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X-Box: Not Kiddy Enough!
#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3120794.stm

Quote: Microsoft is trying to change the image of the Xbox as a console just for hardcore gamers by turning its attention to family-friendly games.

A number of games for children are planned in the run-up to Christmas, including the first title by British developers Rare, bought out by Microsoft a year ago.

"The Xbox started off as a mature console," said Ed Fries, Vice President of Xbox game content, "that is starting to change."

"We are shifting away from the hardcore player and getting a broader line of content," he told BBC News Online.

'Need for experimentation'

Just a quick look at the shelves in any shop shows that most of the games for the Xbox are squarely aimed at men in their twenties and thirties.

On offer are a wide range of racing, fighting and shooting titles, such as Project Gotham Racing and Halo.

But there are few child-friendly games for the Xbox that cannot be found on rival consoles, the PlayStation 2 and the GameCube.

"We need more experimentation," admitted Mr Fries.

"We know how to reach the hardcore gamer. We know how to make role-playing games, racing games. We need to find out how to reach a wider audience."

In an attempt to capture some of the ground traditionally occupied by Nintendo and its GameCube, Microsoft is planning around 10 child-friendly games for the Xbox.

Among the titles it hopes will tempt children and their parents is the dance game Dancing Stage Unleashed and Harry Potter: Quidditch Cup.

Mr Fries said part of the blame for the relative lack of Xbox games for children on game makers.

He said that in the past many had been reluctant to make games for children just for the Xbox as they were not convinced they would sell.

"It has taken a while to convince them that we have more than a hardcore audience, that we are going to be a broad appeal machine," said Mr Fries.

Grabbing ghoulies

Last year, Microsoft took matters into its own hands by buying independent British games developer Rare for $375 million in cash so that it would make games exclusively for the Xbox.

The company has an accomplished track record in coming up with original and child-friendly games for Nintendo, behind hits such as Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark.

"Rare provides an opportunity to go after a much wider demographic," said Ken Lobb, Studio Manager at Microsoft Game Studios.

"It maps to the long-term strategy of the Xbox. Part of the reason of the purchase was to broaden the portfolio."

The first game from Rare is aimed at a younger gamer. Even the name, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, is bound to bring a smirk to a child, as well as an adult.

This sort of British humour was littered throughout the game. Some of it would go over the head of children but bring a smile to the face of adults.

Mr Lobb said this was deliberate so that the game, set in a haunted house, would appeal to gamers of all ages.

Microsoft is also pinning its hopes on another Rare title, Kameo, a magical adventure game due out next spring.

The challenge, said Mr Lobb, was coming up with games that did not patronise children and also offered something for adults.

"You don't dumb games down just because you think they are for children," he said.

:D
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#2
Yeah, the dark nature of games like Blinx is just too much XBoxitdude. (nature of comment: I mean to point out there are exceptions to this, but I agree XBox certainly has a large share of T and M rated games compaired to E).
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#3
Uhh... are we supposed to know what Xboxitdude is?
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#4
Yes. Even if I just made up the word.

Someone else: I think DJ meant XBoxitude. DJ mispelled it!

DJ: How can I misspell a word I just invented? No, that's how it's pronounced, but the first "d" is silent!
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#5
'Xboxitude' sounds a lot more like a real word. :)

But its pretty funny that after making so much of an effort to get hardcore and older gamers to like their console (and in many cases succeeding), they now have to turn around and try to attract Nintendo's market of children which I'm sure they've made fun of. :D
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#6
Heh heh, weren't these the same people that bashed Nintendo because they catered to the younger audience? :D
Sometimes you get the scorpion.
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#7
Yes, exactly... :D
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#8
I wonder how all the Xbox fanboys are taking in this little snippet of info.

