Blowhards

Denis Dyack talks too damn much.

I love him for it.

I applaud Dyack and his ilk partly because I operate in a medium that demands constant content, and having people like him around to spout some off-putting remark that can be blown dramatically out of proportion polarizing entire nations of the internet makes me feel about him the way that I suspect a lot of late-night talk show hosts feel about Britney Spears. But, mostly I like it because in an age where everyone else seems to be operating off talking points provided directly by PR firms staffed by self-aware marketing AIs, it’s nice to see people working from the seat of their pants.

I like blowhards. I honestly do, because even when they are being combative, dismissive, argumentative and offensive they are moving discussions about gaming forward in a way that a focus-group friendly marketing message never can.

I’ve had the opportunity and occasional misfortune to interview a healthy number of industry professionals. Most of these interviews are interminable. They stretch on for epochs as I ask pointed and researched questions answered by an interpretive reading of feature sheets and press releases.

I’ve had surreal moments in conversations with gaming’s middle-men that seem to not be related at all to the questions I am asking.

Q: Recently, investors for your game were seen throwing themselves from bridges while burning effigies of you. How do you respond?

A: Super-Parabolic-Asfixiation-3000 will feature twelve online modes, emergent gameplay, with genre-busting, myocardial infarction inducing action. It’s World of WarCraft meets Quake on the bus to Grand Theft Auto’s house, but with mutant elephants!

Annoying? Yes. Unusual? Not at all.

So when guys like Dyack, Mark Rein, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli or David Jaffe start shooting their mouth off to the press, I think two things:

1) It’s great that there are still guys in the industry willing to be frank about their craft.
2) I hope their PR reps live in states with gun control laws.

That’s not to say I agree with more than a quarter of what these guys say. I frequently think they must be drinking Kool-Aid laced with acid and Altoids. I assume that Cevat’s recent statistic about a 20-to-1 ratio of piracy-to-purchase in the PC market was extracted during a recent colonoscopy along with his own head.

But, the fact that he’s clearly inventing statistics isn’t the point. The point is that he’s keeping the discussion alive; he’s engaged with the audience, even if they are looking for lighters to fire up their flame throwers, and he’s clearly off-the-reservation in terms of keeping to a company line.

Odd as it may seem, his willingness to dig into the mire of the discussion and tackle it head on, even though I completely disagree with his research and his conclusions, gives him credibility. I don’t feel like he’s talking with careful strategies and unclear motives in mind. The man’s heart, liver and pancreas are right there dripping on his sleeve.

He comes from the old-school tradition of game developers; a tradition that pretty much ended when John Romero discovered how swiftly and irrevocably one could annihilate their career by crossing the line, or in Romero’s case being launched by catapult over it. Even Dyack is on that road lately delving into gaming forums where angels fear to tread and meeting the enemy head-on in its native habitat. It's like seeing Lex Luthor urinate on the front porch of the Fortress of Solitude while Superman is home eating Cheetos and watching American Idol.

It’s crazy. It’s audacious. And, dammit if I don’t love him for doing it. That’s chutzpah, friends, and while it’s starting to look like he might take it on the chin, I can't help but cheer for him. In an age where developers are tightly sequestered behind the layered defenses of professional PR, I simply must cheer for the bring it on attitude.

While I give a different kind of credit to the paragons of gaming; guys like Cliff Blesneuiskiewitzer (there’s a reason you went by Cliffy B, pal), John Carmack, Will Wright, Warren Spector and, yes, even Ken Levine, it’s not quite the same. Those guys are bullet proof right now. They’re unimpeachable. They’re Teflon, baby. You can fling as much mud as you want at them, and they'll walk away 99.8% pure. It’s like they’re rubber and you’re glue.

The great thing about Dyack, et al is that when they expose their tender underbelly and dare you to hit them with that baseball bat, they make a satisfying Ooomph sound as they crumple under the blow. They’re vulnerable as kittens. Angry, daring kittens that would scratch a pit-bull and then dare it to do something about it. +10 points to moxie!

More blowhards, I say. If nothing else, they make things interesting.

