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Author Topic: Video Games: what you you guys think?  (Read 3366 times)

doomed1

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Video Games: what you you guys think?
« on: July 13, 2009, 07:19:54 PM »
As some of you guys may know (i can't remember if i've said anything on the matter here...), i'm aspiring to be a video game designer as a career after i finish my higher education. So basically, i'm very interested in the structure, creation, and preconceived notions of different people on the subject of interactive entertainment. I'm aware that there are a few on this board around my age and likely have a positive outlook on gaming due to growing up around them, but i'm also very interested in what the older guys here think of the medium.

And no, i'll likely never make a game about driving or racing motorcycles. Though the reasons for that are more related to being unable to properly simulate how totally awesome Royal Enfields are.

mbevo1

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 08:27:01 PM »
OK, Doomed,

I'll throw my .02 in here... but first, my bona fides...  I began my IT career on Nov 12th 1971 when the Navy sent me to Data Processing Technician A School.  BS in Systems Analysis 1978.  Project administrator and software model manager for the Navy for nearly a dozen years.  Lots of experience in testing (and using) military simulation software.  Spent thousands of hours (outside of normal duty hours and before Wife) writing stuff to play games on military hardware (worked pretty darned well, too) 

Then PONG came along... 

Haven't spent a nickle or a minute on a video game in probably ten years (I'm 55).  Somewhere along the way I decided that getting out and actually doing something had more reward for me than living, however briefly, in a interactive video simulation.

Don't get me wrong, I 've spent my time with all sorts of games over the years and would call it (as Brad Paisley says) Time Well Wasted... too bad you can't find a good pinball parlor anymore...

Maybe I'm just revolting against the scene I see regularly of my nieces and nephews texting each other from the kitchen to the living room when we gather on the weekends... all good kids, but its getting to where they don't do ANYTHING, anymore, except mash on a keyboard or a joystick... I'll play with my Bullet, instead...  ;D

Hope this doesn't sound like a rant... didn't intend it as one.  If that's where your passion lies, go for it !   Besides, the gaming community has provided the starting point for LOTS of cutting edge software being used everywhere in the "real world"...

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geoffbaker

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2009, 11:03:30 PM »
I have to say I agree with Mike.

I first played computer games on a Kaypro C/PM machine back in the early 80's.. I've played everything since, including Wolfenstein (original Doom) and all the later Dooms, many flavors of many other games, over many many years and thousands of hours. About ten or twelve years ago I wiped the games off my machine and have never played one since.

Maybe when you get older you discover there are other things in life... I wouldn't spend a single hour playing a computer game, for instance, if I had to exchange it for an hour diving or hiking or skiing or riding a bike.

Just my 2 cents. Nothing against computer games; but looking back, they are just a way of wasting time.

Of course, you could say that about writing on forums, too. :D

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 12:20:26 AM »
 Hello, I'm 41yo and put my fair share of quarters in pinball machines and DonkyKong at the arcade. But that was mainly to hang out with friends.
 But that was many,many years ago. Then I grew up,turned 18 and found out the real word is more fun and exciting.
 I think your audiance here has realized that. That's why I ride motorcycles and REs. I like to play a game of horse shoes more than a video/computer game. It's insane all the effort that goes into making these games but we still use Dino fuel?   Come on!   Yep,time wasted.                                                                                                                                     Interaction with real people in the real world keeps me entertained for hours. ;D
 My 2 cents. You only have one quarter to play the game of life, go for the big score!
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 01:09:25 AM »
None for me, thank you.
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 01:12:29 AM »
ZIPPO!!!
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jdrouin

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 01:24:40 AM »
Doomed,

I can understand the responses of many of the members here about kids not getting out enough, playing in the real world, etc., and I agree with them to an extent. However, I have a slightly different take.

