Chris Taylor: PC Gaming is Rediscovering Itself

Demigod Screenshot

In an age where pretty much everyone believes that PC gaming is dying a slow death, it’s nice to see some optimism from developers. While Blizzard and Valve have already shown their love for PC, there’s another developer scurring behind them, and that’s Gas Powered Games, known for their PC-exclusive games, such as the Dungeon Siege series, Supreme Commander and last year’s Space Siege.

Chris Taylor, supreme commander of GPG said in an interview that he believes that PC gaming is, in fact, rediscovering itself. The last 10 years of it, have been all about breaking system requirements, and the audience was also crazy enough to buy the latest gear for it. That is starting to change.

“We have to be careful we don’t create games that require four gigs of RAM to run. It’s just not responsible. It kind of was, in the old days; now, well, hardware’s pretty quick. We don’t really need to do that. We should be focusing on the characters, the story, the UI, the design.”

Nice to see it come honest and clear from a game developer. While console gamers have only to buy a disc and pop it into their drives, PC gamers have to inspect the game, compare the requirements, install it, and then hope it’ll run as it should. No wonder even the most hardcore PC gamers have been taking to consoles!

Taylor also thinks that Blizzard has the right idea, “using art direction rather than pure technical showmanship to create visually appealing but less-demanding games.” He says that GPG is working on something very similar with Demigod, their upcoming RPG-Strategy hybrid.

We’ll just hope Taylor’s optimistic tone holds up. Long live PC gaming!

BioWare interested in the iPhone

BioWare on the iPhone!

Now there’s something you don’t hear everyday. Veteran RPG developer BioWare mentioned in an interview by MTV that they are interested in the cultural phenomenon that is the Apple iPhone. Of course, there’s no hard words here and it’s all just speculation for now, but BioWare definitely have their eyes on the Jesus phone.

BioWare is currently working on Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood for the DS, which surprised fans since BioWare isn’t exactly known for developing much outside the PC frame. Of course, they did make the Xbox 360 hit Mass Effect, but it was ported over to the PC anyways, so BioWare wasn’t completely out of their element. When asked on the handheld experience, Greg Zeschuk says:

“It’s actually been great fun. That was almost one of the sort of hidden reasons to do a handheld game. One thing was to try something different and explore a different platform, and as you know, kind of sort of work in a lighter flavor of environment in terms of the game we’re working on. We’re nearing the end and it’s turning out really great.

In terms of handhelds, it’s been great because it’s also so fast. The cycle to make changes and improvements is very short compared to the hundreds of thousands of text in a full next-gen console or PC product. The iteration cycle is really short, and that makes it ideal for a short-attention span where you want to do something different every day. [laughs] It’s pretty exciting, actually. It’s been a really unique experience and one we’re definitely interested in pursuing.”

And when asked on whether they are interested in the iPhone,

“We look at every platform that comes along. Obviously, something that’s as big a cultural and technical success as the iPhone is something you really got to take a close look at. Certainly, there’s nothing written in stone yet but we’ve got a lot of folks looking at it. It’s intriguing. I think one of the things that we’ll have to see how it shakes out is what type of consumer buys games on it and what type of experience they’re looking for. You want to always mash the consumer experience with what you’re building. We want to understand what people are going to do with it. Who knows. We’re definitely looking at every platform.”

Still, BioWare is committed to the PC, for which they will be releasing their original IP, Dragon Age, a fantasy RPG that doesn’t really rock our socks yet. They are, of course, working on Mass Effect 2 and some more mysterious products.

Valve: PC Gaming is where all the action is

Gabe Newell

We’ve had all sorts of articles going on lately about how PC gaming is “dying”. Valve doesn’t think so. At a press event in Bellevue, Washington, Valve held steadfastly to their love of the PC and declared it as a robust and relevant gaming system. Gabe Newell went so far as to say that “[the] PC is where all the action is, and there’s a perception problem”.

It seems that Valve is placing emphasis on Steam and other online software distribution methods, and with good reason. Citing figures, Newell said that DFC Intelligence data showing that PC online sales have been on an increase since 2001, while retail sales comparatively flat. Valve also expects online sales to overtake retail very soon.

An interesting statement he makes is,

“We don’t really have a champion of the PC platform. If you write a story about the Xbox 360, there’s just an army of people who are going to descend on you to make that picture look as polished and rosy as possible. Same things for the other consoles – but there’s no equivalent on the PC, and the people who are traditionally driving these messages, like Microsoft or Intel or Apple are, for various reasons, not very effective champions.”

As we say from Valve’s latest announcement of Steam Cloud, Valve has been pretty aggressive on establishing the PC as the best video game platform out there. It’s time they got some support!

Steam Cloud: save your savegames online forever!

Steam Cloud

Valve continues to impress with every one of its announcements! We heard of Steamworks a few months ago, which has made professional video game publishing within everyone’s free hands. Now Valve announces Steam Cloud, a revolutionary service that will allow you to store savegames and configuration files online; that is, forever.

Hit the jump to read more and become darn excited!

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