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dash, bored...

Anything new coming out to play soon? Also, the film industry versus the game industry, politically.

Ron Alpert, Blogger

September 8, 2007

4 Min Read

  Yeah, so.. no game posts from me this week. well, I was busy workin', whattaya want!! Quiet week in the news, too.. Factor 5 is the new whipping boy of the moment (shame, shame) and nothing else really going on. Lots of people are probably wrapping up Bioshock and Metroid 3, in 6 months no one will remember either as these things go. I wanna butt in and say this much, though - it was important that Nintendo still put out a game like Metroid, which - though I have not played - still caters to a particular market. Everyone's up in arms "is The Big N gonna abandon it's hardcore players?" Maybe not, at least not with lightning speed. They throw some curveballs here and there - I am glad to see they can still put out quality games like this which won't poop al over the franchise (even though a lot of signs point to them eventually phasing out that market, possibly). Yeah, I a doomsayer sometimes..

  Anyway of course Halo is the next Big One on the horizon, I am not sure but isn't it out the end of the month or something? That will take over the world for a little while. Sony's pants are down with nothing to counter, so far as I can tell. There's some decent competition for Halo (relatively) due out next quarter, and thereabouts... I kind of wish someone would stand up and fight them though (isn't the Team Fortress due out for Xmas?) That's Cel-da for that community though, so it's a little up in the air (though it will make a mark, and I say more power to 'em). Of course Nintendo is looking at a good season with the next big Mario installment due shortly as well, as everybody knows - though after Sunshine people are sort of waiting to see how it actually feels to get hands-on with it (I mean, New SMB was a precursor to some degree, but it's apples and oranges - really). Platformers just don't have the same world-bending power they used to, even with the Top Dogs like that. Mario will do as well as it could, and I am sure everyone who bought Twilight Princess will pick it up, plus maybe a few more (hell, their installed back is.. remarkable!) But I am sure it'll never live up to the legacy set back at the dawn of N64, for obvious reasons.

  And then there's Wii Fit, of course. Yeah, so this will be an interesting holiday season to watch, but not as weird as last year.


  So I was at a Labor Day BBQ last weekend, in Santa Monica - a good time, but certainly a little thought provoking. My buddy who works at Sony Imageworks was throwing the shindig, and so there was an excess of visual FX folks there. Now, this is interesting, as VFX for TV/Film is definitely a different scene than what goes on in the games industry. It's generally considered that VFX>Games a lot of time, and "moving to film is the natural progression of the Games Artist.." Quite a few of my friends have made the transition, others have mentioned it. Talking to the people at this party, I could sense a little bit of people looking down their noses at me "oh, so you just wanna stay in games. don't wanna make more money, huh?" It's interesting. You see, I have done a tiny stint in the so-called "big leagues," and I won't lie - it was a thrill, and I truly enjoyed it - and would love to again - but games are my thing. I have my reasons, and I am not shy about calling them out. Games are smaller, more intimate affairs - I work with 60 people on a whole game staff, or just for a single SHOT in a film! I like working with small groups, and also you get "flex room" in games - you can move around a little more, wear different hats so to speak. Help out on design, UI, story, etc etc. Hell even suggest an IP if you know what you are talking about. Films are wayyyy more constrictive.. you're part of a department, you're pigeonholed into doing a specific thing, you just keep pumping that stuff out. That's not to say it's not glamorous, it's just not gratifying for me in that I want to do all sorts of stuff, rather then specialize in one area forever. As usual, I exaggerate, but there's truth in it.

  The ideal situation for a guy like me is to go back and forth, experience the variety of the different mediums.. bring things I learn from one area to another one. I will never forget the thrill of sitting in the screening room of an FX house and watching with pride as my WIP shots were playing over and over on the big screen. I could do that again!

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