I'm a 33-year-old Ph.D. candidate in English and instructional technologist, and I teach college courses in literature and digital humanities. In my role as an instructional technologist, I collaborate with a  variety of faculty to design assignments and projects in their courses that make use of technology for learning. For example, in an upper division course on apocalyptic thought in American culture, I helped the professor design blogging assignments that led cumulatively to larger multimedia projects and eventually research papers. On the idea that you can demonstrate understanding of a concept by translating it into a different medium, I helped students write and produce movies, and one particularly smart project involved a gallery of apocalyptic LOLcat images that were associated with passages from the King James Bible and its translation in LOLcat. I could see student-produced video games as a viable project for a humanities course.

All of this is to say that I take digital media -- including video games -- very seriously. They're such an integral part of our culture and experience, that it's a false divide to consider them as an alternate reality. Facebook, Royal Enfield Fora, and other social networking services are not part of our virtual lives, they're part of our real lives, and there are real-world consequences to what goes on there. Do some people become too invested in the digital aspect of life? Sure. But with a proper balance the digital and analog are mutually very stimulating.

When I was five or six (ca. 1981-2), I finally badgered my dad into buying us an Atari 2600, which was addicting. Then came the Nintendo, and then an Apple ][gs with its own set of video games. For a time I definitely got more interested in video games than in sports (which as a youngster I was never good at) and other outdoor activities. What I see now is that the level of absorption and engagement with some video games is not very different from reading a book or watching a film, though I think those activities are more enriching than the vast majority of video games. What is more, the human response to video games is as worthy of study as the human response to other art forms.

After 9/11 (I live in NYC and saw it all, and had to smell it directly for many months), my roommate picked up Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and I was blown away by the level of historical research, engineering, and artistic talent that went into creating that sort of game. I hadn't played a video game probably since I was 11 years old. I would have to say that the violence and first person perspective of the game helped me to work through some of the anger, as well as new thought processes I was having about things like enemies, the romanticization of warfare for propaganda, the role of the hero in culture and psychology, and so on. That's not to say Wofenstein is literary (it isn't), but video games can have crucial importance to our lives just like certain pop songs, movies, or other works that make felicitous entries into our lives. I hear there are video games out there that are intellectually complex. I just don't have time to play them if I want to finish my dissertation.

I also played Enemy Territory, the free online version of Wolfenstein, for a while, in part because I enjoyed the social aspect. You get to play on teams, strategize with each other, talk smack to the other team. It's good clean violent fun and you get to meet all kinds of interesting people doing it. But I have a very active social and family life outside all that.

Anyway, I apologize for writing so much, but your topic was interesting to me and I just sort of gushed. Thanks for the excuse to procrastinate.

What are you studying? What video games do you like? What kind of games do you want to design? What schools/programs are you interested in?

Jeff

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 01:37:14 AM »
I remember a crowd being drawn to a genius game called "Space  Invaders".
It cost a quarter to play. If you could get past the crowd.
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woodboats

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2009, 02:43:05 AM »
My son does this for a living. He is a game computer artist.
I think he spent around 5 years in study with different outfits and he now has that "magic" number of over 3 years working in the trade. This will probably allow him to apply at some overseas companies now, if he wishes.

Being one of the old guys I can say that I have a go at some games now and then. I love the flying ones. People use their computers for all sorts of entertainment, games .forums, study etc.
Gaming, in my opinion, Will certainly be in high demand for many years to come. There is as much money spent on producing today's games as there is in making blockbuster movies. People will always need  some sort of recreation, wether it's gaming, sports, art etc. Even during these recession times folks will spend money on their hobbies as it is usually a cheap type of entertainment.
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Chasfield

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2009, 03:08:24 PM »
I am 49.

I used to spend a lot of time with PC games. Some were epic and made all others in their genre pointless.

Eg: Deus Ex for anything first person, and IL2 for flight sims.

The trouble I had was being stuck in an endless loop of hardware upgrades, but still not being able to get more than 12 frames per second out of the latest box full of overpriced bloatware.

So I gave up on 'em.

