1) A project cancelled
2) A team going into never-going-home crunch mode
3) A bad quarterly company report followed by layoffs and a stock skid.
Welcome to the gaming industry!
On the plus side, I am still employed. And I am greatly enjoying my ongoing, daily edjumacation into the wonders and mysteries of game development. While maintaining an uncharacteristic and deceptive low profile amongst my new co-workers, I have been soaking in gazillions of details into how these things get made, and, good god, is there a lot going on. And if some of it may seem mundane to those who have been doing it all day every day, to me, it's extraordinary, just seeing how much scrutiny every teeny, tiny little thing in the game gets. And watching how changing one of those teeny, tiny little things then has an effect on the game as a whole. One of the coolest things to me, so far, is actually watching the game get demonstrably better every single day. I mean, tangibly--you can feel it, see it, as the changes get incorporated. The evolution of the product is just fascinating. There really is a book in this to be written. If only I knew a writer with experiencing writing about this industry to do it.
In other news, I started two games this morning, neither of them Sims related: Dead Space and Fallout 3. I know as an EA Shill I should be pimping Dead Space to ya, but, honestly, Fallout 3 is the one I ended up blowing the afternoon on. You can't blame me. I played (and reviewed for CGW) Fallout 1 a good 10 years ago. I have history. I'm a fan. And I'm a real fan, too--not like the nincompoops on That One Special Internet Forum who have been aching for Fallout 3 to suck since it was first announced. If I live to be 200 (just a couple more years now), I will never understand how people get that way, or why they bother, given the relative brevity of our time here on Earth. So much bitterness....and for what? So you don't believe Bethesda can do right by your beloved old games....go play something else. But to waste time posting on message boards about it, with other fellow bitter people. I don't know. Out of morbid curiousity, I lurked over there the other day, right when the game came out, and sure enough, as the positive reviews were piling in, it was one bitter comment after another in response: "LOL PRESS WHORES!" etc. Because god forbid it might actually be good! Or god forbid anyone else should enjoy it, since you're determined to hate it! More laughable, and sad, were the comments promising that when THEY buy the game and write their review, you can damn well be sure it's gonna be a negative one!! Yeah. That's great. So your plan is to:
1) Buy a game you know you're going to hate, thereby giving the company you feel is screwing the franchise more money.
2) Play it even though you know you're gonna hate it, thereby wasting hours out of your own life doing something you don't enjoy.
3) Write a negative review no matter what your play experience happens to be, because you know already that it's going to suck.
Good grief does it suck to be you.
Meanwhile, I'll post my own impressions as I make my way through. I have no agenda other than that I hope it's good, which is how I feel every time I start a new game. Wacky notion, huh?
Oh yeah, and I'll play Dead Space too, if only to tell you ITS THE MOST AWESOME GAME EVER BECAUSE EA MADE IT AND PLEASE BUY EA GAMES SO THE COMPANY MAKES MORE MONEY AND THE STOCK GOES BACK UP AND I CAN RETIRE EARLY AND FINALLY READ ALL THE MALAZAN BOOKS.