Comments

OG_slinger wrote:

As one of those self-aware marketing AIs, this hits too close to home. There's nothing worse than having your spokesperson decide to go off the ranch during a media interview. It never ends well.

If the interview is to promote a new product, your entire job as a spokesperson is to promote said product. Not say anything about what you think or feel or whatever because it doesn't matter. You don't want to say anything that will distract from the message of the new product. You're at the tail end of a multi-year process that involved hundreds of people and tens of millions of dollars.

That's why we give you talking points. Not because we think you're a retarded monkey, but because humans are egotistical and chatty: if somebody asks you what you think and is actually paying attention (and interviewers have to, it's their job), then you're going to go on and on. That's also why the first rule of media training is answer the question and the SHUT THE f*ck UP. You don't have to fill the awkward silence...that's the interviewer's problem.

CEOs are the worst though. Not just because they're harder to control. They're the worst because of the damage they do. You might yuck it up about Dyack and his piracy comment, but a casual read of our own thread on it shows that a good handful of people said they'd never buy a Crytek game again. Multiply that by all the Internet forums out there and you're talking enough numbers to put a serious dent in Crytek's new title revenue projections.

Dyack shouldn't be admired for his off-the-cuff comments, he should be castigated for hurting his own company. He's not a blowhard, he's a sh*tty CEO who permanently lost his company customers because he couldn't keep his little trap shut.

It's also the second reason we give talking points. Dyack's piracy bit was 94 words out of a 2,000 word interview. That's less than 5% of the article. Looking at the coverage that bit got, you'd think the entire interview was about him pissing on the heads of PC gamers and calling them bad names. We give talking points to make sure that the two or three things the interviewer is going to remember and write about don't include you insulting your existing or potential customer base.

Marketing plant!

OG_slinger wrote:

As one of those self-aware marketing AIs, this hits too close to home. There's nothing worse than having your spokesperson decide to go off the ranch during a media interview. It never ends well.

I get where you're coming from in your post (except like others said, the piracy stuff wasn't Dyack) but speaking only as a game consumer from my own perspective, I prefer people who do what Dyack does and I get turned off by typical marketing spin. I get why you give guys talking points but most marketing people seem to write points that make the people speaking them sound like a soulless corporate cogs that have no real passion for or connection to their project. That doesn't stir up excitement in me, if anything it turns me off a game. Watching Denis Dyack talk about Too Human does because it shows that this isn't just some contract he's fulfilling, it's a creative vision he believes in. I agree that what he did with EGM probably wasn't the smartest move but I don't think it cost him many customers and I think if someone was going to come out and say that to the gaming press (which for what it's worth, I say it's about damn time someone did), I'm glad it was someone with a history of good work rather than some random first-time designer. I think a lot of people can see through modern PR and that the current methods employed to hype up most games don't do justice to those with the creative vision. If we seriously want games to start being treated as art, the artists need to be able to speak their mind, not held in check by corporate PR. Games are most certainly a business but that's not all they should be.

As a side note, anyone who hasn't should check out the making of videos for Too Human available on Live Marketplace. They give an interesting look into Silicon Knights and over the course of the series, they're showing clips of this independent documentary that talks about a real discovery called "The Goblin Man" that served as a lot of their inspiration for Too Human. They're really fascinating and I'd love to see more games try something like this.

Who's your gamer market now? It's not us, it's them. Dyack hurts THAT market, no matter what we think.

Yes, but the only people who have any clue what Dyack said are us. The "mass market" has 0 exposure to these guys, it's only us in the enthusiast side of things and frankly we're a safe bet as a buy. You have to really work to make us not buy a game we would have otherwise.

I've noticed some people seem to think Dyack gives off a negative perception outside the gaming enthusiast area, some sort of confimration of the worst of gamers. That's silly.

Dyack has _zero_ presence outside of the enthusiast area. It's not like some casual gamer having just watched a Too Human commercial flipped to Entertainment Tonight to find out what Dyack said, sat up, shouted "oh no he di'nt" and immediatley cancelled his pre-order. Never happens. I've seen far too many arrogant blowhards make games that sell millions of units to believe they have more than a marginal negative effect, which is probably offset by the exposure they gain in the enthusiast market.

