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Sun 20th January, 2008

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Kirk commented on Poll: Does Nintendo's Drive Towards Multiplaye...:

Not if it comes at the expense of proper, fully realised single player games. At the very least I want the single player mode to be just as important as any multi-player component and in fact I'd like it to be even more central to the experience, seeing as it usually requires far more depth and content that the average hectic but usually rather shallow multi-player experience.

To me, games like GoldenEye and Perfect Dark actually had the balance right. They both had highly polished, world class, fully realised single play games, which could absolutely stand up on their own, and then additional fully realised multi-player modes too.

The way I see it; these games should still be brilliant and totally satisfying and fulfilling experiences if you removed the multi-player components entirely but they should actually feel like something is missing if you take away the single player mode.

Sometimes I just want to play a game on my own, I don't want to have to interact with other people or even worry about other NPC characters, and I don't think I should be punished for that.



Kirk commented on Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Exposé Reveals Torrid St...:

@HappyMaskedGuy Well the actual building in Twycross was really nice and they had a canteen on the premises where you could go for lunch, which was cool. I shared an office with only one other guy and the team and our offices were along one long corridor basically, with one or two people in each office; so it wasn't very integrated or social. The offices were open on the side of the corridor though so they felt kind nice and airy. The whole place was generally a really lovely design, with feng shui water gardens around the grounds, and felt a bit like a posh designers studio in a field in the middle of nowhere. I didn't really mingle with many people at the company though, because the teams were all segregated and there wasn't much of a setup for socialising and stuff, other than at the various office parties, which were pretty amazing. It wasn't too bad working there but I was a bit too opinionated and loud I guess because I wasn't even there for a year before they let me go. I also wasn't that great an artist to be honest, and they never actually bothered to ask me to animate a single thing properly, even though my actual degree was in animation. So my experience there was short lived and to be honest, I kinda regret that. I tell you what though—it was far better working at Rare than Rockstar North, in my experience.



Kirk commented on Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Exposé Reveals Torrid St...:

@FLUX_CAPACITOR It's a funny story that the only reason I applied for the job at the Rare at that time, the time I actually got it, was because my friend had got a job there shortly after we graduated uni and I was kinda p*ssed off because I knew fine well this was something I cared far more about than he ever would. He was far more into traditional art than video games, which were my absolute number one passion above all else. I thought to myself "F**k sake! If anyone deserves to work at Rare then it's you, and if they don't realise that then it's their loss because nobody would be more passionate about it than you! Get off you're f'n *rse and apply!"; so I applied and got the job. The really funny thing was that during my interview the guy asked me if I realised that I'd written to them 11 times previously, asking about various things like how I should go about applying for a job and stuff. I knew I had wanted to work there since I was a kid, and that I'd even applied for a job a few years back at the age of 17 and almost got an interview but just missed out because the letter telling me about the interview arrived a day after the interview was scheduled, but even I didn't realise I'd contacted them that many times :-o I think it helped :-D

PS. When I applied for the job at Rare as a 17 year old I actually sent them a design idea for a new Mario platform game that was basically exactly like Super Mario RPG in terms of viewpoint but would be done in full 3D, as I envisioned it, which was long before any proper 3D Mario game ever existed. I think I even sent that application before Super Mario RPG even came out. Ahead of the curve as usual! lol



Kirk commented on Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Exposé Reveals Torrid St...:

@HappyMaskedGuy Yeah; motion controls existed in various forms before Wii but not anything that was even remotely like the Wiimote specifically, for the most part. My design was basically the Wiimote, before the Wiimote was ever even announced. Like I say though; I'd also thought about putting basic tilt control in Nintendo handhelds like the origin Game Boy Color before that, but even that was influenced by an older Microsoft Sidewinder Freestyle Pro controller that had basic tilt control built into it. Like you said; there was also the Power Glove too.

Very few ideas are completely original and self contained but it's really about the specific way they are implemented and used, which can be the difference between something kinda garbage and something potentially very special. Power Glove was kinda garbage—Wiimote was pretty special. My tilt control in the GBC would have been very much like it is in 3DS now—my motion controller was basically a Wiimote; so pretty special as far as I'm concerned.

Well I'm not boasting about working at Rare; I'm just giving context to my point. I do however blow my own trumpet regarding my opinions and ideas, but that's just me.

It's harder to 'make em happen' than you think. Money and resources are always the biggest hurdles.



