Harmony Comments

  • World of Tanks dev drops "pay-to-win" purchases and hopes the rest of the industry will follow suit

  • Harmony 04/06/2013

    They aren't the first, they're just putting into a press release what the whole industry has realised for at least a year or two, even if some haven't acted on it. Reply +2
  • Intel Core i7 4770K review

  • Harmony 02/06/2013

    core i7-920 and a radeon 7870 here, 1920x1200. Chews through anything. I'll be waiting a while yet to upgrade, it's crazy to see cards like this when cheaper will definitely do, but would love to see Haswell in the Surface 2, heck, give us a Surface 1.5... Reply 0
  • Windows 8.1 changes detailed, Microsoft to revive Start button

  • Harmony 31/05/2013

    @Widge I agree entirely. Reminds me of the book I read on Continuous Delivery, the customers asked us to make our suitcases lighter and easier to carry, then went and bought bigger, heavier ones with wheels... Reply -3
  • Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved retrospective

  • Harmony 20/05/2013

    That is the best tagline on Eurogamer yet. Reply +1
  • "The next generation is going to be, possibly for the very first time, the next generation of game design"

  • Harmony 01/05/2013

    The emotion in games being referenced, particularly Bioshock Infinite, seems related to the other characters there, not your avatar.

    Getting around the fact that your character is essentially you and therefore 'out of context' in the fiction being presented means mechanics would be required, such as KOTOR's, that force you into actions that trigger your predilections to be or not to be internally/morally cohesive within that fiction. Once that's set up you are then behaving as you would in experiencing a book or film, namely, identifying with someone that's not quite you and suspending yourself for a period of time.

    Without such dilemmas you will feel a disconnection to the events you're taking part in. I enjoyed the plot choices that depended on my desired progression in Oblivion, but for all it's epic milieu, I didn't get put into a moral quandary except with regards to the bar girl in Whiterun that was on the run, notwithstanding the fact that I was a mass murderer throughout.

    But none of this 'emotionalising' is facilitated more effectively by a more powerful console or PC.
    Reply +1
  • Test Drive Unlimited retrospective

  • Harmony 28/04/2013

    This review is true. Reply +3
  • Criterion boss: "After over a decade of making racing games it's time to make something new"

  • Harmony 17/04/2013

    Black 2 was in development, and it was looking radically good, way ahead of anything at the time, and most of what's gone since, with genuinely frightening and realistic enemies and a great 'feel' to the shooting. Paradise ate up the devs in order to get it out, because it was a massive and ambitious challenge for the studio. I'm sure there were good reasons why that happened.

    However, the studio had already proved it could make two games simultaneously to high quality, it's a shame it couldn't keep that going, particularly as there's never been much of a requirement on Criterion to be madly profitable, it was always a marquee studio for EA in their portfolio.
    Reply 0
  • This is what top-level COD competition ****ing looks like

  • Harmony 21/03/2013

    Strange that when you watch the LoL championships there's a lot more respect floating around during the competitions between the teams. It's only the general public games that are bad. Reply +2
  • Questing for freedom in The Elder Scrolls Online

  • Harmony 20/03/2013

    If you want a game that feels like you're exploring the world without 14 copies of you in the same space doing the same thing, that's also storydriven, why not go back to the old instancing that GW1 did. Lots of hate around it in various forums I've read over the years, but I only ever saw it as an opportunity for every bit of the world to be crafted for an x no. of players experience, with all the subsequent ability to tailor that instance's content to that group of players, rather than, again, 14 copies of me going to the same guy with icon over his head, reading some dialogue then following each other to that one poor monster that he wanted bashing up.

    With tailored instances and towns as hubs for showing off, the instances themselves could be decorated more richly, the instances tweaked individually, fewer load balancing worries etc. basically an RPG within a social context. You could have the LOTRO type instance difficulty scaling rather than the GW1 8 players only, to allow more diverse group sizes to enjoy that bit of the world and the quests within it.

    It's a tradeoff, but it's one solid idea that solves a problem. The article suggests they're missing a trick doing something completely new with an MMO. What can you do with an MMO that's so new? The strictures lead to the formula, your other options then are the freeform sandboxes that UO began and Eve currently defines.
    Reply +1
  • So long, John Riccitiello

  • Harmony 19/03/2013

    I worked for EA up until I was made redundant by them in 2009. The biggest problem was that the mantra was all about 'the big bets'. This seemed diametrically opposed to any advice you read about when trying to make great software; fail early, fail often. Burnout was a small bet, NFS was a big bet. That's why Criterion is not making Burnout anymore, or indeed doing anything left field like Black after delivering the perfect Burnout 3. There's a reason I'm seeing senior devs there jumping ship.

    EA should have been about making more smaller bets with the money generated by the bigger bets. The talent across many of the labels was fantastic, I got to work with some legendary developers.

    It should have been about hothousing innovations and IP from all their teams, not just the creative directors and designers. Instead they let those devs go and create micro studios and sell for themselves the ideas that had their genesis with colleagues while working the day job (good for the devs of course, but a missed opportunity for EA).

    How easy to do the Google/3M thing of saying, here's 15% of your time for free, go self organise and create some stuff...exactly what the devs were doing on the side/after hours that led to the above micro studios, just without the stress of wondering whether they could pay the rent.

    Where were the 'cabal' type councils that could have routinely judged the 'freetime experiments' and then had a pot to fund further exploration on the promising ones, committing only a bit of money at a time till the idea fell or thrived...failing cheapy and often.

    It knew that original IP developed greater profit margins, hence for a while they pushed the Dead Space and Mirror's Edge combo internally as them taking a bold new chance with things, there were other unreleased titles besides that showed some spark and promise but never got going. Even multi million unit franchises got canned.

    It did indeed have no idea about microtransactions and F2P and all that stuff until way too late because it's a corporate. In 2009 that stuff wasn't on the agenda. They're no more guilty of that than the record industry or the big corporates in other sectors I've sinced worked in.

    They'd never have greenlit League of Legends for example. The decision making structures are filled with non-core gamers; people that are looking over their shoulder and needing forecasts to justify decisions because they had no feel for it themselves and no structure and a ton of politics that would have allowed them to take chances.

    They had an EA University to promote the sharing of all that knowledge and expertise from those thousands of devs, the crowdsourcing potential they could tap into is almost unparalleled in games, but you never spent any time on that site and those blogs because it looked like you weren't working hard enough in your day job.

    Then there were marketing and sales, all professional in terms of those functions, but not gamers. How well did they sell original IP outside of the ad banners on gaming websites? It's a rhetorical question.
    Reply +25
  • John Riccitiello out as CEO of EA

  • Harmony 18/03/2013

    Share price from $61 to $18. I'm amazed it took so long. Reply +2
  • EA dismisses Real Racing 3 micro-transactions furore, declares "the market has spoken"

  • Harmony 18/03/2013

    "The market can't speak if there's no alternatives to choose from. I wish every free-to-play microtransaction game on mobiles also came in a single-payment, all inclusive flavour too, so I can buy the game and play the game without bloody, "Like us on Facebook for 10 gems. Rate us 5* for 200 gold. Download this other free game by us for another 30 gallons of petrol and 400 bullets," naggings."

    I know a few mobile devs, they tried to charge for their games and found that they were instead getting pirated. They thus resorted to giving them away and sticking microtransactions in so they could at least stay afloat.

    It's a very limited data set, but for them, microtransactions were the answer to piracy.
    Reply +1