J. of Computer Game Design

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by jeffrey wa » Sat, 21 May 1994 03:01:41



Can anyone tell me how to contact the Journal of Computer Game Design?
I saw a reference to it in Crawford's Patton Strikes Back manual.
If there's an FAQ for game design and/or programming I'd be happy
to know about that also.  Thanks in advance,

Jeff Ward

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Jojo » Sun, 22 May 1994 23:11:37



>Can anyone tell me how to contact the Journal of Computer Game Design?
>I saw a reference to it in Crawford's Patton Strikes Back manual.
>If there's an FAQ for game design and/or programming I'd be happy
>to know about that also.  Thanks in advance,

The Journal of Computer Game Design (by Chris Crawford) has been renamed
to Interactive Entertainment Design.

5251 Sierra Road
San Jose, CA 95132

It's interesting, but not much. There are 5 or 6 articles in each
edition, most of them are written by Chris himself.

And yes, there are FAQs for game programmers. Look in
rec.games.programmer and rec.games.design. Or have a look on rtfm.mit.edu
in the /pub/usenet directory. They should be there somewhere.

Jurgen.

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Brendan Jon » Tue, 24 May 1994 23:37:58




>>Can anyone tell me how to contact the Journal of Computer Game Design?
>>I saw a reference to it in Crawford's Patton Strikes Back manual.
>>If there's an FAQ for game design and/or programming I'd be happy
>>to know about that also.  Thanks in advance,
>The Journal of Computer Game Design (by Chris Crawford) has been renamed
>to Interactive Entertainment Design.
>5251 Sierra Road San Jose, CA 95132

>It's interesting, but not much. There are 5 or 6 articles in each
>edition, most of them are written by Chris himself.

I really don't know that Chris Crawford has that much to say about
game design.  Granted his "Balance of Power" was original and held
your interest.  Since then he hasn't produced a hit, but rather
than looking at the marketability/playability of his games that
didn't sell, he's critizing the industry as a whole.  From his bad
experiences he concluded in various games trade rags (Strategy Plus
and Computer * World) that:

(1) Computer games have come to the end of their life
        - it's all cartridges from now on, and
(2) He blamed the failure of "Patton Strikes Back" on the *public,*
in that "serious" wargame fans were too set in their ways to give
his innovative new game a chance.  Well, I did Chris and I found
it rather mediocre... medicore graphics, dull use of sound...
and no suprises... once you'd seen the game map screen.. well..
you'd seen the entire game.  I played it *once* for an entire
game, and never again.  It was pretty disappointing.  (3) Yet,
everytime there is a software developers conference they trot him
out as a * guru (to tell us 1 and 2)... I don't get it... <:/

Anyway, if Chris wants more people to listen to him he'll have
to drop the * theories and examine his own games
objectively.  

No this isn't personal.  Rather, it annoys me when a product fails
and the manufacturer places the blame solely with the *CONSUMER*
for not buying it!

cheers
bj

--
"[NSF head] Dr.  Wolff  suggested barring mature services [..] In particular,
NSF could bar the mail and news protocols [..] from the backbone and thereby
encourage private providers to offer a national mail backbone [..]" -RFC 1192.

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Rich Gortatows » Wed, 25 May 1994 10:47:17




: >>Can anyone tell me how to contact the Journal of Computer Game Design?
.

: I really don't know that Chris Crawford has that much to say about
: game design.  Granted his "Balance of Power" was original and held
: your interest.  Since then he hasn't produced a hit, but rather
: than looking at the marketability/playability of his games that
: didn't sell, he's critizing the industry as a whole.  From his bad
: experiences he concluded in various games trade rags (Strategy Plus
: and Computer * World) that:

: (1) Computer games have come to the end of their life
:       - it's all cartridges from now on, and
: (2) He blamed the failure of "Patton Strikes Back" on the *public,*
: in that "serious" wargame fans were too set in their ways to give
: his innovative new game a chance.  Well, I did Chris and I found
: it rather mediocre... medicore graphics, dull use of sound...
: and no suprises... once you'd seen the game map screen.. well..
: you'd seen the entire game.  I played it *once* for an entire
: game, and never again.  It was pretty disappointing.  (3) Yet,
: everytime there is a software developers conference they trot him
: out as a * guru (to tell us 1 and 2)... I don't get it... <:/

: Anyway, if Chris wants more people to listen to him he'll have
: to drop the * theories and examine his own games
: objectively.  

: No this isn't personal.  Rather, it annoys me when a product fails
: and the manufacturer places the blame solely with the *CONSUMER*
: for not buying it!

