Delayed Video Games: It’s Not the End of the World

Video game delay announcements. It’s something we, as gamers, all hate hearing about – especially if it’s a game we’re really looking forward too, but I’ve never understood why some people act like it’s the end of the world. A number of people may argue that a delay can be a good thing. If a development team need that extra time to polish and turn a game from a six to a nine, thus creating a more compelling story, smoother game play and a better game in general, then so be it.

Personally, as much as it can be an annoyance at times, I welcome delays with a general understanding and acceptance although many may not. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has seen three delays now, with the most recent postpone coming in order to deliver on the studio’s ambitious vision for the games ending. When Neil Druckmann states that;

This’ll make for a smooth worldwide launch. Thanks for your patience… It’ll be worth it at the end. Promise

When Druckmann makes a promise on behalf of the famous Naughty Dog studio, the ones responsible for bringing us a slew of incredible games in the past, I’m well inclined to believe him and trust his judgement that the game just wasn’t ready and that this delay will invoke a more spectacular finished product.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is shaping up to be a spectacular finale to the series.

We see a magnitude of games follow the same suit. In relation to the header image, Persona 5 was originally due to be released in 2014 on the PS3, now, after a number of changes and a different platform release we see it’s next upcoming release date to be June of 2016 and it’s radio silent on Atlus’ behalf with only a couple of month to go. This isn’t the end of the world thought, I’d rather they work on the game than focus on PR and marketing. There are many different games and other activities to occupy our time. Although some people happen to think otherwise…

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It’s quite disheartening seeing a vulgar response like this, but sadly these things still happen. I mean, it’s not as if the team at ATLUS want their audience to wait as long as possible to play their games. The amount of pressure the developers already face in the first place is immense, never mind inpatient individuals screaming down their necks about the game not releasing when they want it too.

If a game is held back they aren’t doing it to purposefully annoy people, they’re only harming themselves anyway and not on purpose either, but can some games really recover from development hell or a vast number of delays and setbacks? The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007 and has had it’s fair share of development hell, to the point of where many thought the project had been cancelled all together until it resurfaced in 2015.

Journalists have expressed their concern as to whether the game would even be such a landmark title as initially seen. In many ways, the landscape of gaming has greatly changed since the release of The Shadow of the Colossus, and The Last Guardian already has big boots to fill with that in mind. I’d be very much surprised if the game can clinch anything back and if it would well be worth the wait.

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The Last Guardian looks beautiful, but will it be able to hit as hard as SOTC did?

The likes of Final Fantasy XV share a similar story. Originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a PS3 exclusive spin off, it soon became apparent that the title wasn’t going in the direction that they first hoped. With a transition to the eighth-generation hardware, a change of name, new director, a different story and essentially a totally different change of game. After ten long years of development and more than likely thousands of pounds put into resources, Final Fantasy XV is nearing its release date this year. But will the wait really be worth it?

Why do studios release these dates and then don’t adhere to them without knowing that they’ll definitely meet their deadline? Why do they give a release date in the first place if they just can’t meet it? Well, it’s more than likely pressure from the publishing side of things, the sooner they get a release date out the sooner they can start marketing the game and making money from pre-orders and merchandise. Why not just take a leaf out of Bethesda’s book and release in a similar way Fallout 4 did, with a ton of info, trailers, game play, and a solid release date that was only a number of months away from annoucment, as opposed to years.

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Fallout 4 was released just a few months after it’s announcement.

I think we’d all love to see games released that way. I would love too. I believe it’s the best way for all parties – publishers, studio and consumers. That can’t always be the case thought. Some games just don’t have the stature or an audience as big as Fallout so they aren’t able to draw a big enough audience in a short space of time, they need to build up their public relations over an extended period.

Sometimes delays just can’t be helped and it’s certainly not the end of the world when they happen. I think the overreactions to when these incidents happen needs to stop. No one ever wants a delay. Not the consumers, publishers or studio working on the title. There’s a ton of other games out there and when your favorite game has a setback, just remember – patience is the best policy. If a game is going to fall into development hell then it’s the studio/publisher that is affected and not you. At the end of the day, there’s no point crying over spilt milk.

Have you ever suffered from Video Game fatigue?

