I'm Jon Olick. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I presented Sparse Voxel Octrees at Siggraph 2008.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gaming in 2011

Free to Play
Despite Red 5's game Firefall being a AAA free to play game, most games will still be pay to play in 2011. However, this is a growing trend that more and more games will adopt in the future. Red 5 is 2 steps ahead of the curve. Companies will always be willing to accept lower margins in order to gain market share. (Interestingly though, some free to play games make more money being free to play than they would if they were pay to play.)

Retro-fitting a free to play mechanism into an existing game will fail. It must be designed that way from the start.

Mainstream Indie
Minecraft has put indie in the forefront of many gamers eyes. Next year will have at least one other popular indie game that goes mainstream, and chooses to not align with any console manufacturer or publisher.

I know that many can argue about other games which reached this category, but I do believe that Minecraft is different enough to be considered its own class.

Linear Videogames
More and more games are going to feel like they are on rails. The rising costs of creating content will push most if not all games in this direction. Sad... but true.

Next generation Console Details Leaked
Some detailed information about the next generation consoles may be announced or leaked. After which the pissing matches get worse then they already are...

Playstation Move Fail
I love Sony dearly, but I do believe they have been out-gunned. Kinect is different enough to stand out against Nintendo. PS Move isn't really all that different from Wii. I expect to see lots of Wii knock-offs that many people will buy. However, I don't expect to see anything radically different. More of the same, but with fancier graphics and possibly some better camera interactions. I'm interested to see SPUs saving the day with PS Move. Go SPU!

Kinect Success
Microsoft will spout out some big numbers showing how Kinect is a financial success. Followed shortly by people being tired of flailing their arms and legs in every game. Still, I expect to see some interesting titles come out of Kinect.

Rage redefines beautiful
Rage from id Software is a fantastic game that I had the pleasure of working on. Id will release Rage with unique virtual texture mapping with a very many jaw dropping scenes in the game. I am a bit worried about the financial success of the product. This being ids first new title in a great many years (over 11 years). Will Rage be able to garnish the attention the title deserves, or will it be a viral hit that takes a while to reach its potential market penetration? Only time will tell. I hope for the best.

Epic releases next generation game
In typical Epic fashion, they will release a game shortly after id which many will praise as being superior. The flame wars begin! At the very least, I expect a tech demo showing something incredible. Epic won't give up their #1 spot without a good fight.

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