Xbox fanboy: What the...?! How can this be?! The Xbox is going kiddy?! NOOOOOOOOO!!!
Sometimes you get the scorpion.
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#9
I love it how they say that they know how to target the "hardcore gamer", which is a complete joke because it's casual gamers that are keeping Sony and MS at the top.
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#10
I'd definitely say that the X-Box has far more hardcore gamers than the PS2, though... his point may not be completely accurate, but its not totally absurd. Would you say the Cube has so many more hardcore gamers? Sure, its got a lot of them, but so does X-Box... PS2 doesn't have nearly as many, I'd say.
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#11
Look at the monthly top ten lists for X-Box software. You'll see well-marketed crap like DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball up there all of the time. The Gamecube has more "hardcore" gamers because Nintendo has been around the longest and has the largest following of die-hard, long-time fans who'll always buy their systems and games. The PS2 probably has the largest amount of hardcore games since hardcore gamers like to play lots of games and Nintendo simply doesn't release enough of them each year. But the reason why the PS2 is so popular is because it has attracted the largest amount of casual gamers.
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#12
Quote:The company has an accomplished track record in coming up with original and child-friendly games for Nintendo, behind hits such as Donkey Kong 64, Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark.

Yeah, Goldeneye and PD were both child-friendly games. Why not mention Conker while you're at it? I guess Microsoft realized that targetting just hardcore gamers doesn't sell enough consoles to make money. And if I was Microsoft, I sure wouldn't copy what Nintendo is doing...
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#13
What's up with that? PD, Conkers, and Goldeneye AREN'T child-friendly games.
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#14
To be fair, the article actually merely said that both Rare made a lot of kid friendly games for the N64 AND it made the games in the list it gave. It didn't specifically say that all the games it listed Rare as making were kid friendly. However, it certainly looks that way the way that sentence is phrased.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#15
Nintendo pretty much just has the hardcore Nintendo loyalists and younger gamers... Microsoft I think attracted a bunch of PC gamers as well as people who had had other consoles before... and they market themselves as for 'hardcore' gamers and not softcore like Sony. But yes, a lot of their games would definitely appeal to the mass market... but then again, so would plenty of Nintendo games if they were as well marketed as Microsoft's were!
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#16
"Hardcore and sofcore". Haha, it sounds like you're talking about porn. Haha

Why would PC gamers be attracted to the X-Box? Most of their big titles are just PC ports or games that are or will soon be available on the PC...

And if the X-Box fan base was mainly hardcore gamers then games like JSRF and Panzer Dragoon Orta would have sold more than 10 copies each (close enough).
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#17
Because lots of PC developers released games for it... something that would of course attract PC gamers...

Oh, and you're right about JSRF and Panzer Dragoon... but I doubt they'd have done much better on the other consoles, though we won't know.
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#18
Oh I'm sure that those Sega games would have done better on the PS2 or 'cube.

And what original X-Box games have PC developers made? Games that aren't soon-to-be-released on the PC?
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#19
Never said they released lots of X-Box only games, just that they released games on it and that will attract some people... though most of the PC to X-Box stuff is from Microsoft itsself (MechWarrior, Midtown Madness, Halo, etc...).
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#20
So there are a handful of games that might attract PC people.
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#21
Yes. Oh, and whatever Fable is being called is another one.
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#22
Quote:Fable is another one.

If they ever release it.
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#23
Fable is being called Fable. It used to be called Project Ego. And it's not something that PC gamers would be very attracted to. Too cartoony. :roll2:

And it should be out early next year. I hope.
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#24
The developer, OB1, the developer! He's pretty popular in PC circles... :)
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#25
Yeah but you know how PC people hate nice, cartoony character designs.
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#26
Oh come on, its not like EVERYONE does... and the name 'Peter Molyneux' should draw people who would otherwise question the graphics.
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#27
I dunno... I know a lot of PC-only gamers and they just like their serious, boring character designs.
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#28
Oh come on, that's a generalization that's hardly accurate for the majority of PC gamers...
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#29
Yeah, PC people sure hate cartoony graphics...