My guess is that Too Human has far more market presence _because_ of Dyack than it would have if he had stayed on point.

Shoal07 wrote:

I still have to agree with Og and side with my earlier comments. People like Dyack are destructive to their communities. Just like Og said, Dyack can cost his whole company money when he speaks without thinking. You talk of days gone by where the devs and the gamers have close knit ties. That gamer, and those devs, don't exist anymore. Your average gamer is not here on GWJ, they're kids and adults who game part time, but could care less about the community or what's going on. They're average consumers, like any other mass market. Devs and companies, now have mass marketing style plans to push their games into the most hands possible; and if you offend this community, they won't rationalize, they'll just be pissed and not buy your product (having studied marketing, there's been some colossal failures due to offense). I'll prove that theres a disparity from what you think a gamer is (people like us) and reality:

I don't quite understand what you're saying here. You're saying the majority of people who buy games are part-time average gamers who don't care about things like the hardcore community but you're also saying if people like Dyack offend the hardcore community, they're killing their mass audience potential? How many part-time average gamers even know about any of his controversy or for that matter, who the heck he is? How many of those same gamers care in the slightest that SK is suing Epic? If the majority of his customers aren't hardcore gamers but that pretty much, hardcore gamers are the only ones who are going to see past the mass marketing initiatives and find out about more nuances controversies, then what does it matter? I fully admit I just might not have read your post properly.

I think the problem comes from being to insulated in their projects. You become so absorbed with what you are working on that events happening outside of your sphere of focus go by unnoticed. With longer development times, this situation becomes much more evident. I know Denis and his team have worked very, very hard on this game, and it's almost become a family member/child to them. They promote it, not just to make money, but because they honestly believe they're product is the sh*t. When reality and this distorted perception come into contact it's like a matter/anti-matter reaction. They don't understand why you don't react in a certain way because they've become so focused in one way that nothing else is acceptable. It comes off as being defensive or arrogant, but I think it's more of a disconnection from reality. With the explosion of public forums to discuss or announce things, these same people have gone out proselytizing to the masses. What used to be said in a CGW or PC Gamer interview, is now repeated ad nauseum across message boards within hours. Having Dyack going into some boards and making the same claims just adds fuel to the fire. Is there an overreaction from consumers or the gaming media? Possibly. Is the game as good/bad/indifferent as some of the previews? Possibly. I think the net effect of this make enthusiasts more aware of the title, but I think it also makes us more sensitive to scores and more critical in our own evaluations.

I also have to add that nothing turns me off an interview more than 'marketing speak'. At the end of the day that marketing speak has very little input on whether i want the game or not. I look at the features on the box and the bulletpoints on the website... then i look at whether my friends (if i have any) are going to play the game.

Denis Dyack or lack of Denis Dyack in a game interview has no impact on me wanting to buy Too Human. However, his prosetylising the gaming media by being controversial heightens my awareness of the game. You know the old adage? "There's no such thing as bad press." Well, it turns out that it's true for 90% of the time. Even with the lawsuit, even with the internet arguments - they exposed me to the game. They made me understand what it's about and that's important.

Conversely, people like Peter Molyneux work the opposite way. His verbalising the game concepts is like being a kid and listening to a bedtime story. Sure he over-promises and embellishes... but that's what we want in our interviews. We want the high concept, we want the outlandish claims. That sells me on his games - regardless of the fact that i know that some of those features will not be in the game as-stated - because they were conceptual ramblings rather than a boring "here's the first bullet-point, here's the second". You know what strikes me about his interviews? Very few screenshots or interaction with the games themselves. Then you look at interviews with people who are quite consciously controlled by the PR and you see many screenshots and an 'on-message' coverage of the game's mechanics and ideas. The screenshots need to be there because the 'story' is shallow whereas the best stories are the ones we create visually in our heads from the words.

they're showing clips of this independent documentary that talks about a real discovery called "The Goblin Man" that served as a lot of their inspiration for Too Human. They're really fascinating and I'd love to see more games try something like this.

