I’m still fascinated by the Switch and what it may be hiding. There’s a fantastic interview here you can read, talking with the two designers of it. For the most part it’s standard information you’d expect, but I find some of it worthy of note:
There was a move away from “Old Nintendo” (ie. Miyamoto) to the younger staff who are full of endless ideas but usually don’t have opportunities. That’s a very important thing to consider about Nintendo today. Pokemon Go, Mario Run, Breath of the Wild, and Mario Odyssey all feel more thoughtful than the awful Star Fox Zero created by Miyamoto. The old staff is being pushed aside to make way for the young (who are probably still in their 30’s and 40’s, but just young by comparison).
Nintendo wants to make sure there’s a “continuous line” of products to keep the Switch interesting to people, and even their announcements are being treated as events. This is different from companies like Microsoft and Sony, who race to announce everything under the Sun, even when those games will never be released (such as the Rockstar game Agent or the Xbox One exclusive Scalebound). This makes it harder to judge, but they say they want to surpass past consoles in terms of the number of games available, which is why they included compatibility with Unreal engine, etc.
Here they claim that the Switch is primarily as “home console at heart”, but I still think this is just being cute with the marketing. The fact that it functions perfectly as a home console makes it hard to dispute, though.
When discussing the name “Switch” for the system, they give the straightforward answer that it would mark a break away from old hardware, and make it easy to understand for people overseas. I wouldn’t expect them to say anything about being able to switch the pieces of the hardware out, but there is this interesting bit…
Time will tell whether this is the true legacy of the Switch.
The ongoing cultural siege against video games by politically correct activists has been going on for years, and GDC is a great opportunity for them to take up the cause once more. It’s becoming a tradition for Social Justice Warrior-types to square off against mocking comment sections at various gaming events throughout the year, with no major changes happening to the industry either way. The speakers may not have the cultural relevance they once did, but the intellectual territory they have claimed still does. Thanks to the rise of free speech activists and cultural libertarians this territory is shrinking and being reclaimed for the free market. Understanding the true nature and roots of “SJW” culture will help speed this process.
Free markets, corporate lawsuits, and ransomware!
Alright, before you judge me too much for making this idiotic image, let me make some things clear:
- I don’t expect anyone to be impressed by this.
- The purpose is to show that sometimes everyone overlooks things because they’re afraid to think outside the box
- I hate when people settle for playing “correctly”.
- The Demoman remained so unpopular and unpicked for so long that Valve finally turned him into an entirely different character a few years ago, giving him a huge sword and a shield that allowed him to decapitate people and fly around the map with magic powers. Ever since, the magic swordsman loadout is the only thing you’ll ever see somebody use when playing the Demoman. That breaks my heart.
In the Elementary series I discuss various game design approaches and figuring out what makes them tick, how to improve them, and brainstorm game design. This one is dedicated to Horror-style games.
UPDATED: Added a fourth genre!
The problem of how to categorize games has plagued the industry since its earliest days. Is there a solution that can reorient our thinking and help us escape the counterproductive conventions of the past? In this article I propose new genres to help better simplify and explore game design.
Nintendo has revealed more information about the Switch hardware along with some games. It’s a subversive and risky powerplay, and I’m extremely interested in how this will turn out. In this article I’ll give the pros, cons, and most importantly, the possibilities of what the Switch represents to the gaming industry, which means I’ll also be talking about the current sad state of the console industry itself.