Late of last year, I was totally engrossed in the hype leading up to Fallout 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront. When both games released I actually took time off work to play them through. I played both titles endlessly and when I wasn’t swapping between the two of them, I’d be creating related content from both, to upload to my YouTube channel. As Christmas rolled in I began playing those games a lot less, In all honesty, I was playing all games less and less to the point where my PS4 started gathering dust as the weeks went by.

This isn’t the first time its happened. When I was younger I had a lot more time to play. I didn’t have a job, didn’t have a girlfriend and apart from a social life, gaming became my biggest form of recreation. As you get older, you begin to become more responsible for a number of things. Whether it be a full-time job, paying your way, spending time with your partner, becoming a parent etc. There are many things that can begin to chip away at your time spent gaming. In my case, I fall under a number of those categories, yet I still find the time to play games, but at the moment I just don’t have the drive or motivation to do so and that isn’t a bad thing.

When I first encountered this sudden turn off from gaming I scoured the web in search of some kind of remedy or advice, something that would allow me to continue enjoying video games in the same way I may have at a previous point in time. I’d try my hand at classics – going back to games I’d thoroughly enjoyed at an earlier age. I’d play new games and try to experience something different. None of the above ever worked, which is when I realised I’d gotten burnt out from playing video games. It may sound crazy, video games are meant to be fun aren’t they? something you turn to when you feel burnt out from other things such as work or after a bad day? But I definitely stand by the saying; too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

I definitely stand by the saying; too much of a good thing can be bad for you

If you genuinely love playing games and do so the majority of the time then this fatigue may be something you have experienced before. Nothing really seemed to jump out at me, I had a shelf full of games I’d barely touched yet didn’t feel the need to sit down and play them. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to do something that you have no love for. I’m an avid watcher of Kinda Funny and I spent a lot of time watching the various youtube content they uploaded. I realised I was going through the same experience of video game fatigue at the same time as Colin Moriarty, one of the driving forces behind Kinda Funny. It’s very rare that you hear people, especially highly involved in the gaming industry, talk about their lack of interest in video games at a given time.

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The set of Kinda Funny Gamescast – featuring Tim Gettys, Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller

From then on I just decided to take a step back from gaming and embrace it. I focused my interests elsewhere – picking up my first DSLR in order to continue my hobby of photography, I began reading a lot more and started catching up on various TV series’ and Films that had remained on my watch list for the last few month. I even booked my long awaited trip to Japan. I’ve never once felt guilty about not constantly being involved in video games, even though I am a passionate gamer at heart and someone who always wants to create content around that medium, in forms of blog writing and video related content.

The point I’m trying to get at is, it’s not a bad thing to take a step back now and again. Video games aren’t a form of prison or a ball and chain that is constantly tied to your persona. If you aren’t enjoying something it doesn’t hurt to take a break, no matter how long that break may be.

The point I’m trying to get at is, it’s not a bad thing to take a step back now and again. Video games aren’t a form of prison or a ball and chain that is constantly tied to your persona.

If you love video games, something will come along eventually and generally catch your attention enough to peak your interest again. I have my eye on The Witness at the minute and Firewatch isn’t too far away now. With those intriguing titles on the horizon, my video game drought may be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

/ CR

Why is there so much pressure on Sean Murray to define what No Man’s Sky actually is?

Hello games are a small, independent, video-games company based in Guilford, England. Right now they’re more than likely functioning on strong coffee and using enough fuel to burn away that midnight oil for weeks to come, while they continue work on their new and upcoming game – No Man’s Sky.

My connection with Hello Games all started around five years ago when Joe Danger was released on PSN. A big fan of the art style and feeling the reminiscence of excite bike shining through, I decided to go ahead and download it. The gameplay was solid, the art style was beautiful and it was even better when played with friends.

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Different ships are available and you can find resources to upgrade them

Fast-forward about three years later and No Man’s Sky was on the horizon of announcement. Our eyes were left to feast on the procedural universe shown in the reveal trailer released on their YouTube channel. I was drawn in by the art-style almost instantly, sheer beauty was showcased in a universal way among so many unique planets, but the main thing I was drawn to was the initial quote the game provided throughout the video.