That's viral marketing, there was no "Goblin Man" discovery. Just FYI

Reminds me when a friend of mine read the Michael Creighton book "Thirteenth Warrior" and thought it was really based on a Persian merchant who traveled with the Vikings... I had to explain the saga of Beowulf to him again... and then he was like... nuh uh... this was the real Beowulf... come to think of it... I hate that guy.

ps. All in favor of "rock star" developers. Here's that Kieron Gillien essay again.

Elysium wrote:

I appreciate that Og, but on the other end, sometimes taking the life out of the conversation by so strictly limiting the discussion and putting what are usually creative people inside of a sealed box isn't productive. I don't know if I've worked with you or not, because as in any profession there are some really good PR folks and some really poor ones, so I'll only speak from personal experience.

I think too often PR assumes that both readers and interviewers won't recognize crafted marketing messages when they hear it, or that if they do they won't respond negatively. I think over compartmentalized messages is part of what's creating the perception of distance between gamer and devloper, and it's significant in this industry because unlike others it's actually something that's been lost. The reason you have so many folks going off the reservation is because you have an industry built on the interplay between gamer and game maker, a lot of these guys miss that as much as we do.

NOW, that's not to say there aren't a lot of idiots going around trying to do interviews. We've all read or heard interviewers where you cringe at the question. No, Blizzard isn't going to tell you the release date exclusively just because you tried to trick them. No, the developer isn't going to bad mouth the executive at the publisher. C'mon!

But, I _do_ feel like increasingly the sensible middle ground is being lost. I'm far from a fan of having PR sit in on calls, but I understand when it's a necessity, but when it interferes with the dialogue then that's a disservice to everybody. I think it's safe to assume that the CEO of a company has earned the right to be in charge of his product regardless of how that mixes into the talking points you guys would prefer. There's a hubris in some corners of PR as the gatekeepers of entertainment information, and (not to go all Star Wars) the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

And, to be blunt, you need these instigators as much as we do. They keep passions alive. Wanna bet that, even with Dyack going around like a crazy person, Too Human still sells pretty well? I haven't seen David Jaffe suffer because of his quick temper. Gamers have proved every time they will buy from companies and industries that treat them with skepticism at best and ire at worst that we're going to buy your games pretty much no matter how we're handled.

You might yuck it up about Dyack and his piracy comment, but a casual read of our own thread on it shows that a good handful of people said they'd never buy a Crytek game again

Here's the thing. I can't tell you the number of games I promised never to buy because of things like this and then went out and bought on release. Anonymous people on the internet are notorious for making big claims they have no intention of following through on. I would think the first rule of PR is to ignore forum people, because they vacilate between crazy and liar.

Dyack's piracy bit was 94 words out of a 2,000 word interview. That's less than 5% of the article. Looking at the coverage that bit got, you'd think the entire interview was about him pissing on the heads of PC gamers and calling them bad names. We give talking points to make sure that the two or three things the interviewer is going to remember and write about don't include you insulting your existing or potential customer base.

Part of my problem is I entirely reject the notion that you can control the message. I remember when we had Ken Levine on our show for two ****ing hours, and the headline the next day was an out-of-context quote complaining about Lair's controls. I think we all know that the gaming press is questionable at best (you may consider us in that light as well, I dunno), but ultimately by trying to control the message too much you either make the material so boring as to be irrelevant - equally destructive in my opinion - or you leave the company no latitude to try and correct the problems. And, as I said, in the end the games tend to be judged on their own merits.

I know when I play Too Human, Dyack's comments about PC gaming won't even be a ghost in my mind.

My AI is now programmed for a different industry--ERP software--so I haven't and will probably never have the pleasure of working with you.

There's a multi-billion dollar industry built on the fact that it is hard for the average Joe to recognize crafted marketing messages when presented properly. It's easy to filter marketing messages in ads because we all know that ad are bought and paid for. It's a lot harder to filter out those same marketing messages in an article or review because its written and we have this incredible tendency to believe anything as long as its written, and it comes from a trusted source, whether the pub, web site, author, or even forum poster, which gives it an extra sheen of credibility.

