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Editorial Index

Recent Editorials:

I WANT my CD key!
12/13 - id's decision to use a CD key is justified

Report Card to the NIMF
12/1 - A response to the NIMF's report on violence in video games

Violence and Gaming
11/16 - Quake responsible for youth violence?

A Purist's Rules for FPS Multi-Player Design
11/5 - Keeping FPS' clutter-free

Rebuttal to Essobie's Editorial
10/15 - Grapple Controversy-Part Deux
The Woes of Being a Multi-Gamer
10/12 - Game Loyalty?
CTF != The Grappling Hook
10/7 - Q3 Arena sans grappling hook?
Jailbreak and Free Lunches
10/4 - Do mod makers "owe" people anything?
Pixels and Texels
9/13 - A look at the future of video cards
Yes, Camping is Evil!
9/2 - A response to "The Evils of Camping"!
Give Me Cable or Give Me Death!
8/31 - Will we all be LPBs one day?
Does Age Equal Maturity?
8/25 - A look at the age factor in gaming.
HeadHunting
8/23 - Mods and intellectual property
To Smack or Not to Smack
8/12 - Trash talking and the FFF!
The Evils of Camping
8/9 - We love to complain!
Trends in the Gaming Industry
7/13 - A look at the shift to multiplayer only games
32-bit Graphics Shows 3dfx's True Colors
7/12 - A continuation about the Voodoo3...
Is She 7 or 17?
6/30 - About the Voodoo3...
Doom 2000 and Q3A
5/26 - Fragmaster speaks his mind
The L33T D00D Multiplayer Tutorial
5/11 - Addressing their needs
Sue 'em All...
4/15 - The id Software Lawsuit
(more)

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Comments or ideas? Feedback?

Never touch the core
Are ten casual players better than a single dedicated fan?
  — by Paolo "Nusco" Perrotta

So, Brian Hook from id Software tells us that Q3 must appeal to the Big Potential User Base Out There. They don't want to make a game for Hardcore Gamers - they want to turn the elite hobby of Internet gaming into a mass-market business.

They're carefully avoiding anything which might confuse or frustrate a beginner. Their models of user-friendliness are console games, or arcade games, where things tend to be very clear from the very first minute you play.


A Good Thing

OK, great. Making anything simpler is generally a Good Thing. Having more players online would benefit everyone - the more, the merrier. Somebody might shudder at the thought of thousands of AOLers and clueless llamas jumping on the Q3 servers around the world. But after all, this is Quake, not a newsgroup: this time around, you can frag them.

If Mr. Carmack and friends can make a game which satisfies both the community of Hardcore Gamers (HGs) and the masses of beginners, then Q3 will seriously rock. But, as even an humble mod maker knows, satisfying all kinds of users is often impossible. Now I ask myself: if they had to take a decision between a beginner-oriented feature and an HG-oriented one, which one would they choose?


Hardcore Gamers suck

Admittedly, making a game for HGs can be a risk. Just face it, we're a lousy bunch. We're always ready to yell that we don't like this or that.

When you talk about football, everyone believes he's a better coach than the coach. It's the same with computer games, where every dedicated player believes he's a better designer than the designers. Quake, Quake 2 and CTF 2 all received a lot of angry complaints when they came out.

And besides, as the guys from the industry like to say, HGs are only a tiny segment of the market.

Now, the question is: how much does this small segment weight?


"Normal" gamers suck even more

There are some big problems with your average Joe Gamer. He doesn't want to play the same game for two years before buying the sequel. He doesn't want to spend hours daily mantaining a fan site on the web, or organizing tourneys, or producing mods. He just cares about the latest fad - he wants to play the game of the month.

If it were for casual gamers, Quake II would be just another boring old game from 1997, and Quake would be a prehistoric thing from the ancient times, when 3D acceleration was still a luxury. Right now, everybody would be busy playing Half Life, Sin and Shogo. Quake II would be in limbo, together with Hexen II, Unreal and all the other great games which never really managed to keep a strong community alive.

Sure, some console games manage to stay popular for a long time. But usually, it's the strength of the main character or the lack of direct competitors that makes their fortune. And id Software is not reknowned for its ability to produce interesting characters, nor for its lack of rivals. So, who wants a game that sells an incredible amount of copies just to disappear after three months?


Love and money

Some might say that the main purpose of a software house is to sell a great number of copies, not to produce artistic masterpieces. But in my humble opinion, the incredible longevity of the Quake games is not just a reason to be proud: it makes money, too.

If some other company gets id's crown as the king of FPS games, nothing will be the same again. Once you've lost your place at the top, you usually loose it forever. Your next game becomes just another game, not the cool new thing that everyone's waiting for. And recent history shows that being second doesn't help - you really need public awareness and fanatic following if you want a frontline position into the overcrowded FPS market.

And that means conquering the love of Hardcore Gamers, not just getting a game into every home.

-- Paolo "Nusco" Perrotta




The views in this editorial are not necessarily those of PlanetQuake, it's staff, cheerleaders or Joe Gamer.

If you want to try your hand at writing an article or editorial, send it to [email protected]. All contributions are welcome.


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