Sessler's Soapbox: Downloadable Originality

Posted: July 20, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Downloadable Originality
Adam discusses how DeathSpank and Limbo made him think that digital distribution could change gaming for the better.

Comments are Closed

  • whocares88

    ypur thw man. graphichics and stereality (who cares) comes from new gen. games dos thumbs up on that comment.

    Posted: September 21, 2010 11:03 PM
  • beezeljub

    I feel as though Microsoft should have released Deathspank as a summer arcade title instead of the terrible Hydro Thunder Hurricane. I love the creative style of both Deathspank and Limbo, and I hope to see a few other gems like this sneak into my library before the end of summer, or at least before the end of the year.
    Also, Adam, I just wanted to tell you that you truly get the beauty of video games (in my humble opinion) much better than any other video game reviewer that I have read. I have felt that way for a long time, (your review of Too Human was what sealed the deal. You are the only reviewer who seemed to get it!), and I will always consider your opinion as the final word on any review for any game. Thanks forever!!!

    Posted: July 27, 2010 4:09 PM
  • butcher_99

    Keep in mind that Limbo is a 3 hour game. Quite a good game but still 3 hours is short. Although for the cash, still not a bad deal
    Deathspank for about the same cash is at least 8 hours long. Some good puzzles here as well.
    Coop play is fun but you have to remember that there is only one healthbar. If either of you take hits it comes off the same healthbar although in co-op you get healing.

    Posted: July 27, 2010 10:17 AM
  • xJavonta

    I'm looking forward to checking some of these out, thanks again Mr.Sessler

    Posted: July 26, 2010 12:56 AM
  • AirPrime

    Nice Soapbox, however a confusing one. What specifically are you talking about Mr.Sessler, says the G4 Noob? Are you talking about games for the Casual or games from the Indies? Are you talking about games on the console side, the PC side, Web-based, or in general? Also, are you talking about games that are downloaded vs. games that are bough in a store? It seems like you are over simplifying a complex question, or, asking several question in one?

    If it is about downloading spurring creative games, then it would be the other way around. Why? because downloading a game is the end result If anything it is the creators of these games that is creating these games for download consumption and the average gamer seeking them out. It is also the avenues (whether through EA, Microsoft, Valve, or the internet) that are being created for these games and the people making them. You have to remember, these big gaming companies don't have to take any risk because they already know what sells? Just slap a number on Assassin Creed, Halo, or any other franchise and it will sell. They know that. Therefore, they don't have to take the risk.

    Now downloading is another loaded issue (pun intended). You forget something. ISP's down-throttling peoples connections and placing limits on how much bandwidth is used. Second, drive-by sales at stores. Take a trip to Fry's and see what you walk out with. But, downloading a games should not be a final solution either. There are too many reasons for a download to go bad and it doesn't mean because it's a bad connection, either. Also, it means the gamer has to dig through more crap and read more reviews for a game, along with the Indie and Causal game makers trying to find a way to promote their games (through all the crap) with the limited or non-existent funds.

    Last, but not least, you are ignoring the 500lb Gorilla in the room, his darling Sister, and his retarded brother. Yep. The PC, the iPhone, and the Web. The delivery access is about the same as XBL and PSN, but with more freedoms and without many constraint for the creators or the gamers. So, again what exactly are you referring to and in what sense?

    Posted: July 24, 2010 11:49 PM
  • ArrenKae

    Plain games fuel creativity. You must be creative to create and they do inspire further musings.

    Downloadable games also help make consoles backwards-compatible, save folks trips to stores (and the time, quantity, and other restrictions stores have), and give a larger cut of the purchase price to the creators (reducing the buffer of middlemen).

    DLC's great because it allows a game's post-release bugs to be fixed, additional content to be added, and smaller iterations of products to be viable (alot of the cost of any product is its' packaging, transporation, etc.).

    Posted: July 24, 2010 5:34 PM
  • GiHubb

    You forgot to mention Joe Danger which did an amazing job at mashing together a side-scrolling excitebike type game with a mario platformer - an original mix for sure! I also thought It's length was of a full priced retail game with over 10 hours of gameplay due to its many multi tier levels and challenging (but not frustrating) difficulty. This proved in my mind that downloadable games can also be of significant length and not just a 4-5 hour affair.

    Posted: July 23, 2010 8:11 AM
  • Zzanzabar

    Despite my initial reluctance at buying Live Arcade games (as I stated earlier, I've never bought one) I was so intrigued by Limbo I ponied up the MC points and bought it. The first 45 mins or so were fantastic, then frustration reared its ugly head (I do believe that frustration is the number ONE reason that people will quit a game and/or a developer). I reach the double box saw level (you who have played the game must know this one) and was totally stuck. After dying about 50 times I threw up my hands and walked away.

    I do wish that designers would consider the fact that immense frustration will sour a gamer away from not only the game itself but the developer as well and put in a 'safety value' in such levels.