(Operating systems went the same way - I now use Linux - the RE Bullet of operating systems.)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 03:13:24 PM by Chasfield »
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sqf

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2009, 03:26:01 PM »
I'm 34 with 4 kids all 12 or younger.  Before marriage and real life I could sit and play games for days on end, get a new game and beat it in two days of no sleep and Mountain Dew.  I bought myself and Xbox 360 two years ago and bought "Turning Point", it took me over a year to beat it just because I never get a chance to play!  The kids love the Wii, Xbox, PS2 and of course tv.  We keep it in check because our kids have NO electronics Monday through Thursday.  They get 2 hours of regulated computer time Friday-Sunday (freeware program actually tracks and locks them out after 2 hours).  Amazingly they play together and argue less when they aren't vegging.  Fridays are sometimes rough because they all argue over who wants to watch or play what.  Gaming or technology in general is just like anything else, it has its place as long as it is used prudently and in moderation. 
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bob bezin

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2009, 03:38:39 PM »
my 21 year old son  spends most of his spare time on his game. what worries me is that he is'nt learning anything. hours a day that could be used tinkering or doing anything usefull are just plain wasted .they actually make me woosie if i watch him for more than a few minutes.
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ace.cafe

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2009, 05:27:19 PM »
I'm 54.
I played Pong, Asteroids, Space Invaders when I was out at bars and tilting a few brewskis. A long time ago. Until I found out that Foosball was more fun.
I later had a girl friend that liked Ms PacMan, so I played that sometimes.
That's about it.
I never played a video game on a console or computer. Only at arcades and bars where I fed it quarters.

However, I will say that once you've done 185mph in a Lotus at Watkins Glen, video games sort of pale in comparison.

But I do understand that there is a whole generation of folks who are tied by the umbilical to the video screen. And their behavior patterns are probably pretty well set, and they will continue to be video addicts.
So, I believe that there is a market there, and that there's money in it, if you're good.

The problem with us old farts is that we remember when TV was something that you might be allowed to look at for an hour per night, after you finished your homework.
Our fun had nothing to do with a TV or video screen, so our tastes in activities evolved differently.

But, that doesn't mean that I had no interest in computers.
To the contrary, in the early 1980s I was designing some of the early entries into the computerized home automation and building automation systems, which monitored and controlled living space environments.
So, I did things with computers, but it was on a different level.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 05:43:46 PM by ace.cafe »
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REpozer

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2009, 06:04:06 PM »
However, I will say that once you've done 185mph in a Lotus at Watkins Glen, video games sort of pale in comparison.

But I do understand that there is a whole generation of folks who are tied by the umbilical to the video screen. And their behavior patterns are probably pretty well set, and they will continue to be video addicts.
So, I believe that there is a market there, and that there's money in it, if you're good.
That brings up a good point.
Have you noticed, many young people seem to have difficulty safely operating a car.
They seem to get into the strangest accidents,mainly as if they think they are able to defy physics(IE like a video game)

One of the most frightening sights (lately) was a young girl( she had to be at lest 12),zooming past me with a cell phone to her ear,allot of flowing hair out the window and a compact spare tire on the front.   Scary
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fun2drum

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 01:40:04 AM »
I dunno.  I used to worry about my kids' spending too much time on the game console, but I got them cell phones a few weeks ago and now they spend all their time texting their friends.  These kids will text each other all day long even if they're in the same room!  Am I just too old, or does that seem a little ridiculous?
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geoffbaker

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2009, 01:51:36 AM »
took me a while to figure out texting.

It's for when kids want to communicate, but not actually have to TALK to someone in real time...

Our culture is getting pretty scary when you think that kids have TVs, computers, games, phones and fridges in their rooms...one day they will just never have to come out again...

The only thing I ever had in my room growing up was piles of books.