*goes back to playing Warcraft 3*
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#30
Very good point there, DJ... :)
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#31
Warcraft isn't that cartoony. Certainly not as much as Fable is.
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#32
Now OB1, psychology dictates that you MUST think WC3 is in fact cartoony since I never once said WC3 was cartoony, nor did ABF. I just "agreed" with you and said I was going to play it. You said the rest. Admit it, you think that game does look very cartoony. You already told us you did pretty much.

http://www.xboxcentral.net/screenshots/view/246.xbc

That's not very cartoony.... It's pretty much what a lot of PC games look like, only more adventurous.

Then there's this...

http://www.blizzard.com/war3/races/

Even the undead look...
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#33
DJ, just accept that OB1 has never played Warcraft II or Warcraft III and leave it... because if he had played either one of those games he'd know that that statement is moronic.

edit: looked at the Fable screenshot. Unless the graphics are actually dramatically different from that, it looks many, many times more realistic than Warcraft, either 2 or 3...

Now, Warcraft I was admittedly a lot more 'realistic'-fantasy looking, but II and III? They're just about as cartoonish as fantasy games get in look.
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#34
Quote:Now OB1, psychology dictates that you MUST think WC3 is in fact cartoony since I never once said WC3 was cartoony, nor did ABF. I just "agreed" with you and said I was going to play it. You said the rest. Admit it, you think that game does look very cartoony. You already told us you did pretty much.

That is false. I never said that Warcraft isn't cartoony, just that it's not very cartoony, not as much as Fable is.

Is that all you can do? Take one screenshot of Fable that doesn't look that cartoony? :roll2:

Take a look at the character designs and some screens from the Fable. Definitely more cartoony than Warcraft III (which I have, btw):

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#35
That is certainly cartoony... but more cartoony than WC2/3? I'm not so sure. WC2 and 3 (they have very similar styles, despite the number of years and 2d vs 3d nature of their graphics...) are VERY cartoonish. Starcraft isn't cartoonish, for comparison, nor Age of Empires, but WC is a very, very cartoonish look...

Just look at Warcraft II! The 'evil' Orcs look all cute and cuddly, almost... :D

Especially the architecture. Its a very distinctive cartoonish look... just look at the shots of World of Warcraft for proof of that fact!
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#36
Not this cartoony. And with strategy games you see everything from far above so it's not as apparent.
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#37
Unless you turn the camera, and do you really have WC3, or just the demo?

Yes, those pics which I am just now seeing are in fact VERY cartoony. I only found some like what I posted and many others from XBox.com that didn't look like that at all. Well, I'll go ahead and dismiss the concept art though. That's not what'll be in the game.

Why'd you mainly post pics of the kid though? Only way to proove your point? The brawl there hardly looks like the rest. It would seem the overall look of it changes depending on how old your character is.

And by the by, WC3 looks very much like Ocarina of Time art style, in other words very cartoony. OOT featured MASSIVE noses on everyone, but WC3 instead focuses on MASSIVE chins on everyone.

Oh and LL, if you are reading this (probably not, this is "mindnumbingly interesting"), they just released a battlechest for WC3. It would have been nice if they tossed in WC2 with the collection, but hopes for that I lost when Blizzard threw out WC1 from what's now the WC2 Battlechest (which isn't even a chest anymore when all it has is ONE game (though with the expansion built in) and a strat guide). Get that and you'll save some money instead of buying WC3 and the expansion seperatly.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#38
You have played Warcraft II and can say that? Insane... that is cartoony sure but not as much as Warcraft!

Oh, and note the mention of WoW...
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#39
I still can't get over the simple hilarity on the WC3 guys with the LARGEST chins, the knights.

THE CRIMSON CHIN!
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#40
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They are both cartoonish, in different ways...
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#41
WC3 is more obviously cartoonish in most scenes. ABF just picked the worst examples he could is all (well some of that is World of Warcraft...).
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#42
Worst? Hardly... those are fine examples of WoW.

DJ... you couldn't tell that all of those shots (except for the WC2 ones of course) are from WoW, not WC3? :)

I'd say that it shows Warcraft cartoonishness pretty well... look at the buildings, trees, and character designs... good examples of Warcraft cartoonish art style.

And the WC2 shots are quite clearly cartoon.