Kirk commented on Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Exposé Reveals Torrid St...:

@FLUX_CAPACITOR Oh, they're all true bullet points.

The problem is there are a million better artists, a million better programmers, a million more qualified designers (on paper); and that's kinda all these companies look at any more—the paper. They'll give some guy who has 7 years experience as some Lead Game Designer the job over me because he's done the job for 7 years, without really ever trying to find out what I'm capable of if I were put in such a position, with such resources. That's not entirely their fault though, because there's millions of people out there who make similar claims and we can't all be right, and Nintendo can't afford to just trial us all.

Also; another one of my problems, as I see it, is that I'm kind of a jack of many trades and master of none, except the one(s) you can't really quantify just by looking at what it says on a bit of paper, like Game Design or coming up with solutions to the likes of its hardware designs. I'm can do art but there's many better artists. I can do animation but I haven't done it for years, so they could get a student with more practical experience with current systems than me. I can program but there's far better programmers out there. So; unless you are like a clear example of the top of your field, in some really tangible way, then you basically have no chance of even getting noticed.

I mean I'm sure there's many people out there who could apply for the design jobs and would be considered a far better candidate than me, simply based on what stats appear on some sheet, but imo I doubt very many of them know what makes better game design than me but that's hard for Nintendo to see unless it gives me the job and an opportunity to design and create a game with the same kind of resources some other people have, and its not going to give me a job unless there are examples of big AAA games I've designed and directed that it can use as a reference, but it's had to actually make anything yourself that really shows off such skills if you have no money or resources to realise any ideas fully.

It's a vicious cycle and it's hard to break through and get in the door unless you are like literally the top 1% in the industry, in a very obvious and immediately tangible and measurable way, or are just very lucky.

So the problem is really all the red tape bureaucracy, as I see it.

Another problem is I'm just terrible at bullsh*tting and I imagine a lot of people get these jobs by totally bullsh*tting and then just figuring out the rest once they get the job.



Kirk commented on Project H.A.M.M.E.R. Exposé Reveals Torrid St...:

Sad but not surprising.

I mean look at how difficult it is simply to apply for a job at Nintendo...

I'd actually love to apply for a job there, in any capacity, but I wouldn't even get past filling in the forms—and I used to work for Rare as an Artist/Animator, which is also my degree; worked for Rockstar as a Level Designer; have made seven of my own Apps for Android and iOS, where I designed, created the art and did most of the programming; came up with the idea for what is basically the Wiimote before it was ever even mentioned by Nintendo; came up with the idea of putting tilt control into handhelds while I was at Rare, before Nintendo added it to GBC; and have a crap load of great ideas for games/software, as well as hardware, firmware and services, imo.

Nintendo, and indeed the whole system, is now its own worst enemy in many ways.

It's all red tap and bureaucracy these days.



Kirk commented on Talking Point: The Pros, Cons and Questionable...:

Well I'm not sure what Nintendo has planned that would make releasing an all new system in mid-late 2016 a smart move, as I see it, but you mostly all know by now what type of approach I think could make that kind of idea work:

Unless Nintendo really has something pretty different up its sleeve I'm not convinced just another new home console would be the right way to go, especially releasing it as early as mid-late 2016, but something along the lines of what I'm saying I could at least see working.



Kirk commented on We Can't Release Virtual Console Games Any Fas...:

Figure it the f**k out! Is what I say.

You basically promised us before the original Wii came out, ten years ago at E3 2005, that we'd be able to play virtually all of Nintendo's games from its past consoles and we still aren't there yet.

I can frikin play virtually even single past Nintendo game from all of it's consoles, from Wii backwards, on my PC—and the tend to run pretty much flawlessly for the most part in my experience, certainly almost anything from the NES to N64 catalogs, even with additional options and various enhancements and stuff in most cases.

I mean come on already!



Kirk commented on Rumour: Nintendo NX Shipping This Time Next Ye...:

@Quorthon Oops! My bad on the maths :-o

"It doesn't matter if Nintendo angers a few core fanboys with this new release. It's more important that they try to get back the fans they've lost over the past 25 years."

Well like I say; I think that's the last thing that will happen if it doesn't show that it's fully committed to its consoles; through the good and the bad. The same thing happened with Sega, where consumers simply lost any trust that it would properly support whatever new consoles it released—they simply didn't trust that it would support them for very long before dumping them and moving on again—so basically nobody bought them. So Nintendo could potentially lose a large chunk of it's still loyal but wavering fans and it probably wouldn't make any lapsed fans feel good about buying its new console; if they see that it just totally messed up with the Wii U and then dumped it like a bad smell the first chance it got.