I agree with your feeling of the growing distance between gamer and developer and that the middle ground is being lost. I hate to say it, but it's a result of the success of gaming. The more money that gaming brings in, the more its going to go in this direction.

Game publishers are moving to "casual gaming" which means mass market. Mass market means a marketing-developed blurb about Rolling Stone or Maxim is a hell of a lot more important to the financial success of a game than a 12-page in-depth interview and review in a gaming pub or web site. Why? Like you said, as a marketer, I know the fanboi is going to buy anything I shovel out so I can safely ignore him. I'm chasing the dollars of new customers, the ones who are never going to read a review or check a Metacritic score before buying my game.

Gaming is already well down the path of being a clone of Hollywood. Distinct IPs are created and marketed. The blockbusters get endless sequels and copy-cats because its just more profitable to milk a successful IP than take a risk and create a new one. The ones that don't produce right away--even if they are far superior to the blockbusters--get their marketing budgets hacked and are forced to rely on postive word of mouth to generate any sales (1701 AD, anyone?). And lets not talk about the loads of sub-standard dreck that is shoved out.

I'll still disagree with you that the industry needs the blowhards and instigators. I imagine the truth would be closer that you--both as an avid gamer and proprietor of a gaming forum--want (and even somewhat need) some insider drama to talk about.

My take is that there's always been a tremendous relationship gap between gamers and their games (and game developers). Gamers invest so much of their free time in a game or character that they'll always care more about it than the developer. For them, its a project, a job. For us, it's an adventure, something we identify with.

This gap, plus the trend towards casual gaming, means avid gamers are going to be left out in the cold even more.

Nyles wrote:
Dukeman330 wrote:

Also, what the hell's a Moxie Kitten?

They're just kittens with 10 extra points of moxie. They grow up into Sassy Cats. When Too Human comes out, Dyack graduates to Sassy Cat status, or transforms into a Soggy Kitty, which would be pathetic indeed.

It can be hard to play a moxie class without a few ascensions under your belt.

There's a multi-billion dollar industry built on the fact that it is hard for the average Joe to recognize crafted marketing messages when presented properly.

Oh, then I've got bad news for those investors.

Overall, I think we have a totally different viewpoint on this, but then again I am the one working in the media and you are the one working in PR, so it's not like we shouldn't have seen it coming.

OG_slinger wrote:

As one of those self-aware marketing AIs, this hits too close to home. There's nothing worse than having your spokesperson decide to go off the ranch during a media interview. It never ends well.

If the interview is to promote a new product, your entire job as a spokesperson is to promote said product. Not say anything about what you think or feel or whatever because it doesn't matter. You don't want to say anything that will distract from the message of the new product. You're at the tail end of a multi-year process that involved hundreds of people and tens of millions of dollars.

What was that? Did I just hear the ghost of Bill Hicks?

KingMob wrote:

, there was no "Goblin Man" discovery. Just FYI :)

Interesting. I've read a few speculations that it may be viral but nothing concrete. There's also nothing about it on Snopes. If it is indeed viral marketing, it'll be the first one that's ever caught me. I really don't see how marketing Too Human in that way benefits it though...

EDIT: Yep, after some searching around, it is indeed viral. Man, they landed me good they did.

I agree with everything you said except for Cliffy B being unimpeachable.

Elysium wrote:
There's a multi-billion dollar industry built on the fact that it is hard for the average Joe to recognize crafted marketing messages when presented properly.

Oh, then I've got bad news for those investors.

Overall, I think we have a totally different viewpoint on this, but then again I am the one working in the media and you are the one working in PR, so it's not like we shouldn't have seen it coming.

It sounds like there are some serious hacks running around the games industry. We're not all slime just like you media folks aren't trying to pull a 60 Minutes on everyone you interview.

My favorite Dyack moment came on his last 1UP Yours appearance. Dennis was pushing for the "1 console future" and compared it to stock car racing. That had Garrett Lee scratching his head, what do you mean exactly? Then Dennis admitted that he didn't, in fact, know that much about stock cars. Way to make your point, Dennis!