: cheers
: bj

Actually, Chris Crawford has been an innovator in the strategy game arenas.
He coded up a ton of winners on the old atari 8 bit (Caverns of mars, and
some wargame (cannot remmember the name)) were both very succesful.
What todays market wants in a strat game are at best questionable.
Good graphics would probably be first. Stupid little beells and whistles.
QQP does this. A complex sim w/o a complex manual and GUI. MOO is succesful
I beleive for this reason. Seawolf I purchased and rather dislike. The
manual is real bad. The strat game market is a tough one to begin with.
A good deal of competition generally creams all sides. This is why the
Three-Sixtys, QQP's etc create oodles of games of a general engine. To
make things worse I have known of strats that simply cheat when difficulty
levels increase. How? Half your attacks, take away your lines of sight
while giving the computer better LOS... Where-as the "proper" way would
be allocating various resources to obtain a goal (aka: Chess, and how a HUMAN
plays). Effects like this are readily seen by a nutcase like me. I bomb them
in bad weather, I miss. They Dont. GNB I'd just blast the props on my
opponents then eat em' at a distance. No "real" intelligence. Same w/ stuff
like RR tycoon and the like. Turn up the difficulty and your trains might
colide. The real world has people at the switches & accidents DO happen.
I think this is the NEXT big problem in Sim/Strat *. The game features
and detail have out-grown their respective limited AI engines. This is where
Chris seems to shine. I think it's why many shelf the games, too complex
to manage, takes too much time, I never seem to win, etc etd etc. When a sim
models the real world it should try and ACT like it. In other words, as the
player(s) play better, the sim/strat should think SMARTER. Always providing
a challenging WINNABLE (unless totally impossible, say pearl dec.7) game.
I have been looking into this a tad and w/ the advent of OOP I beleive
a comprhensive AI engine could be created simulating SOcio-Economic, military,
Resources management(s).
Obviously this would be a tremendous amount of work and I assume this is why
companys shy away from it. $$$$ is the game... Not the game.
--

Eastman Kodak Company  
These comments are mine alone and not Eastman Kodak's. How's that for a
simple and complete disclaimer?

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by IntRZo » Thu, 26 May 1994 00:11:20


Quote:

>Actually, Chris Crawford has been an innovator in the strategy game arenas.
>He coded up a ton of winners on the old atari 8 bit (Caverns of mars, and
>some wargame (cannot remmember the name)) were both very succesful.

It was Eastern Front. It was originally available from APX (Atari
Program Exchange, can't believe I remembered that ..) as a disk or
cassette. Later it was released by Atari as a cartridge. It was an
absolutely brilliant little game for the time.

Rob.

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Andrew Rilsto » Thu, 26 May 1994 00:27:32



> I really don't know that Chris Crawford has that much to say about
> game design.  (....)

I read some issues of the magazine, and he does. So there!

--

Editor, INTER*ACTION
********************************************************
"Anyone can write a novel. It merely requires a complete
ignorance of both life and literature."      Oscar Wilde
********************************************************

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by n.. » Thu, 26 May 1994 00:01:03




>I really don't know that Chris Crawford has that much to say about
>game design.  Granted his "Balance of Power" was original and held

He does in the magazine.  Chris is at his best when he is doing analysis
and comparisons.  His opinions are both *his* and *opinions*.  Treat those
like any other.

Is his magazine worth the cash to buy his stuff?  I got it for a year for
free, and it was worth the time to *read*.  It does not seem worth it to
buy, now that my free subscription is lapsed, but I am extremely tight with
discretionary cash.

Quote:>your interest.  Since then he hasn't produced a hit, but rather
>than looking at the marketability/playability of his games that
>didn't sell, he's critizing the industry as a whole.  From his bad
>experiences he concluded in various games trade rags (Strategy Plus
>and Computer * World) that:

>(1) Computer games have come to the end of their life
>    - it's all cartridges from now on, and
>(2) He blamed the failure of "Patton Strikes Back" on the *public,*
>in that "serious" wargame fans were too set in their ways to give
>his innovative new game a chance.  Well, I did Chris and I found
>it rather mediocre... medicore graphics, dull use of sound...
>and no suprises... once you'd seen the game map screen.. well..
>you'd seen the entire game.  I played it *once* for an entire
>game, and never again.  It was pretty disappointing.  (3) Yet,
>everytime there is a software developers conference they trot him
>out as a * guru (to tell us 1 and 2)... I don't get it... <:/

I think the market has spoken very clearly: The games Chris wants to make
do not sell.  On this there is little disagreement.  That does not
disqualify him from commenting on the indutry, but rather denies him the
stance of being hugely successful.

But it's worth hearing that games run the risk of being marginalized the
way comic books and candy are; intense things patronized mostly by kids.
With games right now, the market demographics indicate that there is an
extreme gap between the totality of computer users and that narrow segment
of people who are computer game buyers/players.

The extreme gap indicates huge untapped market potential that requires game
developers to create SOMETHING different.  It also indicates that most
computer users don't give two hoots about games, which makes fighting
ratings and other intrusions harder to do.

These are the types of topics that Chris does best.

Quote:>Anyway, if Chris wants more people to listen to him he'll have
>to drop the * theories and examine his own games
>objectively.  