The NX might get some new gamers, if the idea is unique and compelling enough and I guess we'll have to see on that one, but if Nintendo doesn't handle this right then it might ultimately just do more damage than good. I mean the Wii was a massive hit with the casuals but I'd argue it ultimately did more damage than good in many ways—losing a lot of once loyal fans, core gamers and potential customers by the time it released the Wii U—and God help Nintendo if it's going for the same approach with NX.



Kirk commented on Rumour: Nintendo NX Shipping This Time Next Ye...:


"This belief that Nintendo is going to sit for a year with no hardware sales in order to kindly wait until 2017 to appease a grumpy fanbase who buys anything with their logo on it anyway is just absurd and silly."

Well that's if one assumes Nintendo only has the currently one or two announced games in the pipeline for Wii U in the next year and pretty much absolutely nothing else at all, imo. Then it would be silly to sit for a whole year on basically nothing. I however am certainly not making that assumption, because I believe at the very least that Nintendo has more games in store than we've already seen, at least a couple more big titles for Wii U in 2017 and probably a price drop too, which should be enough to keep it selling in bearable numbers until 2017.

Whatever the situation; I certainly wouldn't rush something out as some "duct tape" measure to try and half-*ssedly patch a hole in a sinking ship—because ultimately that's no real solution to the bigger problem at all, imo. It's just a badly considered short term fix for a much bigger longer term problem, as I see it. One that might even make the long terms issues even bigger, ultimately—because however you look at it; a 3 year or even less lifespan for a home console is just f'n absurd and would be far more telling of where Nintendo is right now as a business than anything else, imo.

It really depends on what Nintendo has planned imo...

If all Nintendo has planned is releasing a brand new games console in the next year and there's absolutely nothing in the pipeline for Wii U, via new games or even minor hardware variations and price drops, etc.; then I think releasing this new console in 2016 might as well happen—it would have already done irrefutable damage at that point anyway; so why not just pour vinegar into the wound. If however, Nintendo isn't that terrible at managing it's business, such that is would basically have a year of total drought for the Wii U and then just compound the issue by dropping it like a rock—basically sh*tting on and p*ssing off absolutely everyone possible—then I think it would be better to wait out the year, get everything with its next-gen plan properly sorted and then really go for it, all-out, when everything is better ready.

UNLESS of course, it has the kind of system strategy I've suggested multiple times now, which would totally work with a 2016 release and has actually considered the full implications of such a move. In fact, it would only show how smart a company Nintendo is, and that it knows how to both fix a pretty huge problem and still please its most loyal fans and customers, as well as developers, all at the same time.

PS. That fanbase that "buys anything with their logo on it' is dwindling by the day and the last thing Nintendo needs to do is to p*ss off and push away even more of its once biggest fans, supporters and most loyal customers.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@Quorthon Well in terms of looking at it from a Shareholder point of view it's probably best for Nintendo to get the NX out as soon as possible. From a loyal customer, hardcore fan and just gamer in general point of view; I personally feel this would be insulting in very much the same way it was when Sega started releasing and then dumping one console after another in very short timespans, or so it seemed at the time, and to me that's about the worst long term move Nintendo could make in its current situation.

Look at where Sega is right now because of such thinking...

The last thing Nintendo needs to do right now is foster more disappointment, frustration, anger and maybe even hate among its current and ever shrinking base of consumers. I mean if Nintendo drops the Wii U and moves onto the NX in 2016 then I think a lot of its most loyal fans are going to be utterly outraged and that's not a good business strategy imo. There's a lot of people already saying they've decided not to buy future Nintendo consoles simply because of its attitude regarding the recent E3 and the mostly disappointing half-*ssed filler titles it showed; so just imagine how much of a fallout there's going to be if it dumps all those loyal Wii U owners, somewhat early, in order to move onto the next thing.

I'd rather Nintendo thought of a smart way around this problem and out of its current situation, like I believe I am doing with my own proposed idea for NX, rather than just sh*tting on loyal customers in the hope of maybe turning a quick and easy flash-in-the-pan buck by jumping ship and starting with something new in the middle of a generation.