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2009, 02:27:59 AM »
I used to play video games mostly back in the 80's but not nearly as much as some friends. I still play as a momentary escape. I like the Wii because it's Type B, like me. I remember trying Jak and Daxter a few years ago and found it way too difficult. I just wasn't interested in the time required to get good at it., I just prefer to live in analog, if you know what I mean.
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dogbone

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2009, 01:17:28 PM »
Never made it to Pac-man ! Pinball & pool,, I guess it shows I'm an old fart  ::)
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2009, 03:51:47 PM »
Well,  I have a XBox and was quite into Halo 2 and the beginning of Halo 3.   Ran a team on the 2old2play.com and were in some ladder matches etc..  Great fun, we would play about 4 hours 2 nights a week.   Then I discovered motorcycles and got to busy in the real world..  Kinda miss the gaming and some of my friends.....  Have not logged into Xbox live in about 6 months.

Edit.....   Wow, this is my 1000th post...  Go figure, and I did not even plan it that way..
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2009, 05:39:05 PM »

Edit.....   Wow, this is my 1000th post...  Go figure, and I did not even plan it that way..
Did anything happen? Like flashing lights and gonging buzzers?
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2009, 06:55:33 PM »
Got an email from Kevin,  they are giving me a free C5 for my accomplishment...  Sweeetttt.... ;D


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REpozer

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2009, 07:31:23 PM »
Got an email from Kevin,  they are giving me a free C5 for my accomplishment...  Sweeter.... ;D
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doomed1

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2009, 02:41:10 AM »
alright, to be clear, i'm only asking to gather opinions. as an aspiring game designer, learning about audiences and external opinions matters to me. my next question to some of you would seem counter-intuitive, but i'd like you guys to seriously consider it.

what would it take for you to start playing games, or for some of you pick them up again, and play them about as regularly as, for example, you watch TV for leisure? as a follow-up (and for those who are already at the prior question), what would you look for most in the games you would presumably play. to be perfectly fair, i ask everyone this question, no matter what i'm expecting as a response, even my parents.

now for the benefit of Jeff, who wrote that great and very interesting response, the least i can do is answer your questions.

What are you studying? What video games do you like? What kind of games do you want to design? What schools/programs are you interested in?
i'm a man of your field, studying for a 20y/o English major with a minor in communications at the Saint John's University is Collegeville, MN (not Queens). i grew up on Sim City 2000, the old SCUMM point and click adventure games like Sam & Max, and Flight games like X-Wing, so of course i have a love of those, but it would be easier to list genres i DON'T like than genres i do, and even then there are exceptions. i'll play anything so long as i feel the game is balanced to whatever playstyle can be adapted to it.

as for kinds of games i'd like to develop, i find most of the games i've designed are of the shooter genre, but what i usually do with these concepts is have some sort of interaction element, particularly social interaction, as an integral part of the gameplay. design it as an experience that has a message than just something to do. it's tricker to manage than you would think.

currently i'm looking very intently at the University of Central Florida for their production MA since it's something i can achieve with my inconsistent fine art skills and my (putting it nicely) weak coding skills. besides, it allows me to be more creative with conceptualizing.

i actually live in the NYC metropolitan myself, just over in JC. i'd actually love to discuss this further, maybe over lunch if you'd like. drop me a PM.

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2009, 04:23:09 AM »
what would it take for you to start playing games, or for some of you pick them up again, and play them about as regularly as, for example, you watch TV for leisure? as a follow-up (and for those who are already at the prior question), what would you look for most in the games you would presumably play. to be perfectly fair, i ask everyone this question, no matter what i'm expecting as a response, even my parents.

For me to take up a video game regularly it would have to feature something that keeps me coming back, something that merits repeated engagement like a good book or movie. As I mentioned in the case of Enemy Territory, it was the social aspect of team play combined with the nostalgiac visual style and narrative (WWII). With Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it was the challenging missions and problems to solve, plus you the player were the main character in the narrative. I guess I tend to like games that have a realistic period / setting, like a novel or movie, with some sort of overarching thread to hold the episodes together and make them interesting. What it would take to make me a regular player, though, would be a more sophisticated set of outcomes or states of gameplay.

