Two weeks ago, Paris-based developer/publisher, Ubisoft, got a huge financial boost, after Premier Jean Charest orchestrated a $700 million development plan by Ubisoft — causing many a programmer to snap out of their caffeine-induced stupors. Watching Charest stroll through the impossibly clean Ubisoft studios in Montreal was probably the highlight of my week. Particularily seeing programmers and artists almost visibly rolling their eyes as they became part of a large-scale photo-op about as transparent as a skylight. Nice touch.
All kidding aside, this could be the start of legitimization for gaming as an entertainment industry in North America. With the budgets of major game projects like Final Fantasy XII, Xenosaga: Episode II and Halo 2 being on par with major motion pictures, and the video game industry growing as fast as it is, even more needs to be done.
As for writing, the gaming industry is extremely hard to get into. The reason is childishly simple. Look around you right now. At most universities like this one, no courses on game design exist. For someone like me looking to break into the industry, that’s very daunting, I can tell you from experience. Not to mention the people who feel the need to look at you with a combination of pity and confusion when you tell them your career aspirations.
The way the public sees games has to change. Grants to companies like Ubisoft are a step in the right direction.
What I’m playing this week:
Not much, actually. With the semester being how it is, I barely have time to meet my deadlines, much less fire up my consoles or my PC for a gaming session.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t played anything, of course. As if that would ever happen…
I’m on a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) kick, actually. Everquest 2, follow-up to the greatest selling MMO in history, and a name most have heard of is, what I’m working on at the moment.
There’s just way too much to say about it here. The industry makes it a habit not to talk about MMOs at length, due to their extremely persistent and ever-changing nature.
Chances are, if I spoke about it at length, something would change in-game, and what I said would be invalid.
If you’ve ever played an MMORPG, you’d know what to expect: Levels, quests, grouping, monthly fees, and so on. If you haven’t played a massive, as they’re called for short, the premise is simple. You create an avatar and run around an ever-changing world with other people who pay monthly to do so. Even as I type these words, people are online (much to my dispair).
The only thing I’d warn everyone about in regards to Everquest 2 is the extreme level of graphic detail. Unless you’re running a really, really, really good rig, (we’re talking supercomputer level), I doubt it would run well, at ALL. My PC is pretty good, and I have graphic issues sometimes. Still, Everquest 2 has held my attention since November, (which says a lot), I have a notoriously short attention span when it comes to games. Other than that, my friends keep telling me to beat the PS2 RPG Xenosaga: Episode 1, in preparation for Episode 2, this week…But in all honesty, I really have too much to play as it is. I have tons of games that are barely even touched, just waiting for me to beat them, and there are just too many out there.
See you after the break, this is Velkyn, telling you all to get Resident Evil 4 and Metal Gear Solid 3 if you haven’t already. After all, Hollywood hasn’t produced anything worth the price of a movie ticket in weeks…
Check out Velkyn’s column in the next issue of the Arts and Entertainment section.