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Old 12-04-2000, 06:57 PM   #1
Scoundrel67
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Thumbs down Lucas Arts: Gamers are muddle-minded dolts !

The following is from the President of Lucas Arts and was taken from an interview found on CNET/GameCenter.

"GC: For many gamers, one of the bigger disappointments was Force Commander. How do you look at a game like Force Commander, hindsight being 20/20?

S. J.: Force Commander had quite a checkered and interesting history. I think that ourselves, along with a couple of other publishers, found out that the real-time strategy market wasn't quite ready for the jump to 3D. We made a bet, a gamble, that the real-time strategy market was looking to evolve beyond the Command & Conquer or StarCraft-style of gameplay and go into the 3D world. I think that we came up against a bit of a technology hurdle, and we realized that it was hard to implement something that is real-time and strategy in a 3D environment, because there isn't the same kind of direction. [Two-dimensional] real-time strategy games almost always are linear in their gameplay, and that may sound trite, but in some ways I think that was what part of the problem was. And we've seen other 3D real-time strategy games that have suffered from the same problem; when people are in a 3D world, they don't know what to do--they aren't so directed--and their strategic thinking is more muddled and more confused."

I purchased FoCom and do enjoy it, but it doesn't trip my trigger the way the X-Wing series did. Unlike what a lot of others complain of, the camera and 3D environment have never been a problem for me. I really liked not having to fuss with mining and resource gathering: real time tactical command beats real time mining and growing crops hands down.

It fell short in a number of areas--the maps being too small, no random map generator for skirmishes, relative strength of units upsetting gameplay, etc. On a 0-100 scale I'd rate at 74.

What really alarms me about the interview is the obvious condecension in S.J's final statement. Taken in context of the whole interview maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion. Still, to my way of thinking this sort of statement is a warning flag that the top brass is more than a little insulated from reality. Perhaps Lucas Arts has not yet grasped that the blame for the failure of Force Commander to capture the hearts and minds of the masses is theirs and theirs alone. That hint of petulant finger pointing does not indicate that genuine change is taking place at Lucas Arts.

Please go read the interview and then post your assessment here.
http://www.gamecenter.com/News/Item/0,3,0-5045,00.html

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Old 12-04-2000, 07:12 PM   #2
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Old 12-04-2000, 10:22 PM   #3
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I like FC, the camera, and other things don't bother me a bit.

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Old 12-04-2000, 11:15 PM   #4
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When you do think about it, what he says has some truth to it. It was hard to make a strategy game in full 3D. While it wasn't perfect, LA did make an attmept, and for that credit should be given to them.

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Old 12-05-2000, 01:46 PM   #5
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The key question is: Do you honestly believe that Lucas Arts is going back to doing things the way they used to do them when they were on top of their game in the early to mid 90s?

Words are all fine and good, but actions determine outcomes. Call me a skeptic if you will, but I want to see a one or two solid games on the PC platform before I'm willing to tell my friends that Lucas Arts is back. Don't you?

When they do finally foray once again into either space combat simulation, first person shooters, or the real-time strategy genres, I'll be reading more than one review before I shell out 40-50 dollars for my copy. I know that'll hurt LA and their developers because pre-orders help them offset development costs and thus put out a better product, but I'm not in the business of giving away my hard-earned cash just for the sake of loyalty.

If anyone from Lucas Arts is reading this, I'm pulling for you, but you have to EARN my money.

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Old 12-05-2000, 03:13 PM   #6
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I don't blame LEC for FoCom, I blame Ronin. The DEVELOPER who screwed up.
The concept of the game was a good idea, the camera worked just fine for me. I picked it up in a few MINUTES.
The only complaints I have about that game (other than it's mysterious refusal to run on my newest comp) was the terrain graphics, the lack of any form of mission editor, and the crappy Rebel units. Oh, and how easy it was for a snowspeeder to trip an AT-AT (shown, what, once in a movie) and how difficult it was for a AT-AT to shoot a snowspeeder (General Veer's Blizzard 1's casual snap-shot of a snowspeeder whilst lining up the shot at the shield generator tells us different)

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Old 12-05-2000, 05:30 PM   #7
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We should need a new SW stratagy game.But its too early for 3D statagy games.
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Old 12-05-2000, 06:03 PM   #8
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We all seem to agree that Force Commander is a classic case of "great idea, somewhat problematic execution". Put that aside for the moment. The real question I was asking is the following:

Do you think that Lucas Arts has turned over a new leaf and will, in fact, only release high-quality, relatively bug-free games for the PC in the future? Be your answer yes or no, please explain how you came to your conclusion.

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Old 12-05-2000, 06:30 PM   #9
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Off to SW GAMES we go.....
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Old 12-05-2000, 11:20 PM   #10
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I think LA has had a lot of internal problems, and that they still try to do their best, their best just isn't really good at the moment. Every company goes through hight points, and slumps. LA is no exception. After a slump, I think that they will spring back, so yes, i think they will do better. They already have a few more projects that they will be announcing soon.

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Old 12-10-2000, 03:17 PM   #11
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Smile

I'm adopting a wait and see attitude towards Lucas Arts products. I do hope you're right about them having bottomed out and beginning to climb out of their slump, but it's going to be a strenuous climb. They've dug themselves in deep doo-doo with the PC community.

The first Star Wars game constructed under their new aegis of "quality-not-quantity" released for PC had better shine. Their reputation is on the line. If it doesn't measure up *stern scowl*, then it's time to cut loose some of their project managers. Failure is not acceptable and I'd rather wait an extra 3 months and pay and extra $10 for an excellent game than buy a fair-but-forgettable one on time.

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Old 12-10-2000, 03:48 PM   #12
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Actually, I think Lucas' companies in general have the best and brightest from all divisions working on the next few movies. Indy 4 and Episode II.

That's when the "slump" of LEC games started. When they started filming episode I. The best graphics people had to be pulled from one division to the other (the parent Lucasfilm).

Once the movies are done, I think the technology they're developing there will be used in the games itself. That will greatly impove the SW games and LEC games in general.

I also agree with LEC when they said they were at their best when they were doing more than just star wars. There was also Sam and Max, Monkey Island, X-wing and Tie fighter. They weren't just Star Wars.

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Old 12-10-2000, 09:07 PM   #13
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agreed
but right now, I don't think they have enough people to spread themselves on a lot of projects

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