    Posted: July 23, 2010 7:04 AM
  • skillsthatkills

    what about heavy rain and mirros edge as being a different take on games

    Posted: July 22, 2010 7:47 PM
  • chubi-_-

    i agree completely the only down side of download-only games is waiting for it to download oh and i know quite a few people who dont even have an internet connection and one other thing is the consoles would have to have extremely large hard drives because games take up alot of space like god of war 3 was clocked in at like 35 gbs so the hdd on a download only system would have to be at least a tb because most people like to have a large library of games

    i havent thought much about it till now but even though i like the idea of not having to change disks download only just wouldnt work i think download only is a bad ideafor console gaming hand held is a hole other story

    Posted: July 21, 2010 7:29 PM
  • Blood_Fox

    alrighty, adam, i just noticed that you look like a zombie in the end-of-video feedback promotion.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 6:21 PM
  • Rieb20

    Ouch it hurts to hear you saying watch Feedback with you and Patrick Klepek when he's gone. It sucks, G4's already gonna lose Munn, and Hardwick soon, we don't need people baling from the site too!

    Posted: July 21, 2010 5:36 PM
  • happymeowmeow

    Decreased costs facilitating more creative games being released, definitely one of the positive things about downloadable games.
    Increased dependence on internet connectivity, which I think people take way too for granted, and the ugly hand of DRM, which is probably inevitable. I would be surprised if in the near future the bulk of downloadable console games didn't have some kind of copy protection that requires you to log onto the service to play.
    Developers charging for DLC on games that probably should have been in the orginal release to begin with.
    I feel like weve talked about this stuff before tho...
    It IS a shame Brutal Legend didn't do better....but I think it was somewhat deserved. I loved the world they created, but the game itself fell flat. Yes, I'm talking about the RTS stuff, I know, I know, flogging a dead horse...

    Posted: July 21, 2010 2:13 PM
  • RTR

    I agree with Adam:
    1. Those old Chuck Jones cartoons were probably not intetioned for kids
    2. Br�tal Legend was seriously underappreciated.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 2:11 PM
  • Animatorkid

    Games on DEmand is a prime example why we are paying more for something then its really worth. A game on Demand is 30$, The same game new in shrink wrap 20$ and the same game used 15$. Sad to see some people actually payed for the game.

    Limbo while a cute and creative game but is really relatively short.. In 12 minutes I was able to easily get through what I am pretty sure was 5+ chapters just from the demo. Considering there are only about 20 chapters makes this really not worth the 1200 MS points. 560-800 would have been a perfect target area.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 12:38 PM
  • dfalken

    "Will the higher levels of creativity be allowed to flourish in the digital distribution space? Or will this bring larger publishers in on no-disc media?"

    The answer to the above question has got to be, both. We're seeing a whole new distribution model that is profitable to both types of developers. The small guys can get projects out that they couldn't afford to do under the traditional model, and the large shops can cash in on the savings the digital download affords them. It's going to be big... I think it's will become THE only way you buy games in the near future. Traditional retailers will do everything in their power to stall it, but it's a natural evolution that is inevitable.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 12:26 PM
  • adamofnicholas

    Great post, and I couldn't agree more. The biggest issue here is cost. Cost of development, cost of purchase, and publisher risk/reward. I rarely buy new games for full retail at release these days. The average new game is 60 dollars for around 10 hours of gameplay with no replay value (plus or minus multiplayer that likely won't hold up against one of the online juggernauts). Really, people? No, thanks.

    Some of these downloadable games we see on xbox live arcade are really well made, have a ton of personality, and are fresh ideas (or at least fresh takes on classic genres). That's great in and of itself, but the biggest boon here that will ensure these game experiences keep coming? Cost. They have small development costs, due to smaller dev teams and scaled-back graphical benchmarks. As you said, the distribution cost is also low as there is no physical material required to get it out to the public. This reduces the risk that would make most publishers balk at a title like Deathspank. All of this combines to afford gamers access to new, more creative titles at much lower prices than would be found at retail.

    Sure, some of them might only last 6 hours or so, but when almost all of them are available for 15 bucks or less, who really cares? For the price of a retail copy of Singularity, I can own Limbo, Castle Crashers, Snoopy Flying Ace, AND Deathspank. Yes, please!

    Posted: July 21, 2010 12:04 PM
  • phantomzxro

    That sounds cool and all but i don't buy that originality is far from an illusion and being influenced by an outside force does not always equal to something not being original. I would say in this day and age its hard to be truly original but everything started somewhere at some point in time.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 11:59 AM
  • aduecey

    It sad to hear that the masses consider a game childish if the art style doesn't consit of a color pallet soley comprised of browns and greys. A mature game doesn't require a roided out antagonist to be enjoyed by real adults.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 11:45 AM
  • Radzzzy

    Just want to say that there is no such thing as 'originality', the word is a complete illusion. No one ever created anything that is original, we are always touched and influenced by outside forces. So lets do away with the word and use the word 'creative' instead :-) which is about taking 'experience' and reproducing it in a unique way.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 11:23 AM