Dyack brings passion to his work. The way he talks, you expect a perfect game, even though we all know no games are perfect. He isn't much different than Peter Molyneux, both their ideas are usually bigger than the results. Yet where Molyneux comes off as a wild dreamer, Dyack sounds just arrogant enough that you don't care if he succeeds or he fails.

I'm a little concerned that Too Human is only 10 hours long. That's like Diablo 2 with only 1 act. It seems like a major misunderstanding of the RPG genre. In the end, though, I remember how great Eternal Darkness and Legacy of Kain were. I'm willing to put up with a little humanity for another game like those.

In 6 months of working for a big corporation I've gone from "marketing is bullsh*t, people don't fall for it" to "that sh*t works." It's a little freaky.

I think Dyack has every right to defend his title to his last drop of blood if he wants to.

No matter what he does now though, this title will be highly, HIGHLY controversial. Some reviewers will look down on it for Dyack's attitude and the sheer amount of hype and expectations that built up for this title.

It will also get plenty of badmouthing because it's a flagship title for Microsoft's 360: seeing as a ton of people who have never laid hands on either an XBOX or 360 controller have vented off over all of the internets how the Halo series sucks (they exist), I fully expect Too Human to receive the same treatment.

Alien13z wrote:

In 6 months of working for a big corporation I've gone from "marketing is bullsh*t, people don't fall for it" to "that sh*t works." It's a little freaky.

My first big PR score was getting a client's product mentioned by Oprah. It resulted in about $15 million in additional sales. All I did was provide a crafts artist Oprah worked with some free product (it was the Dremel rotary tool) and tell her how she could use it. She drilled some holes in freakin' pine cones and Oprah passed it off as a way to decorate your Christmas tree. The money shot was Oprah saying "Ya'll got get one of these" complete with a five second product shot with the Dremel logo showing (and with the optional drill press).

We're all corporate whores to some degree.

souldaddy wrote:

I'm a little concerned that Too Human is only 10 hours long. That's like Diablo 2 with only 1 act. It seems like a major misunderstanding of the RPG genre.

Er... Two points (one that many people will disagree with you on). Diablo is not a proper RPG. It's an action RPG - an RPG light if you will. It's not a terribly long game. I'd say that 10 hours is like Acts 1-3 fully completed. The fourth act wasn't really that long so it's not missing much.
The second point is kind of in the first *scratches head* Too Human is an action RPG. It's supposed to be quick visceral and satisfying to the less hardcore RPG players. I think 10 hours will suffice.

Very interesting discussion.

The new episode of 1UP is downloading on my laptop and, in the show notes, it says Denis Dyack will make an appearance towards the end of the show

Edit: It's certainly worth listening to. It made more sense at the end than it did at the beginning (in terms of WHY is he doing this!!?) All I could picture through out the thing was Susan the PR person sitting quietly in the corner. I'd love to know what she was thinking that whole time.

If we pay 20$ for a 2 hour long movie and don't say a word

Then I believe a game with 10 hours of gameplay with replay value to boot is acceptable

Not every game has to be impossibly long

Below 5 or 6 hours like the Bourne game or so many Capcom arcade titles is clearly not enough but people have to realize that with so many great games and the cost of production being so much more than it used to be and the customers' expectations always higher, 10-15 hour long games is going to become the norm.

I know cost can't justify everything, but if you compare the cost of a NES game in the 80s to the cost of a game nowadays, you'll find that it hasn't changed much despite inflation and rising production costs... and games back in the 8 bit days rarely took more than 10 hours to finish. The only difference was the punishing difficulty: limited saves/continues, respawns at the beginning of levels, etc.

So, at the end of the day, 10 hours of Gameplay is acceptable but it's really the gamers expectations that have become unsatiable.

