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In response to "What if Everyone Could Make Videogames" from The Escapist Forum: I immediately thought of music when I saw the title of the article - there'd be great bands, awful bands, unfinished bands, wannabes ... pop oriented, art for art's sake, new ideas bubbling through the esoteric into the mainstream ... political songs, loud and visceral, easy listening and fluffy ...
I think if there were fewer barriers to experiment with game development, that overall we'd so more innovation in gaming. Just like music, there'd be people trying experiments for the joy of it and not to sell the most units. Elements of some of them would become popular, and we'd see many of those ideas and notions used in the mainstream games.
We already see this happening in games, through game mods and UI mods being integrated into widely published works (WoW UI mods being adopted into the Blizzard UI, and then into other games, for example). What I think we'd see open up more is story, style, and content ideas.
It'd be fun. It'd be horrifying. Sometimes, both.
I think the advent of those online games you find by typing in game's into google is an indicator of the sort of quality you'd get.
I don't think it's a lack of easy to use tools that prevent people from designing games. We have software like RPG Maker, AdventureStudio, etc that are almost entirely point and click and incredibly easy to understand. The issue that I face most often when I'm feeling creative is trying to create assets. If you aren't much of an artist than forget it. Either your game will look like garbage and no one will want to play it (or worse - you won't want to finish it) or you'll use asset packs that make your game look like everything else. What we really need is software that brings the other elements of game design to the same level of simplicity that coding is at. I'm longing to find software that will give me the flexibility of a really good character creation system so I can actually make my game look the way I want it to.
In response to "The Virtua Corps" from The Escapist Forum: Wow...this is deep, at least to me. I never realized that there actually good battle sims. These people seems to almost loose a grip on reality, taking gaming this serious.
I can't speak for the group that Jim was primarily talking to. However, the one he references - Shack Tactical - is a group that I founded in January of 2006. I would not say that any of us have "lost our grips on reality". Our attitude is one of "serious fun", and you can find as many serious videos from us as you can find hilariously silly stuff.