Hey folks! I’m the new guy. My nick is Nicodemus and I will be posting a lot of rants, raves, complaints, ideas, opinions, analysis, theory, practice, and commentary on just about every topic remotely related to the game industry (with an emphasis on MMOs). Apparently I have talked Spot’s ear off so many times that he thinks I should shut up, write it down, and share it with the rest of the world. So, here I am!
“Who is this guy?” you are probably wondering. Well, here is a little bit about me:
I am an old school gamer…I’ve played games on the Ti-99, Atari 400 and 800, the Apple IIe and IIc, the Amiga, the Commodore 64, some weirdo computer called a Schneider (with a tape cassette to load games!), and of course the venerable consoles…Pong (yeah, I owned one) Intellivision, Colecovision, Atari 2600 and 5200, and the usual Nintendo and Sega consoles, as well as all of the recent ones you are familiar with. Oh yeah, can’t forget the Vectrex!
My first business was a comic book store, and my first game industry job was as a senior multimedia engineer (2D and 3D graphics, animation, sound effects, game design, level design, technical design) for a virtual reality arcade game company in the early 90’s. In 1995 I started my own MMO development studio with the intention of creating the first real-time 3D MMORPG. At the time a lot of smart people thought I was an idiot and that real-time 3D graphics could never be done on a PC. I would like to take a moment to give them the bird before I continue. While I accomplished a lot there (learned quite a bit too), the company was ultimately PK’d by one of my business partners (evil mofo) and it died a slow death. Since then, I have been doing a lot under the proverbial radar…mostly consulting (business, design, whatever) for smaller developers and high-tech startup companies, as well as becoming something of an industry expert in the design, administration, and operations of MMORPGs. No, you haven’t heard of me. Yes, I’ve been either a senior VOL or a senior CS/GM (staff) for a bunch of MMOs that you have played and might still be playing.
To put it simply, I have more than a decade of experience in nearly all areas of the game industry. I’ve seen what works, what doesn’t, and the things that can kill a company or a good game, as well as what it takes to do things right.
Maybe I’ve become jaded in my old age (spot sure as heck thinks so)…I used to be full of vision and energy about the MMO industry, and I felt like it was a true evolution of entertainment and storytelling that could draw someone into rich and evocative experiences in such a way that can only be done with a book or a really damn good movie. However, there is such a saturation of mediocre games out there, and what I feel is a detioration of the industry, that I am quite cranky about the state of things and I have a hard time being impressed by something newly released. I was actually bored at the last few E3 conventions I went to.
So, am I just going to whine and rant about the good ole days, or all the idiocy in the industry now? Heck no! Well, partially, yes. I am also going to try to “think outside the polygon” and share my thoughts and ideas on how to improve the industry, create better games, and attempt to spark a revolution that might just catalyze an evolution of the industry.
Geez, I was just supposed to write an introduction and I’m already using the big words and getting all hot and bothered. I don’t even have an official soapbox yet.
So, anyway, I am happy to be here, and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you, and getting YOUR thoughts and opinions. Maybe I’m completely off-base with a skewed perspective on something, or maybe I’m dead on with a comment or an idea. I might be pretty confident about myself and my views, but I am not so arrogant that I can’t listen to other opinions and adjust my views. Besides, half the fun is the discussion and the sharing of ideas. Otherwise, the world would be a pretty dull place wouldn’t it?
Signing off for now…