I would say most video games promote values of genocide and/or consumerism. In first person shooters or other violent games you have to kill all the "bad guys," or as many as possible. Other games like Pacman require you to obtain all of the resources or capture all the objects. Then there are simulators, which allow you to approximate a real activity that you might not be able to experience first hand (like flying a plane). And then of course there are games of strategy or probability-based prediction (i.e. The Sims, which I've never played). I'm sure most video games involve some combination of all these. So I would want something that presents a complex worldview while having concrete, exciting conflict (like how Shakespeare is lyrically beautiful, philosophically deep, and punctuated by wicked sword fights). It's hard to imagine what such a game might do specifically, since by nature a game is usually very goal-oriented, thus producing a black-and-white moral focus.

But whatever it is, cool weapons are a must.

I think Roland Barthes had some interesting segments on games and game theory in Mythologies or Mythologies II. I would dig them out but a former roommate stole them.

Hope this helps. I'll send you a PM.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 04:29:46 AM by jdrouin »

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2009, 04:25:26 AM »
Also, I've always wondered how you could design a game with a truly open-ended outcome. It seems to me they're all deterministic. But then so are tragedy and comedy.

Jeff
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 04:36:17 AM by jdrouin »

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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2009, 09:00:22 PM »
I used to play video games alot... I have some games that I want to play now but my basement is a mess so... 

I like games with intense stories like a great book, I also think that the ability to choose the direction of the game is a cool concept but I understand there are limitations to that. 

I like interacting with real people but I have never played an mmorpg. (i want to WOW but I am afraid of the "crack" like addiction I have seen in others.

A good way to have a game progress into different areas by the choices a gamer makes would be:

To be in real time where the developers are constantly on their toes to write story plots and dialogue as the game goes on. Having a huge base of game players become involved in the story itself would be one way to facilitate this but the rendering of new "things" would be a difficulty here... Kind of like a WOW expansion but as I said more real time.

Also having the people who kick ass most, become newsworthy in and out of the game and being able to follow that persons saga could make for an expansion into having game viewers as well as players.

if you wanted to join the "awesome" person you could ask or try out and it could truly become an epic battle of good versus evil or just two factions fighting for something.

To perhaps take movies and books and make games out of them that are more open to the world that was created by them rather than the characters in them...

For example the world of Lord of the Rings instead of having to be one of the characters you simply exist in that world and the events unfold around you and you can and would be encouraged to participate on one side or another but wouldn't actually have to.


Or Harry Potters world, you are a magician from youth and can choose to go to hogwarts during various eras, like when Snape and James were there or around Harry's time but not be one of the main characters, so as to be more realistic, but allow for changes to some of the plotlines to include your influences...

also the start up would be to allow you to choose who you are from what kind of background (muggle born, pureblood, half giant,  hobbit, human, elf) stuff like that.

My basic Idea is to create Worlds from these works, I think the Star Wars games have gone this direction but more titles need to go this rout I think.
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Re: Video Games: what you you guys think?
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2009, 01:04:12 AM »
Several things missing from most games:

1) Ease of startup/initial involvement. Most games can be extremely difficult for a first timer to learn without an experienced player to give pointers. I've always wondered why, with the feedback controls we have now, we couldn't have a "demo" mode where the joystick is controlled by the computer, demonstrating how it turns and moves etc, in sync with the play. You hold it and you feel it push left as the character turns left, etc etc.

2) You want to make a lot of money, find a game for older audiences. 99% of games are aimed at young audiences (I mean under 30) and as you get older, shootemups grow less interesting. Violence becomes more of a turnoff than a turn on. But a truly compelling game for older audiences could be a huge hit. Think vintage, like the WW2 games; but maybe with some different twist. Just finished watching "Defiance"..

3) If you're going to stick with an existing formula (Harry Potter, Tolkein, Star Wars, Star Trek) I think the key is to find an area nobody's done. A Harry Potter game set mostly in the Muggle side? Tolkein from the Appendices, not the movie.

4) If I was a game programmer today, I'd be banging on Microsoft's doors for the API for their Project Natal. Now THAT is going to change games... you'll be able to reach for the shelf, pull down a book, open the pages, look for the secret code... all by mimicking those gestures.

Just my cent's worth