My column this week has a title that, on further reflection, could have been better chosen. The title asks “Has Rendering Technology Stagnated?”, but really that question was answered last week. This week the question I’m actually answering is, “Does it Matter?”
I mean, I guess the title kinda works if you think of stagnation in terms of “Not producing significantly better images”. Even so, “Has Visual Fidelity Stagnated?” would have been less ambiguous.
Such are the perils of working with a deadline. I’ve been dividing my time between publishing my book and other important workAssuming that playing Prey: Mooncrash counts as work. and I didn’t get working on last week’s column when I should have. When I finally started writing I realized I was juggling two different ideas:
- Gaming hardware hasn’t really advanced very much in the last decade. However…
- …it doesn’t matter, because it’s hard to make real gains in visual fidelity and gameplay is far more important at this point.
So I thought I could split the one column into two. That worked out in the sense that it gave me more breathing room this week, but I really should have finished writing both of them before publishing the first.
If this was just a blog post then it wouldn’t be a problem. I could push the articles off for a week and put up some goofy filler post in the interim. That’s fine when you’re publishing stuff to your own site, but it’s not really acceptable when you’re being paid to do a job. The folks at the Escapist are lovely people and very easy to work with, but this isn’t their hobby. They’re trying to run a business, and the last thing anyone needs is an unreliable contributor.
To be clear, nobody really complained about the column. This isn’t a situation where I turned in work that disappointed someone. Rather this is a case where I realize I could have made a much better pair of articles if I’d had another week.
The solution here is for me to knuckle down and build up some lead time. This is the same advice I keep giving to publishers: Don’t try to finish everything in crunch mode. Take your time. Put in half the hours over twice as many days and you’ll get a better product for the same work.
Now that I just spent 300 words telling you it’s not very good, please do be sure to read the column.
 Assuming that playing Prey: Mooncrash counts as work.
The game was a dud, and I'm convinced a big part of that is due to the way the game leaned into its story. Its terrible, cringe-inducing story.
Gamers Aren’t Toxic
This is a horrible narrative that undermines the hobby through crass stereotypes. The hobby is vast, gamers come from all walks of life, and you shouldn't judge ANY group by its worst members.
Charging More for a Worse Product
No, game prices don't "need" to go up. That's not how supply and demand works. Instead, the publishers need to be smarter about where they spend their money.
The Witch Watch
My first REAL published book, about a guy who comes back from the dead due to a misunderstanding.
The Gameplay is the Story
Some advice to game developers on how to stop ruining good stories with bad cutscenes.