What is the best way to promote gaming development, a streaming service like OnLive which is trying to revive from its own ashes or a de facto monopolist like Intel dictating ludicrous progress rhythms (with an extra 100 MHz for every new generation) to x86 CPUs? A virtual reality helmet like Oculus Rift (DK2) selling itself to Facebook’s social advertising business or a dedicated GPU that’s incredibly expensive and basically useless like NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX TITAN Z? Foolishness aside, what really matters is that PC technology will continue to evolve forever. Or at least that’s what I hope for.
The most important gaming event of the past April surely was the shutdown of LucasArts, the legendary publisher of true milestones for the entire industry and that is finally sealed off inside the archive of history by the new Lucasfilm ownership (Disney). An event whose importance cannot be underestimated, the LucasArts final disappearance, a tough news already expected by many – first of all by the designers which grew older while working at the George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch – and foretold by the long decline of these years. The memories remain, and it’s better this way: the classics, these days, turn into mobile filth or painful remakes for unable gamers without opposable thumbs. Lucasfilm Games is dead, long live to the three-headed monkeys.
The past December edition of the Spike Video Game Awards assigned the game of the decade title to Half-Life 2, and I couldn’t agree more: the sci-fi world created by Valve continues to be one of the utmost peaks of video games now as in 2004, even if it has been a long time and the new gaming experiences worth mentioning aren’t that rare after all. The industry wouldn’t be the same without Half-Life 2, and neither without Hideo Kojima and his gaming amusements suited for a troll.
Gaming machines of this generation are soon to be retired, I was saying the last time, and who is working on the “next-gen” technologies thinks about “philosophical” improvements to development besides the predictable evolutionary jump in the graphics department. Waiting to test the effects of this greater focus on design in triple-A titles, the following post is mainly about indie games in development that don’t necessarily need the Unreal Engine 4 to have their say or engage players.