It’s Not The Tools, It’s The Artist

March 2, 2007

I was talking with somebody over at the Games Park yesterday about our favorite gaming experiences. They talked about Half Life 2, which definitely holds a special place in the eternal pantheon of all-time amazing games. The topic then turned to Second Life, and how we could never run anything as cool as Half Life 2 in our little world.

I had to disagree. No, we could never run a Half Life 2 duplicate here, as proven by the heroic but tragic efforts of the UnrealSL team. This machine just doesn’t have the power. Still, think about my favorite all-time platform: the Nintendo Entertainment System. That thing had less processing power than my cell phone does today, and yet the games were mind-blowingly fun.

Remember Super Mario Bros.? Duck Hunt? Mega Man? The Legend of Zelda? Metal Gear? Final Fantasy? Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (exclaims part of the original title)? The list goes on and on…

Making games in SL isn’t a matter of slapping a bunch of things together and hoping for low lag. It’s a question of knowing the limits, exploring what’s actually possible, and then working creatively with what we’ve got.

Serendipidy smiled upon us today: Kotaku featured this video clip that proves the point. This is a detailed drawing of a PSP in MS Paint.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make us the next Castlevania, Contra or Bubble Bobble! The only thing holding you back is your own imagination.


One comment

  1. There’s also this one, with one of my fave songs (used to listen to softly while venturing ’round SL):

    » http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElrldD02if0

    A superb artist does even better with enhanced tools, but everyone gets their start somewhere. People become myopic when faced with the glare and hype of splashy effects, and often draw the wrong conclusion that those effects are at fault — when it infact is the breadth of their perception.

    When doing music, I was often asked the Q: “What equipment do you use to make your music?” instead of Q: “How do you use your existing equipment to make music?” It says a lot about someone’s mindset.

    I AM A YUGE MEGAMAN FAN BTW… I was recently chatting about Mode 7 effects during my inworld office hours. Fun schtuff!

    SL reinvigorates a unique shift, in that remember when one or two or a small group of people could have a big effect on the video game industry, with self-published titled? So we hath seen with Tringo and its brethren.

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