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Lionhead boss: "I'm all for technology being as dumbed down

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"Fisher Price" coding tools are fine as long as they give "amazing results"

There's a tendency to fetishise raw technology in this wonderful industry of ours, a tendency to say things like: "Ooh, that game can do 10,000 moving light sources at once - I must and shall own it, or die trying." Gary Carr finds the whole business rather tiresome. For Lionhead's creative director, the best technology is that which stays out of the way, allowing developers to implement their ideas without spending hundreds of hours sifting through lines of code.... read more

Lionhead boss: "I'm all for technology being as dumbed down

Postby Grummy » 19 Jun 2012, 15:06

I'll admit, I didn't read the whole article as it quickly sounded like the guy wasn't quite sure what he was talking about, so I'll give my 2 cents on the idea in general.

Essentially I agree with what he is saying. I had a small discussion with Sid recently in the Skyrim thread about things we'd like to see implemented, and he was talking about a dynamic economy complete with taxation etc. I didn't quite argue against the idea, but I pointed out that that level of complexity in a system is a hell of a lot of work for something that happens beneath the surface, and could be mimicked instead in a much more expedient fashion. It's the same principle with what this guy is saying. You don't need comprehensive engines that can run deep and complex programs, you just need to be able to create your desired effect with minimum work or fuss. I have a buddy who works in the industry, and I remember him telling me once that one of his lecturers always used to say that there was no point creating some complete if you could just cheat to get the same effect. If the tech can be dumbed down enough to allow that, without compromise, then go for it.

However it should not be an excuse to avoid creativity. Skyrim is a good example of the pro's behind creating your own engine compared to reusing an old one.

I have to disagree with the suggestion that nobody cares about who makes an engine. People who follow the industry workings are always aware of the Unreal engine, and new developments are a big deal.
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Re: Lionhead boss: "I'm all for technology being as dumbed d

Postby pauloselhombre » 20 Jun 2012, 13:02

The problem is that if Lionhead made the effort to spend "hundreds of hours sifting through lines of code" then perhaps they would release titles full of game-breaking bugs. That kind of thing is understandable in huge open world games like Skyrim and it's ilk, but not in restrictive games with tiny worlds and poorly implemented features that feel largely unfinished such as Fable 2 & 3. Until they release a game that actually delivers on what is promised (ie doesn't involve straight up lying to the consumer in the run up to launch, although Lionhead now practically seem like saints in that respect when compared to Bioware) then I really have little respect left for anything Lionhead have to say.
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