There's lots of reasons why the NX could come in 2016, as well as many why it probably won't, but in a perfect world I don't want it to and I really hope Nintendo knows better too.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos Christ; I def read that guy's book all wrong lol

It's obvious he is an actual man all the way through until the end—I mean he mentions 'man' and 'earth' multiple times—so the only conclusion is that he must have been a man from Earth originally, who was changed by the Mars base thing.

How totally slow of me :-o

I read it a tiny bit rushed rather than fully focussed, so when it came to the end I just thought "Oh, ok. I actually thought he was a man all along but he's some kind of alien. How presumptuous of me." then I quickly went back to double check how I could have missed the fact he was an alien—to see if it was really well written in such a way that it never quite said to the reader either way what he was—and saw the bit(s) where he used the word 'man' at the start and just thought that was the writer being a bit lazy.

Turns out I was the one being a bit lazy.


No: What's the shortest horror story in the world?



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos Yeah, I tend to have a very short fuse when it comes to people questioning something I say or do. lol

God knows where it comes from but it surely has something to do with my childhood and/or things that I've experienced while going from my formative teen years or something.

So wait...

Then I read the story differently to you I think.

My take was that he was this weird alien creature all along but it was just that we as the readers were/are supposed to be reach the end and think "Oh dang! I assumed he was a human right at the start but it turns out he was actually an alien all along". You know, like the human condition, where we always think of ourselves as the centre of the Universe and all that; so we just presume the protagonist must be human—because we're arrogant like that.

I thought the point was the author was playing with our assumption. This is why I had a wee issue with him saying the guy is a man at the start only to then say, No, he's actually an alien at the end; which I think would be unfair to us as readers. If however he was changed into an alien by the Mars creature/base thing then that's a different take, and I actually missed that completely.

Link me the story again...



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos Well let's be very clear and careful here, because this is starting to get into territory where you're basically implying—even if it's not your specific intention—that I can't have an opinion that's as valid as this guy because he's some kind of "acclaimed writer" and I'm not. This is done indirectly, whether it's intentional or not, by using yourself as the comparison to the writer but in response to a conversation with me where I am specifically questioning one aspect of his writing in this particular story.

I reject the very notion that his writing can't be questioned or challenged, by either you or me, right out the gate.

So, just to be absolutely clear: If the guy is going to reveal the main character is an alien at the end of the story then it's bad writing imo to tell the reader the main character is a human at the start of the story. He specifically calls the main character a 'man' at the start of the story when describing him—his height I think it is, where he says something like "He was a tall scarecrow of a man". He might even do it more than once but I didn't dig in that much detail.

So, to me, it's a little bit of sloppy writing and the main niggle I had with the story, and just because I haven't won a writing award I don't think that makes my opinion/assertion any less valid regarding this particular example.

Like I said though; other than that little niggle I enjoyed it and found the premise quite interesting.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos Yeah but you can't basically explicitly say the character is one thing at the start of the story, only to pull a fast one on the reader at the end.

I think it would have worked better if he'd only implied he was that thing at the start, instead of explicitly saying it, and then when the end came I would be laughing at myself for not seeing it coming.

Instead I was like "But wait...he specifically told me he was something else at the start of the story".

Was still interesting, with some cool ideas, and a pretty enjoyable read though.

I'm signed up to Gamasutra but I rarely go there.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos I tend to just post it when there's an article that pops up in relation to NX on one of the sites I visit, or when these sites maybe touch upon what Nintendo could do going forwards—where it basically makes sense for people to put forward their own ideas.

The only thing with the story was that I went back over the early parts, after the ending was revealed, and noticed that some of the wording could be construed as a little misleading; such that you couldn't really guess the end coming because the author had kind of removed the chance you'd come to that conclusion with his specific wording, which was a wee bit unfair imo (not that I even remotely saw the end coming anyway). Other than that though it was quite entertaining.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@TheRealThanos I'm posting it anywhere there's a chance someone at Nintendo might see it. lol

Nintendo almost certainly won't go that way, and I personally bemoan that decision; unless whatever it's coming out with next is some kind of revolution and/or paradigm shift in the industry.

I read that story you suggested to me. Was pretty good.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@Quorthon I'd be willing to bet you that NX won't be out in 2016.

A sportsman's bet—since I'm too poor to bet anything else.

If NX does release in 2016 and it is just another new home console, of the standard type we'd expect, then I think Nintendo will have made a very bad move...

...Sega level of bad, imo.