>No this isn't personal.  Rather, it annoys me when a product fails
>and the manufacturer places the blame solely with the *CONSUMER*
>for not buying it!

>cheers
>bj
>--

I prefer him in small doses.  But it's worthwhile to check his opinons out.
Having someone talk lucidly about how things might be different or about
what a rut things appear to be in is worth the price.  Do a quick reality
check and go about getting things done.  Dreamers, visionaries, explorers
and artists tend not to add a great deal the GNP, but they are worth
having.  


AT&T Bell Labs  Columbus OH     USA (614) 860-5304
President Internet BMW Riders
It's very red.  It's very fast.  And it's mine: 1994 R1100RSL

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Jennifer Schlickber » Thu, 26 May 1994 02:02:13


I think Chris Crawford way overrates himself as a game designer.  Yes,
back in the early days of 8 bit game, his games were strong, but he
(couldn't/didn't) make the transition to the big time (if you call 486's
big time).  I think that he is doing a good thing by bringing the issue
of computer game design to the forefront, but to try to promote himself
as a current day guru is just not warranted.  There are many other
designers who have recieved far greater critical and monetary awards
than Chris Crawford will ever see.  What about Sid Meier, Chris Roberts,
Will Wright, Richard Garriot (who did make the transition from 8 bit to
16/32 bit), Roberta Williams?  These people have designed games far more
popular and critically acclaimed than any of Chris's designs.

I think that part of the problem is that the designers (except Sid Meier)
are so often "put on the back page" so to speak.  In other words, you know
Strike Commander as an Origins game, not as a Chris Robert's game.  This
is probably to be expected, but I wish more companies would do as
Microprose has done, and purposely promote their designers.

At any rate, I don't think that Chris is doing a bad job with the Journal
or with the Conferences, someone has to do it, and the other designers
are all busy designing.  I just wish he'd be more realistic about himself.

--
*****************************************
Jennifer Schlickbernd (Lorini)  Communication paths:

Day phone 8-5 PST (818) 354-2241

 
 
 

J. of Computer Game Design

Post by Rich Gortatows » Thu, 26 May 1994 10:51:39


: I think Chris Crawford way overrates himself as a game designer.  Yes,
: back in the early days of 8 bit game, his games were strong, but he
: (couldn't/didn't) make the transition to the big time (if you call 486's
: big time).  I think that he is doing a good thing by bringing the issue
: of computer game design to the forefront, but to try to promote himself
: as a current day guru is just not warranted.  There are many other
: designers who have recieved far greater critical and monetary awards
: than Chris Crawford will ever see.  What about Sid Meier, Chris Roberts,
: Will Wright, Richard Garriot (who did make the transition from 8 bit to
: 16/32 bit), Roberta Williams?  These people have designed games far more
: popular and critically acclaimed than any of Chris's designs.

As I recall Sid & Bill Stealy formed MPS. And for some 2 years produced
basically nothing hence the infusion of money from SPectrum Holobyte .

: I think that part of the problem is that the designers (except Sid Meier)
: are so often "put on the back page" so to speak.  In other words, you know
: Strike Commander as an Origins game, not as a Chris Robert's game.  This
: is probably to be expected, but I wish more companies would do as
: Microprose has done, and purposely promote their designers.

Anyone who knows Wing Commander knows the name Roberts. And while strike
commander is a real entertaining ride it is hardly an accurate flight model.
Origin most certainly is a maximize the money machine. Release the game, then
a speech pack then a new operations disk or three. A full floppy purchase
of SC via retail price is >$100. Get the CD right? I thought CD's were to
bring costs downward in the marketplace. Generally a "NEW" CD release seems
to cost out at more than a floppy.

Though I know not if Chris C. coded up his items on his own, certainly, attempting
to compete with development warehouses (if you will) is a notable undertaking
in itself. He's got some guts. Guts can mean change instead of what we seem
to have now ... Repitition. I personally have a TON of ideas that to the best
of my knowledge have NEVER been sim'd. In fact some are so simple I am really
surprised knowone has conquered them.

--

Eastman Kodak Company  
These comments are mine alone and not Eastman Kodak's. How's that for a
simple and complete disclaimer?

 
 
 

1. Interest in computer game designing seminar?

Over the last 8 years my friend and I have gotten heavy into computer
game design more as a hobby then a vocation. Along the way we have
learned quite a bit about sprite manipulation, role playing ala Ultima
and other tricks of the trade. Also covering commercial and shareware game
development. We are thinking of putting on a 1 day beginning game designer
seminar and was wondering how much interest there would be in it? The cost
would be about $50. Please email me if you are interested and I will post
my results back here. If you are thinking about becoming a game designer/
programmer you will want to take this seminar as it will save you a lot
of time and effort. Also show you how the game industry really works.

--
Jeff Jones AB6MB            |       Remember nothing is impossible to

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