but it's not really justified.

Samnmax221
03-30-2006, 02:02 AM
Well the market is commonly flooded with uninspired FPS's

Joshi
03-30-2006, 05:28 AM
Yes, but they sell well, which is why the market is flooded with them.

Alien426
03-30-2006, 06:33 AM
Well the market is commonly flooded with uninspired FPS's
That's because you're interested in them. The genres are actually quite wide spread (except for simulations).

Take a look at GameRanking.com (http://www.gamerankings.com/itemrankings/default_PC/5)'s most popular PC games:
Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion -> RPG
The Godfather -> Driving / Fighting / Shooting
Space Rangers 2 -> RPG / Strategy
Commandos Strike Force -> FPS
Galactic Civ II -> Strategy
G.R.A.W. -> FPS
ÜberSoldier -> FPS
Act Of War: High Treason -> Strategy
Daemonica -> RPG
Blazing Angels: Squadron -> Action simulation

I bet there are a lot more driving games that no one can keep apart because they are so similar.

Thrik
03-30-2006, 11:10 AM
Supply and demand, Samnmax221. Supply and demand.

Thriftweed_
03-30-2006, 11:50 AM
It's more a case of games that do try to do that type of thing having a distinct track record of totally flopping, regardless of how good they actually are. You can't really blame publishers for not wanting to green light another multi-million game budget, when their last one completely sank. Case in point: Psychonauts.

The gaming audience is the problem, not the developers or publishers (with some exceptions). It's very easy to blame the latter, but it's not really justified.

It is so unjust that Psychonauts isn't a sell out hit, It is literally one of the best games I have played in the past few years. Must have been a mix of shoddy marketing ( in the UK I haven't seen any promotion at all ) and people just won't give games with cartoon graphics much more than a glance these days.

Gabez
03-30-2006, 12:29 PM
It makes me wonder how Tim Schafer would tackle the FPS genre. I mean, platform action/adventure is a leap from pure adventure, and he managed the transition masterfully... I think that he would probably make it zany and complex, and it would be completely awesome, but again there's no guarantee that people would buy it even if it was an FPS. I think people like simplicity; in most FPS games it's mainly about survival, so it's very easy to sum up your character and what you have to do.

It's more difficult to sum up Psychonauts. You can can't just say "you play a god" or "you have to survive" or "you're killing monsters and getting experience"; you have to explain more, because there's never been a game quite like it before. Same with Grim Fandango.

Look at all the popular games - they all seem to boil down to a very simple, tried and tested idea. Of course, those ideas have to come from somewhere and we need games like Psychonauts to set new trends... the problem is that the general gaming public might only realise this in hindsight.

Does anyone know if the game has sold better on consoles than on PCs? There seems to be more innovation and more simmilar games to Psychonauts there, like Ico and that...

elTee
03-31-2006, 12:59 AM
The only console Psychonauts would have been practically guaranteed to get gamers buying it on is the Gamecube, which is the only console it wasn't released on.

It's interesting what you're suggesting Gabez; that most popular games can be explained in a sentence, effectively. I was going to argue that most popular games take a 'tried and tested idea' and subvert it slightly - like GTA, for example, being a cross between an RPG, a driving game, a platformer and an FPS. Really, when I think about it though, it could have been sold to someone in the late 90's as 'kind of like Tomb Raider, but with vehicles.'

Go back five or six years and LucasArts could have been looked to for a truly great game - the Star Wars Adventure game. It would have been genius - Fate Of Atlantis style classic point-and-click scenarios, real-time space battles, and of course, lightsaber fights. There you have a true marriage of action and adventure (like Psychonauts) but with an established market to sell the game to. If that game had existed it would have been easy to sell Psychonauts as 'kind of like that Star Wars game but with psychic secret agents.'

It will be interesting to see how Dreamfall fares - The Longest Journey was wildly successful, and in theory this sequel has a much broader appeal. I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to Psychonauts as well - personally I think it will be better, but time will tell. Only a few weeks to go...

Joshi
03-31-2006, 05:37 AM
I wouldn't say GTA had many similarities to Tomb Raider (if we're talking the original GTA with the top down view). The only real similarities I could see were that, at some point, you may have to fire a gun. If we're talking the newer ones with a first person view then, well, maybe.

I was actually surprised that the one point n click adventure LucasArts didn't make was one based on Star Wars as it does seem like it would have been the perfect way to tell more of the story, especially at the time of the old Indy games.

elTee
03-31-2006, 10:17 AM
I wouldn't say GTA had many similarities to Tomb Raider (if we're talking the original GTA with the top down view)

Well, obviously, no... the top-down view one could have been sold as 'kind of like Micro Machines, but with no "edge" to fall off - and you can get out of the car, and you have guns' or something though. I'm talking in a very general sense here, like conversational - obviously you wouldn't see magazine adverts for a game saying things like 'it's Sonic, but with a rabbit!' or anything.

GTA3 (if we must be pedantic) is similar to Tomb Raider - psuedo 3D graphics (yeah, it's 3D, but not true 3D due to the fixed camera - Mario 64 was the first true 3D game*) and very free-roaming levels. Obviously GTA3 took the free-roaming to a new height, but it's a similar enough engine.

*It probably wasn't. But it was the first really mainstream 3D game with a non-fixed camera, or at the very least the one that brought it the idea to public reception.

Gabez
03-31-2006, 12:22 PM
People seem to describe games as either: "It's a but like Quake/Tomb Raider/Command & Conquer" or as "you play a criminal/cop/soldier/Stalin etc." People might go into detail and say, "you go around breaking into tombs" or "you go around stealing cars" or "you go around shooting people" or "you have to destroy the enemy" etc. etc.