Every planet procedural. Every planet unique. Every planet unexplored

Murray stated “Impressively, every atom is said to be procedurally generated in No Man’s Sky, from the meteors flying through space to the underwater plants found on the planets, all of it undiscovered and waiting for you to pop on over and have a look around. There will be hostile forces acting against you at times, though; that much, we can see a brief glimpse of.” You embark on your galactic journey aboard your own spaceship on the edge of the universe, with the plan on migrating to the centre. Every planet you see, you can navigate towards. Arriving upon the terrain you are then able to explore and traverse that landscape.

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You could mine for resources, discover the inhabitants, or submerge yourself below the depths of any lakes or oceans that may lie upon the surface – revealing any life that may exist beneath. If you see a star in the distance you can zoom off towards that, eventually revealing a new unexplored solar system. This isn’t similar to how in Destiny or Ratchet & Clank you choose your planet and instantly fast travel there (although this will be possible). The main thing is to explore and discover the universe at your own pace.

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You will find other creatures roaming the unexplored planets you discover.

The game itself is so big that trying to see everything in No Man’s Sky would actually take you over five billion years in real life, one hell of a platinum trophy then, hey? No Mans Sky has had the gaming industry on the edge of their seats ever since these gigantic claims surfaced. But one question that people just can’t seem to stop asking is “What do you actually do in No Man’s Sky?” Something Sean Murray is very reluctant to reveal so easily.

There’s the answer I want to give, and then there’s the one I can’t really say

From the articles I’ve read and the research I’ve done, Murray doesn’t want to put a stamp on the game and personally I don’t want to see one either. I feel that No Man’s Sky is a game that falls in the category of something I like to call a non-genre game. These include the likes of Minecraft, Day Z, Rust, and Journey. All of these games have one thing in common, none of them were initially explained before they released and nearly all of them were extremely popular or won awards in some way.

None of these titles were stamped as a certain kind of ‘genre’ or ‘game’ and yet so many people played and still cherish these games to this day. So why now do we need to brand ‘NMS’ and categorize it in a genre we can further apprehend? Why are we so desperate as gamers to label something we don’t understand, why not just let it be?

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I don’t know if it’s something to do with a newer generation or just because I’m getting old, but when I was younger all we had to go off to whether we’d purchase a game, or not, was the screenshots on the back of the cover in your local game retailer/rental shop or a sparse collection of screen shots in your favourite monthly video game magazine – remember those days?

The game itself is so big that trying to see everything in No Man’s sky would actually take you over five billion years in real life

These days we are overloaded with so much information surrounding new games that when we play them we know almost everything about them – how long the game may last, the main protagonists, backgrounds, gameplay mechanics, characters, story plot elements and what the game may consist of entirely. What’s the harm in going into a new experience blind? why do we need to know every little detail of something before we become part of it? The whole point of the games I labeled above was to go at your own pace, create your own adventure and I personally feel the same way about No Man’s Sky.

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It feels like there’s so much pressure on the back of Sean Murray and the cast of Hello Games to actually explain everything we do in the game. Personally I have chosen to put myself on blackout for the title, avoiding any news or information that might spoil the demeanor of how I approach it. If only people can have faith and give the guys at Hello Games a chance and just actually experience the game first hand, rather than wanting to go in equipped with a catalogue of knowledge explaining every minute detail.

A big part of me wishes this game didn’t have so much hype behind it, not for one minute do I think Hello Games don’t deserve it, but I’d like to have seen how people may approach it if it was to come out in a similar way to how Minecraft did. You don’t want to bleed a game dry of information before hand or the experience is then left stale. Sometimes it’s good to just take that step into the unknown, take that leap of faith into the darkness and you may find it to be something that could change your life and your own journey forever, and not just within Video games.

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You can dog fight with other ships, human or AI in outer-space

What would be the point in life if we already knew what was going to happen before we did it, that’s what makes it interesting, we make the journey on our own. Why can’t people let video games share a similar experience? Just try it for once. I can assure you the experience will be better than going in already knowing the majority of information that you’re used to.

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It seems like to hook people in and keep them seated these days you need some sort of narrative, gameplay hook or end goal for people to complete. Without that people just seem to lose their minds and become put off by what a game is – whether that be because they lack creativity or not used to the cliche of modern gaming. But that’s something that needs to change.

/ CR

A new year, a new chapter, a new saved game.