Kirk commented on Blast Ball is Actually the Tutorial in Metroid...:

So; the flaw here is showing us Blast Ball first, followed by a tiny snippet of kinda hard to grasp footage of the main Federation Force game a day later, then finally slapping the Metroid label on the screen while we're still slightly bemused and confused at what we saw, and expecting us to not be worried.

Who's to blame here; Nintendo's worried and angry Metroid fans or Nintendo.

Have you done the same with the new Animal Crossing board game too?

Is that really a proper awesome new Animal Crossing game, the one we've all been waiting for, but you've just communicated the message to us terribly here as well?

Or, is there maybe some justification in us being slightly worried and even p*ssed off by what we've seen, in both cases?



Kirk commented on Reggie Fils-Aime Asks for Fan Trust With Metro...:

The fault here, Reggie, is that you've created and showed something that even requires such statements in the first place.

You think Sony is having to assuage fan worries with statements to trust that Uncharted 4 is going to be fine. I think not, because that game looks like it's giving fans absolutely everything they could have wished for from a sequel in 2015, and possibly even more.

I think that's all fans of Metroid wanted—to not have to worry and have major doubts based on what they saw.



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

@Quorthon I don't think the NX is coming in 2016 in the slightest—certainly not if it's just another traditional type of console like the idea in the video. The NX probably won't even be fully revealed at E3 2016 imo, and even if it is then it's still unlikely to make it in 2016. I'm thinking 2017 is the earliest you'll see this thing.

UNLESS...'s basically the idea I have already proposed and then it probably wouldn't be too much of a problem to release it in [late] 2016. In fact, it would probably be to its advantage to get it out as early as possible:



Kirk commented on Weirdness: In Some Parallel Dimension, This Ni...:

If this were NX then once again it would be completely pointless as far as I'm concerned. It is basically just a current-gen system again, but it would be coming out closer to next-gen than this gen, which would once again put Nintendo in a position of having a "next-gen" console that would be a generation out of date compared to the competition, once they release their true next-gen systems. If Nintendo were just to make the same kind of machine as the competition again and go for these specs with NX then it would be another fail imo. Same goes for just shoehorning current Nintendo games onto touchscreen platforms with virtual touchscreen controls. If Nintendo did that it would be one of the worst possible decisions it could make imo.

This is about as bad an idea for NX as I could imagine—just another underpowered home console, that adds a stupid gimmick in being able to play Nintendo console games [badly] on mobile devices and basically nothing about it that is genuinely exciting, unique or cool in any way, shape or form. Getting those three AAA first party titles at launch would be sweet but that's about it and that's kinda just stating the obvious.

Some people simply don't get it.

Also; there actually really is no need for another Nintendo box under your TV at all if Nintendo does this thing right, imo.

I think I've already provided a much better idea for what NX could be (and while you might not get, or even like it; it's at least a trillion times better than the idea in the video above):



Kirk commented on ​Shigeru Miyamoto Defends Star Fox Zero's Co...:

Miyamoto has lost his way a bit it seems. There was a time where he'd be the one saying that controls need to be easy to pick up play but hard to master*—as well as intuitive and fun—not clunky and gimmicky, unintuitive and not particularly suited to the game they've been added to.

Also; check out this quote from the developer of the new Animal Crossing game:

"I wouldn’t want to add a feature where people thought it was about time or expected the next iteration would have."

That right there sums up perfectly why many gamers and once loyal fans are leaving Nintendo left, right and centre.

*'Master' in terms of using them in tricky situations that test your true gamer skills but not in terms of having to faff around for a day just to even get used to them a be able to use them half competently in the first place.



Kirk commented on Veterans Of 3DS Title Xeodrifter Will Get The ...:

I know it seems expensive to some people, especially relative to all the free and $1 mobile games we get these days (usually laden with ads and micro-transactions), but it is in fact a full new game in the vain of Metroid, and asking for less than a tenner isn't exactly overpriced for what you are getting. I mean the developer does actually have to make money.

This isn't some 20 year old Virtual Console game, where the developers have already made all their money on the title and so can afford to now just sell however many more digital copies for a few bucks, and even then your still paying pretty much the same amount for all those ancient VC titles.



Kirk commented on Veterans Of 3DS Title Xeodrifter Will Get The ...:

To be honest; I didn't think it would do particularly well—even though it looks cool enough for what it is. It's just in amongst a bunch of other games that I think people would go for first.

It's very cool to hear that if you own the 3DS version then you can get the Wii U version for free though.