I think screenshots are also important: show someone a picture of Quake or Command & Conquer or GTA and they'll probably be able to work out what the game is about. Show them a screenshot from Grim Fandango or Psychonauts and it's not so clear.

Maybe the old SCUMM games had an advantage with the verb icons, because people could see just from looking at a screenshot that you basically... "went around picking stuff up/talking to people".

A game like Grim Fandango could, of course, be summed up as "you play a Grim Reaper", except to do so would be to simplify it absurdly, and thus wouldn't really be an adequate description.

Joshi
03-31-2006, 12:58 PM
Well, to say that would be to suggest that you actually reap souls, which is done twice right at the beginning, and then never again. A better example of a one sentance description selling a game short would be saying that in Psychonauts, you "Enter people's head's and sort them out" which is indeed what you do, but doesn't describe even half of the game.

elTee
03-31-2006, 01:33 PM
Screenshots don't always sell a game - the pictures of the cel-shaded Wind Waker failed to adequately show how awesome the game really looks in motion. Anyone who bitched about the new cartoony look for the series quickly shut up when they actually played the game.

ThunderPeel2001
04-01-2006, 08:27 AM
Go back five or six years and LucasArts could have been looked to for a truly great game - the Star Wars Adventure game. It would have been genius - Fate Of Atlantis style classic point-and-click scenarios, real-time space battles, and of course, lightsaber fights. There you have a true marriage of action and adventure (like Psychonauts) but with an established market to sell the game to. If that game had existed it would have been easy to sell Psychonauts as 'kind of like that Star Wars game but with psychic secret agents.'

If you scrap the 'point and click' elements and psychic bits, then you're left with 'Knights of the Old Republic', which was a superb game!

I think it would be interesting to see Tim Schafer co-produce a game with someone with real 'action' sensibilities. Or even him do a 'guaranteed to sell' license like Star Wars (like you said). It would totally rock, but I doubt he'd willingly work with LucasArts again :(

MrManager
04-01-2006, 03:07 PM
I don't know, even though he wasn't too into LEC creating sequels to his games, I think he'd probably work with the company if the terms were fair.

I doubt LEC would work with him, however, if they at this point even know who Tim Schafer is.

Joshi
04-01-2006, 03:54 PM
Someone they possibly paid some money to once... was he perhaps the voice for stormtrooper number 4?

Schmatz
04-17-2006, 05:01 AM
I was just looking at the Lucasarts page and just had to come here and say something about it, when lo-and-behold someone else already did!

What's up everyone (I have no idea who remembers me and who doesn't :P)! But yeah nothing but Star Wars on the horizon =/

Joshi
04-17-2006, 10:02 AM
We'll probably get a new Indy sooner or later, but that game will do nothing but make people think that all LucasArts does is bring out games based on Lucas Films most successful titles (which, at the moment it is, but it hasn't always been like that)

elTee
04-19-2006, 06:54 PM
Jeez man you've been away for... years?

Scummbuddy
04-19-2006, 09:38 PM
Yeah, I missed the Indy/Grim avatar... plus your wit.

Schmatz
04-20-2006, 02:33 AM
And the Guybrush pants! Yeah with no sign of classic SCUMM game sequels, I have been sucked into the World of Warcraft phenomenon. The last time I did much around here was when Galaxies first came out, and I was going to do an article on it. Obviously, that never happened :P But I am liking the look of this Plunder3D so I will be checking up on that from time to time.

elTee did you used to have a different name? I remember working with someone from LucasTones a while back, heh.

elTee
04-20-2006, 05:19 PM
Yeah, LucasTones and waaaay back before that when you first knew me it was *sigh* Ghost Pirate LeChuck.

Thrik
04-20-2006, 05:23 PM
Hahahahaha.

ThunderPeel2001
04-20-2006, 07:55 PM
So how does WoW compare with SW: Galaxies? I spent a long time in Galaxies when it first came out - I even wrote the Pistoleer FAQ before the weapons revamp! It was the first and only MMORPG I've played, but I'm guessing that WoW blows Galaxies out of the water?

Samnmax221
04-21-2006, 02:39 AM
Especially after NGE from what I hear

Schmatz
04-23-2006, 10:37 PM
After NGE, sorta. WoW has a lot of amazing content, but Galaxies still had great environment-player connectivity. For instance, guild cities and player houses and vendors made Galaxies amazing. If every player in WoW wanted their own house somewhere on the map, there'd be no space left on the map at all. The world is a lot smaller, but there are seperate instances (like unique images of a certain dungeon), so there's never too much of a problem finding something to do.
Honestly, all of the different quests in Galaxies never interested me, they seemed kind of dull. But WoW is loaded with unique quests, I really enjoy it. My heart still holds a place for Galaxies, though, because it was my first MMO, and before the NGE junk, it had a very unique leveling system. Also, the entire becoming a jedi thing was so hard that it made it so much better back then, because only a few would have jedi, and they would deserve it. Now everyone gets to be one? Bleh.

As for PvP, hmm. I like WoW's because I'm a mage, but in Galaxies I was a medic/doctor/combat medic, so I died early and fast. But I still enjoyed most of it. Especially having your own bases in the world. Features like that made Galaxies great.

If I put them next to each other, WoW beats Galaxies hands-down. I have been playing for a year and a half now. I played Galaxies for about 5 months than on and off for another 5. Being able to solo a lot of things is what makes WoW great to me, because a lot of people on the net are morons and I don't want to deal with most of them if I don't have to :P. Except for my guild, which is mostly smart. Mostly.

Edit: And yes, I remember you Ghost Pirate LeChuck haha.

elTee
04-24-2006, 09:03 AM
This is why it is prudent to change your name roughly every two years, or perhaps on an exponential curve depending on how old you are. I really should know better.

But of course it's all useless if you tell people who you used to be...

*sigh*