And as for those Fable shots... concept art doesn't count, yeah. As for the actual shots... the buildings and children look quite cartoonish, for sure, but the other people? Not nearly as cartoonish as Warcraft people.
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#43
Wow, are you people really that blind? I posted the concept art because that is exactly how the characters will look like in the game.

The graphics in Fable are obviously several times better than the graphics in WC3 so you two are confusing high poly counts for realistic character models. Fable is definitely going to be much more cartoony than OoT, and nothing I have seen in WC3 is very cartoon-like. Ugly, low-poly models, sure. But cartoony? Hell no. Perhaps the developers tried to make the game look somewhat cartoony, but none of the models or environments look cartoony. My brother owns the full version of WC3 and I play it quite often, so yes I know how the game looks.

I showed screens of kids because there really aren't too many screenshots of adults in the game from the latest builds. The people in Fable have a very exaggerated, cartoony look to them. Big eyes, big hands and feet, weird cartoon proportions, etc. The backgrounds have a real Disney fairy-tale look to them, so most of the architecture is curved in strange ways. The textures are very colorful but still look reasonably realistic, much like the old Loony Toons cartoons.

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#44
You are insane...

Look at the environments, buildings in specific. Yes, the architecture is cartoonish in that its a bit out of proportion and all that. But compared to the architecture in Warcraft (3/WoW)? Just look at the buildings in those shots! Its not even close!

Same deal with the people... the Fable people look cartoonish, but not nearly so much as the Warcraft (WC3/WoW) people? No way!

And don't even start with Warcraft II, because it out-cartoons all of these games handily.
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#45
The WC2 shots look a bit cartoony, but WC3 and WoWC do not. Not much, anyhow. Whether or not their intentions were to make the characters and environments seem cartoony does not matter if the actual models and environments do not look cartoony! They're just ugly models and ugly environments, simple as that. You have a very strange definition of "cartoonish".
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#46
You are totally nuts. Warcraft 2 'just a bit' cartoony??? Warcraft 3 has bad graphics??? Where DO you get that stuff, some Red Alert fanclub mailing? Insane!
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#47
Great rebuttal as always, ABF. Rolleyes

You seem to only care about the palette of each game rather than the actual renderings or models. Doom is a bright game but I wouldn't call that cartoony. The old Bug Bunny cartoons used a pretty realistic-looking palette but still managed to look very cartoony, and in fact the old Loony Toons are the cartoons which most animators copied. I'm looking at the actual design of the characters and models, not just the textures. Before I decided to get into game design I was seriously thinking about becoming a 2D animator since that's one of the things that I've been in love with since I was a small child. I spent most of my youth drawing; everything from cartoon characters, superheroes, realistic human figures, animals, cars, environments, you name it. That's why I want to get into the artistic side of game design (instead of programming). So I have a pretty good idea of what looks cartoony and what looks realistic.

But whatever, you can believe whatever you want to believe. I know that I'm not going to be able to convince you of anything.
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#48
I would have written more, but I had to go... and anyway, that comment is just so ludicrous that I can't really think of much to say that you'd even begin to listen to...

As for the actual models... read what I said and see that that is not the case. When I talk about architecture, I'm talking about the proportions of buildings and how the architecture of Warcraft buildings isn't realistic. Its cartoonish. Yes, the textures are too... but the buildings themselves are quite far detached from realism. Same with the character models, I'd say...
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#49
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This is cartoony to you?? Confused The models are ugly, but not cartoony. It looks like they might be trying to make them look cartoony, but it's difficult to tell with such crappy models. That building in the back is pretty cartoony, but not more than Fable's buildings.
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#50
ALL the buildings in Warcraft III are that cartoony... yes, Fable's are too, that is true... I think WC's are a bit more cartoony, but I guess it could go either way.

'ugly' character models? No, I'd say they are good... not as good as Fable, but good. Remember, that's a MMORPG...

Oh OB1, how about going at watching WC3's CG cinema scenes? They look great and show the look with better graphics...

http://www.blizzard.com/wow/screenshotin...No=1&Set=0


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Ships in WC3 is so great to see... :)
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