Old Guys

Peter Molyneux, the legendary game designer responsible for games like Populous, Theme Park and The Movies, has issued a warning to future games designers regarding the new motion sensing control pads – that gamers may be too lazy to use them!

In a speech made at this week’s big gaming event in Leipzig, the creator of Black & White warned developers that the new technology needs to be used in an innovative way. That the laziness inherent in games would need to be preserved to keep gaming popular:

“I’ve realised I’m an incredibly lazy person when I play games, and actually slouching back on the sofa, playing on my beer belly, is my most comfortable position. When I have to get up, it’s painful. I make noises and start grunting.”

First, let me start off by saying that I like Peter and I love his games. I don’t know him well enough to love him, but I suspect that might be the case if we’d spent more than a night together in a hotel room getting acquainted with each other. That just sounds wrong.

Anyway, Peter – I have news for you: We are getting OLD!

That’s why we make those noises when we get off the sofa. That’s why we have beer on our belly in the first place!

I suspect that “kids today” (man, I feel like Grandpa) are going to quickly adapt to the physical challenges of the Wii. And it is the controller that fuels my belief that the Wii is the only “true” next-gen platform. I know, I know… blasphemy!

13 thoughts on “Old Guys”

  1. First off, let me just say that I’m 21 and I too, am not so for the addition of motion in video game control. I enjoy being able to relax and become immersed in the environment created and frankly, I think swinging something without the feeling of resistance would not only be awkward, but take me out of it as well. In addition to that, asking too much movement of me might just fuck up my high and then, where would I be? The fact that Sony has opted for this over a rumble feedback bothers me the most. I wish my mouse rumbled. However, I’ve always wanted a game where I could go bananas with swordplay by myself in a dark room. That said, I go back to the resistance issue and point out that even with that fixed, it may still just be working against my high a bit too much. I don’t like the idea of sytematic motions being asked of me in order to play a game. I’m irritated when I’m faced with a DDR style sequence to repeat in the middle of an action game. If I had to swing or move something rather than button to get by, I don’t think I’d be having fun.

    American, while I am definitely a fan of your work, I’ve only played Alice and when I did, I cheated. I’m so glad to read of these new projects you’ve got underway. I continue to be excited about Bad Day LA (born and raised) and as far as criticisms go, I don’t know what good they do or what purpose they serve because I only wish more people were putting out games with your sense of style and creativity. Even if the only original idea you ever had was to put other people’s ideas into a game or movie (not my beliefs nor would I really ever know or research), I don’t know why anyone would bother to give you shit about it because there aren’t any other games or movies out like yours! What is that shit!? Hatorade…

    If you’re willing, I’d really appreciate it if you could correspond with me as you have time and interest as I am very much uneducated about the world of video game production, but I’m smart and and a quick learner and am very much interested in game development. I am currently working at a game concept I have in hopes of gaining a job in the industry in which I could ideally work on this project and learn at the same time, putting all my abilities to use. I think it’s an industry I have a lot to offer creatively and am abnormally pleased with what I have written out of this game concept so far. Any help or education you could assist me with would be immensely appreciated.

  2. I’ve always been skeptical about the wiimote ever since it was revealed, and for very similar reasons to those Molyneux stated. (Just the methods of holding the controller, and how one would move the wrist would be tiresome after some time. Remember those “3D” mice that were once on the market?) In fact, Nintendo has gotten a bit gimmicky with its recent hardware, from the touchpad on the DS, to the 3d movement of the wiimote. (But then, these are the folks that came up with the Powerglove.)
    But at least Nintendo understands the idea of gaming, and is focusing on making gaming exciting. (Something Microsoft and Sony seem to associate with “really sexy graffix.”) And they did introduce the original gamepad back in the 80s, so they just may be on to something here.

  3. This is code for him not wanting to make those types of games. Motion sensors on the Wii controller, and with the depth perception in the 360 camera and the Ps3 controller and camera.. Sure.. Maybe they’re still testing the water. But who would have thought Guitar Hero would have been such a break out hit? Physical is the new interaction.

    Wii is trully outside of the box.. too bad artists only see it as restriction.

  4. I think most gamers, when they use the or motion sensors on the Wii controller, will only feel how interesting the game is instead of how advanced or outdated the technology is. If we can give them the most attractive game they really want, they will not be that lazy even if the technology is advanced. That isn’t the main concerns of them. Their concern is the game itself. I can’t foresee if the Wii will be successful or not but I think it will bring us many distinctive game.