I suppose I best introduce myself, I go by the name ‘CreativeRhino’ and this is the start of my new blog. So, another place where someone talks about video games. Just like the thousands of others that do it. So why should you use your precious time to sift through my blog posts? why am I the special one? The truth in the matter is, I’m not someone who thinks they are. Here at ‘WhatRhinoSaid’ isn’t somewhere that will spurt out the same old rubbish you may see everywhere else.

You won’t be seeing the 2,449,254th rendition of ‘Minecraft: Lets play part one’. No.. This blog is for myself, it’s views, points and opinions are of my own. I’m not here to do what every other tom, dick and harry is doing. Because what would be the point in that?

I love video games as much as the next man.. woman.. or thumb wielding, nocturnal, pixel junkie. I want somewhere to share my experiences, something to look back on in years to come and think wow I remember those times. Like a virtual diary of gaming nostalgia. I want it to be somewhere to talk about these points with people who may share similar views, whether they agree or not.

I want to use it as a pedestal to lavish the games I love.. and those I don’t. I want to share my view on the industry, my nostalgic throwbacks to the old days and what the future may hold for video games and throughout it all I want you to listen, experience and share it all with me.

So here’s how I want to start. The new year is here, 2015 is already upon us and a week of it has gone already. I have a lot of big plans for this year and one of them is to game my rear end off. The dexterity within my thumbs and fingers has not been taken advantage of as much as I’d of liked it to have been and my mind lacks the wondrous adventures it so desires.

The last year was a great one for me, I got the job I’d always wanted, lost weight, built up a portfolio of work through it all I’ve had such a supportive family, friends and girlfriend by my side but throughout the last year I’ve not found as much time as I would of liked for gaming due to this busy schedule.

We’ve seen a few big game delays in 2014 meaning the year ahead proves to be an even greater one for Video games. So this year I’d like to list a few game related resolutions I’d like to stick too, hoping by the time 2016 comes I’ve stuck to or completed all of them. Firstly..

Complete more games: I tend to pick up a lot of games at once and depending on how much I’m into them I’ll play continuously for days on end and then after a few days/weeks, depending on what life is throwing at me or if Ive picked up a new game, the old ones tends to get left in the past and I usually don’t get round to going back to them. This annoys me personally. I look at my shelf full of games stacked with titles I’ve barely even touched upon and think why do I bother buying new games without first completeing the old ones . Completing those games is something that needs to start this year, Which brings me to my next point.

Stop buying games I don’t need: I have a seriously bad habit of buying games and then just not playing them, due to either already having to many im already working on or not enough time to play them all now i don’t mean not playing as in; do a few missions, spend a few hours completeing various tasks in the game then never going back to it. No, I mean not playing them at all – the bloody shrink wrap doesn’t even come off! As of now i have thirteen games sat on my shelf which still remain in that shiny cellophane.. Thirteen!! And I’ve not touched them since I walked out the shop with them. Hopefully 2015 will put a stop to that.

Focus on my Most wanted List: Now this in a way contradicts my last two points. If I’m to keep up with the latest games, but have to stop buying them how will I experience them? Now I usually make the mistake of buying so many games in one go I just play bits of each and can’t keep up with them all. Other games come out, news releases hereand there and I just fall behind in the whirlwind of those virtual worlds and never get to finish any. So this year I want to just focus on my most wanted titles which will be covered in another post.

Clear my Backlog: probably one of the most dreaded words for any gamer to hear… Just glimpsing at the backlog I have in front of me sends shivers down my spine. So many games, so little time. Sometimes I feel like creating a cut off point, turning my back on all of it and starting afresh. But something makes me stick at those that already remain in my collection. Don’t get me wrong this may sound like I’m making it out to be a chore rather than something that’s fun. It’s not, but when you know that all the games will take hours and hours to complete, taking up time you could spend catching up with current releases it makes me quiver.

Stop becoming so hung up on Trophies: Ahh trophies, those virtual dings we hear when completing various tasks throughout a game, those shiny pieces of pixlated silverware that I long for along like so many others. Some may not care, others obsess over them. Well now If a game has a trophy list that may seem off putting, who cares. The time is hear to stop worrying about these sometimes mundane tasks and to start enjoying the game for what it is.

So there it is, a little intro to myself and some motive to continue into the new year itself. Hope everyone has had a great start and here’s to making 2015 a great one!

/ CR