GDC Visionaries: Part Two

Second part of a GDC Online interview with three industry veterans.

To round off the interview I asked Valarie and Ian – Gordon had to leave due to another engagement – what excited them about the future of the industry. Massey’s view was one that I know a lot of gamers, including myself, share: “I’m still waiting for the next big thing, it’s sad to say, as much as I love the industry, I’ve made some incredible friends, it’s completely change my life when I fell into it and it was a complete accident when I did, it’s not like it was some life long dream it was all coincidence, a twist of fate. Because I’m stuck in that MMO mindset, I want the glory days like a high school football star who has grown up now and gone to the 20 year reunion and wonders what happened to everybody, I’m waiting for someone to recapture that magic and I keep hoping that someone will do that but I haven’t seen that yet. But I’m hopeful, I’m watching and waiting.

There are developers out there now that are just on the brink of it and I’m just so excited to see what comes next.”

Bogost had an unexpected answer in that it wasn’t the promise of fresh technology that was most intriguing, but the current stage of known platforms, “This is going to sound weird, but one of the things I’m most excited about right now is how deep and late we are into the technology cycles of almost every piece of equipment that we play games on. We’re reaching a stride with the platforms and some of the most interesting work in the past has come in those phases when we’ve had enough time with platforms to squeeze the most out of them. What I’m excited about is it might be the same thing, but taken to a deeper level, squeeze a little bit more to give us that sense of “Wow I didn’t think this was possible on whatever device in whatever genre” casual mobile games continue to surprise with what you can do with a game that’s just one button or one task. Even with MMOs, I think EVE is a good example. No one could have predicted that in the early days of the MMO which is totally insane, just what else can be done in that genre? Counter-intuitively it’s actually the lack of novelty that I find most exciting.”
Conversely, I asked what the most frustrating aspect of the industry was. Massey found the production cycles of modern games to be baffling, “It surprises me that the development cycles aren’t getting faster. It takes so much longer now to get new content into a game, to get a game into the market, they’re far more expensive and the development cycles take much longer.”
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