Yeehar old with the out today! So, last year this time I began the Graet Deconstruction, decluttering the entire house ready for a redo, undoing habits, getting rid of dross in huge great bouts and scouring what was left for good measure. The Graet Deconstruction is near complete. In 2013, I will see the Graet Building of Personal New Things. Regarding our game project, I go forward alone but undeterred (because I’m enjoying it). It did what it was meant to do, now can go into a kind of dozy mode. I aim to… dunno… mess about in the GardenShed, poke about in code and potter. I want to keep it ready to go forward at any time, keep adding things and looking it over – my job to stay current and up to date with new tools as much as possible. I would like it to be there much later than now for the next generation to either develop further or just fool around with. I’m Mrs KeepitTickingGuy now. What they do with it later is up to them.
It is a dark and stormy gloomy windy day Catheeee, Heathcliffe, Catheee. Perfect for donning a carpet and gazing into the (imaginary but I want one!) chandelier, see what I see ahead. I think and guess….
That economic gloom will continue and get worse because if you keep doing the same thing you keep getting the same result. As a result of tightening, shrinking and deadness of the global economy and last years lackluster performances, AAA games will not be able to borrow. As a result of that they will try anything and everything to milk the playerbase I do predict therefore this:
We will see AAA games which have a box price to pay plus expansions which need to be bought, plus a sub required for the full game, plus a cash shop which sells pay to win items, plus no free trial (they want the upfront money and don’t care if it works, absolutely no intention to optimise either). It will call itself a sandbox because of all the ways they give you to pay. It will rely on hype to sell copies. I know we already have games something like these but they don’t call themselves sandboxes. Must use that word! I predict we will see some very cheap and nasty AAA things in 2013, this time not from greed and laziness but from necessity and desperation. And if the playerbase doesn’t pony up it’s game over for the company, I don’t think bailout money can be found.
I predict that any game which ignores context will fail and fold. Context: the setting within which the game exists and is played in real life. MMO’s like to pretend everyone has 24 hours a day to play on an expensive computer. Hence I predict the mobile and app market will rise (games fit into life = win) while the MMO market dips horribly (life fits around MMO = fail). I do not think that MMO creators and purveyors wish to see their game in a greater context.
Indies will do really well! Flexibility is an asset, so is newness, so is creativeness. I look forward to the Indies of 2013. Most likely 2014/15 before the Indie scene really takes off, but this year should see a nice run of new ones even as the big studios lay people off. What is more with borrowing so difficult they are likely to be tightly budgetted and annoying though that may be, it makes them more likely to succeed.
Wurms will infest any game that dares to call itself a sandbox and annoy everyone by comparing it with Wurm.
Food prices will rocket and supermarket portions will get even smaller and that’s about it. Best invest in cabbages. I do not want to know if the constricted economy will cause upheavals. I stay out of politics. Only to say I hope some stupendous idiot doesn’t decide a war would be just the very thing to kickstart the economy. That’s more of a danger. Wars drive nothing, they are a sugar rush to internal spending and ultimately destructive on all levels to all things except arms dealers.
I do not think this will be the year in which clever people learn to address and neutralise aggression. It’s not even widely perceived as a necessary goal yet – we’re on balance more likely to blow up our planet than find a sustainable niche on it. We are not even slightly necessary to earth’s continued functioning – if anything we mess it up (big time). Far from being “lords of creation”, we’re pretty stupid creatures, fouling our own nest with horrible abandon.
And until we find a way to control the big aggressive (in the widest possible sense) folk, we’re stuck with this stupid behaviour.
Tldr – next year is going to be rough buckets. Double-check your safety apparatus.