To: The Game Industry|
From: Gen Katz, Editor
Topic: Weekend in Syberia
Date: Aug 2004
I must admit that I am partial to adventure/wander/story type games and I just spent a weekend in Syberia with my main guy. It was cold -- constant snow and drifts but still beautiful. We visited an ancient monastery perched atop a mountain. It was almost unbelievable, soaring spires, chambers with ceilings so high they disappeared into the dark. The otherworldly light from the stained glass windows half hid the opulence in the cathedral while the dark candle-lit rooms radiating off the cloister -- were a stark reminder of those who toiled to burnish the beauty. I met some old friends, made some new ones, helped a friend achieve his quest and discovered lands that have only been in legends. It is interesting that when the game was finished, both of us came away refreshed, feeling that we had been somewhere else for the weekend. These kinds of games do that for you and if game designers could get their hands around this concept they would put Club Med out of business. You need great graphics, a compelling story but not so urgent that you get kicked out of the mood. With a little tweaking it could be made repayable where revisiting could open up new areas. Hell, you could even start a subscription series.
These "mood pieces" should be played on the XBOX. The PC is too fraught with problems in loading, crashing etc, etc. and to top it all -- you need a livingroom setting. Do you hear me Microsoft? Instead of going head to head with the PS2 -- go head to head with the PC. But first you need the games.