April 11th, 2005


I am a slave to the car games

Over yonder, you'll see a new icon. Whee. Over the other yonder, you'll see some snapshots from a bit of driving I did today in Gran Turismo 4.

I'm fascinated by game design. How do you make a bigger, better game? You add more challenges to something that the player already knows. (Or, you could invent something, but that's hard.) Thus, games get bigger and more complex over time, requiring the player to keep track of more and more at once to the point where the games become unplayable, and new genres emerge (typically old genres, given a slight reworking).

So. Car games. Driving around - don't go off the road. Pretty simple. Oh, drive fast, too. Still, pretty simple. 7 years ago, I think, I saw Gran Turismo for the first time. I thought I was watching ESPN. Granted, I was across the room. But they managed to squeeze a pretty decent racing simulation out of the PlayStation. Three iterations later, GT4 is fancier than before, but the game's the same. Drive. Drive fast. Don't go off the road.

The frills that sell the game are impressive. Take snapshots of your car. "Pose" your car in Times Square or Beacon Hill. Plug a printer into your PS2 and print these pictures out, as if they were precious snapshots of your beloved child. Plug a USB drive into your PS2 so you can easily post them on your web page.

I'm a sucker, I guess.