P.S.: The cost of games in Canada has actually decreased in the last 20 years. The cost of a brand new NES game was as much as 89$ with some N64 games actually selling for over a hundred. The cost of the average game now is between 50-70$. In the US though I believe the cost of games was around 40-50 while now it's around 50-60 since the ''next-gen''

I just finished listening to the newest 1up yours which featured quite a long segment where Denis Dyack delivered a huge thesis on forums and social networking sites. The guy is smart and knows what he's talking about and obviously does a lot of research before he launches into some tyrade. I just hope his game is as good as he says it is. At the end of the day it's all that matters, however I am glad that he's trying to make people think and take some accountability for what they say.

Inioth wrote:

I just finished listening to the newest 1up yours which featured quite a long segment where Denis Dyack delivered a huge thesis on forums and social networking sites. The guy is smart and knows what he's talking about and obviously does a lot of research before he launches into some tyrade. I just hope his game is as good as he says it is. At the end of the day it's all that matters, however I am glad that he's trying to make people think and take some accountability for what they say.

Yeah, the guy obviously thinks a lot about this medium of forums.

Duoae wrote:

I also have to add that nothing turns me off an interview more than 'marketing speak'. At the end of the day that marketing speak has very little input on whether i want the game or not. I look at the features on the box and the bulletpoints on the website...

So, on one hand you say marketing speak turns you off, yet the two prime sources of marketing speak are the game's website and its box, which you use in your decision making process...?

I think what he means is marketing speak couched as content. Let me amend Duo's comment as my own, and then he can tell me I'm crazy if he wants.

Nothing turns me off more that 'marketing speak' that is pretending to be something else, that is deceptive not in information but delivery. Let me illustrate by the most extreme example: infomercials that pretend to be news shows. Hate 'em.

I agree with Duo, actually, that I don't mind game boxes and bullet points on websites. I'm not saying that marketing shouldn't get a say, or should be ignored entirely. I think it just needs to be upfront about what it is and whose mouth its coming out of.

Elysium wrote:

I think what he means is marketing speak couched as content. Let me amend Duo's comment as my own, and then he can tell me I'm crazy if he wants.

Nothing turns me off more that 'marketing speak' that is pretending to be something else, that is deceptive not in information but delivery. Let me illustrate by the most extreme example: infomercials that pretend to be news shows. Hate 'em.

I agree with Duo, actually, that I don't mind game boxes and bullet points on websites. I'm not saying that marketing shouldn't get a say, or should be ignored entirely. I think it just needs to be upfront about what it is and whose mouth its coming out of.

Yep, hole in one... There's a difference between me looking at the box or the website and someone hyperbolising about the game.

Case in point where RPS rightly ridicule them for it.

from article above wrote:

Evolving the shooter genre with its unique and exhilarating combination of fluid action and combat, Damnation will feature huge, open environments, frenetic combat, daredevil acrobatics and high-octane vehicle-based stunts. Presenting players with an intense test of reflexes, quick thinking and rapid-fire conflict, Damnation will feature vast, breathtaking landscapes, each covering miles of distance and thousands of vertical feet.

Billed as a ’shooter gone vertical’ and visually inspired by iconic elements of American history, these massive streaming landscapes will form the battlegrounds for a post-industrial conflict between humanity and an unstoppable arms dealer hell-bent on total world domination. Players will be able to choose their own paths and navigate the world by performing daredevil feats on the edge of human ability. However players aren’t the only ones with mind-blowing acrobatic skills; intelligent enemies will give chase and engage players in frantic gun fights and attacks that can come from any direction – in Damnation’s world there’s no safe place to hide.

With up to three hours of actual gameplay stretching out in front of them per level, players will need more than just muscle power to get across each level safely. Damnation will offer players a selection of awe-inspiring vehicles, from motorbikes capable of launching across seemingly infinite chasms, to huge, armour-piercing marvels that will induce mayhem with every huge shell.

It's very different from seeing a review where it's stated that the levels are large and have an element of vertical platforming design to them. Often that kind of 'exaggeration' gets slipped into interviewees' crib sheets from the PR people.

Thanks Duo. That article was the best thing I've ever read, a tour de force of words that string together in unique ways to form powerhouse sentences of dynamic awesomeness that will assault your brain like a coked up LA cop!

Gads, that _is_ fun.

It's a classic. I particularly like:

from article above wrote:

...visually inspired by iconic elements of American history...