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Will Portal Cause a Game Industry Shift?

Let’s hope so:

Will Portal Cause a Game Industry Shift?

5 Comments

  1. Charles Joseph wrote:

    I actually think that the most significant effect that Portal will have will be the legitimization of attending a university to learn game design. Hopefully between the Narbacular Drop crew and ThatGameCompany people will figure out that DESIGN is the important thing to study, not production.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Nash wrote:

    I want Portal to start a wave of short, yet amazing, games. I played Portal in one sitting in about 4 hours. That’s like watching Lord of the Rings. And I walked away from that feeling no different than walking away from any other great game. It seems like games are made to be so damn long because they’re more “valuable” if you can play them longer…

    Tuesday, February 5, 2008 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  3. Bob wrote:

    Actually, isn’t the point of being able to finish “Portal” in one sitting that it’s NOT like “Lord of the Rings”?

    I’ve got issues with the orgy of praise it’s been getting, but one of “Portal”‘s virtues is that it’s short, slight and subtle– it’s more “THX-1138″ than anything grand, epic and ponderous. Anyway, let’s be a bit more specific– “Portal” is merely one of the first first-person shooters to get brevity and focus right. Plenty of other side-scrolling and 3D adventure games– from “Prince of Persia” and “Another World” to “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus”– have done it before, and those are the games I’m most reminded of when I play the centerpiece of “The Orange Box.” If anything, “Portal” is following the wave of those games, not starting a new ones of its own.

    Also, “Still Alive” is not folk rock. After all, you can understand the lyrics.

    Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 3:13 am | Permalink
  4. It is certainly good to see successful and intelligent casual games like Portal and to see the crowd of computer game players grow. But I can’t see any reason why we should hope to see a general shift and why it should be expected. Having a successful independent film doesn’t mean the end of Hollywood is near. And I wouldn’t like to see only independent films in the future.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  5. Charles Edward wrote:

    The wave of “idea” games hasn’t started with portal or flow, it’s just a natural extension of the exploration of video gaming in general. Like bob said, these have been done before, and many of them are amongst my favorite games. I think of them as poems, but the poem isn’t going to sweep the writing industry, nor should it.

    I think it’s unrealistic to think that somehow the industry will change because these short and sweet games do well. Instead of hoping for an industry shift towards a new mold of games, we should just be looking to explore the reaches of what we can do with video games.

    There will always be popcorn FPS games like Halo, classic JRPGs like dragonquest, and balls-out action games like god of war. And inside those genres there will be the more heady, idea games like portal as an FPS/puzzler, Breath of Fire dragon quarter mixing up the JRPG formula, and Shadow of the Colossus to redefine what action can be in a video game.

    Okay, so the good news. The “shift” has been here for awhile. As long as we’re talking about this stuff in this blog and making games ourselves, and games like shadow and portal are selling…what are we pining over? The smart, awesome games come every year, and there’ not a lot of them, but there are more every year. I think the industry will be just fine and that “hollywood” games and avant-gardes will coexist as they do in every other medium.

    For all of the evidence so far, it looks like video games are going through the traditional “new medium” motions. The industry shift will shift towards a balance of idiotic button mashing and mature, thought-provoking play, not one or the other.

    Sunday, February 10, 2008 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

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