    In my opinion, technology and creativity are not incompatible in game area. The most creative game don’t
    always use the most advanced technology. Any technology will have its regrets. So does the creativity. On the other hand, each game or movie is the combination between technology and creativity. That makes each game also be an art of regret exactly. So any improvement in technology or creativity is for compensating the regret and giving the player the better game than before.

    Just like I usually can’t remember the director of a movie even when I show my favor and discuss the it with others.
    I almost didn’t know Peter Molyneux until you American mentioned in this topic…What a pity!

  5. Well, the demographic of players is changing. A good number of hardcore gamers are now aged 30+. This is definitely a good thing – we want more people with real jobs who can actually afford to buy our games to… you know… buy our games 🙂

    So we need to make sure we design games with Mom & Dad (or at least Dad) in mind.

  6. That’s an interesting point. Two things on both sides of this issue though: DDR and Track & Field for NES.

    Both involve a footpad, and if you apply the laziness theory, the footpad would be dead-on-arrival.

    With the NES, people bought the pad, but then ultimately played it by kneeling on the floor and tapping the pad rapidly with their hands.

    And with DDR, people really get into it.

    However, in the case of DDR, people I know that have bought the DDR pad keep them shelved. Does DDR only really make sense in an arcade setting? Does the laziness hypothesis only work when people are on their couches at home?

  7. Today afternoon,I visited my old highschool english teacher with some former classmates at hospital. What made me surprised was the old man was actually playing his nephew’s PSP in bed. A japanese game named “Exit” … The old man is able to play the PSP at his age, So I think maybe my grandfather…everybody’s grandfather…is properl able to play the Wii in the future. Who knows…hahaha ^_^

    For Benjamin Strozykowsk:

    I have checked the http://www.gamasutra.com
    Thanks a lot. It is a good site indeed. 🙂

  8. I really like Peter Molyneux as a game developer (though, I hope he learned his lesson with brainstorming out loud like he did with Fable), but I have to think that his comments here are mostly due to the fact his company was purchased by microsoft to create games solely for Xbox 360/Windows Games.

    If this is the case, then I’m a bit disappointed and sad that even though his loyalty runs to one system, he can’t admit some of the benefits of another. Of course, it’s quite possible he truly feels this way.

    I disagree with his sentiment, though. Look at the popularity of DDR. That’s a game that will take more body movement for one session than most of the Wii games will take for an game. I have my own fears for Wii (it becoming more a gimmick than a real device), but hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.

  9. I agree with you. Nintendo is always innovating the game experience. Microsoft and Sony only improve the graphics and sound… :-S

  10. i think you are actually saying that playing sitting in sofa is old 😉

    and i agree that

    what makes Wii the “only true next gen platform”?

    cuz it enhances the interaction between people and machines, and that’s what the “interactive art” is all about, isn’t it?

    i remeber in old time people would like to consider video game the 9th great art form, which lines only behind movie. however, after fc, before wii, among these 20 more dark years there is absolutely no sightly development of interation. and now it’s time that nintendo comes out again as a revolutionary to break the old rules of the gaming world once been set by himself and lead everybody to a new level

  11. All you have to do to prove the utterly inaccuracy of this backwords statement is go to your local arcade (if you can still find one) find a stand-up arcade game made within the past 5 years that doesnt require some form of physical interaction……hard to find. Why? People are bored with the same old game. When I lived in Orlando there was an arcade we used to go to…..the standup tekken style games were always sitting empty and there was a crowd around DDR, Police 911, the Konami Boxing game (forget the name) and the hand version of DDR….they even said they were supposed to be getting a motion capture version of DDR that would require you to actually do full dance moves (recording the bodies position for accuracy score)…people we psyched about it!

    Motion control is the way to go…..who wants to just sit on the couch and play another platform game when they can really get into it.

    Now, I think Wii’s major downfall will be the fact that all of their games are looking to be just remakes and party games…..and as the past has taught us…originality is key.

    If other systems take this lead tho (PS3…Xbox 720….or whatever they’ll call it) I think we could see some very nice new consoles!

    BTW, this coming from the creater of Black and White is a little ironic, seeing as how it used a gesture recognition gameplay technique that while not making you move your ass off the chair still made you move your wrist more than most games….innovative…..why critisize new innovations???

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