Spector defends Epic Mickey

Disney developer says team took the hardest problem in 3D platformers and made it harder, and he's happy about the game's mixed critical reception.

Last week, Junction Point Studios' Wii-exclusive Disney Epic Mickey debuted to a mixed critical reaction. In an interview with MTV's Clutch Blog this week, Junction Point founder Warren Spector said he wouldn't have it any other way.

"I've never worked on a game that's polarized people like this. Literally, we've got a half dozen perfect scores and I've also gotten the lowest scores I've ever gotten on any game I've ever worked on," Spector said, adding, "Of course you want everybody to think you made the best game ever, but if we were trending at something like an 8 out of 10? I'd probably have to kill myself."

Warren Spector says Epic Mickey wasn't intended to compete with Mario.

One criticism commonly leveled at the game centered around its camera system. Spector described the camera in third-person games as "the hardest problem in video game development," and one that was made even harder because the studio chose to make a game that mixed platforming, adventure, and role-playing elements.

"The bottom line is that we did the best we could given that we were not trying to make a platform game or an action adventure game, but a game where you get to decide what the game felt like moment to moment," Spector said, adding, "And I will go to my grave, imperfect as it is, proud as hell of my camera team. If reviewers want to give us a hard time about it because they're misunderstanding the game we made, it's not for me to tell them that they're wrong, absolutely not. But I wish people would get it out of their head that we made a Mario competitor, because we didn't."

For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review of Disney Epic Mickey.

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172 comments
cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs In addition--as I mentioned in my blog--the fact that so many people on here were taking the exact same view of "He's being immature and thin-skinned" struck me as a pool of closed-mindedness that needed a dissenting opinion to remind everyone that there's two sides to every story. That and I enjoy a good debate. Often learn a lot from the views of my opponents. I don't think 9/11 is in any way comparable to problems in the gaming industry. I was just trying to present an example where I felt a dissenting opinion was necessary. In a way, it's the OTHER gamers that I feel are acting like bad games are a sign of apocalypse, but that's based on the way people word things, and I have difficulty understanding the tones people use, so it's mostly just ME. Since I find it ridiculous that gamers seem to take the industry THAT seriously, I step up to confront them about it. Ironically, I think stepping up and fighting them is suggestive that I take it seriously too. If I knew a way to combat them without contradicting myself, I probably would. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. For some reason, my account doesn't tell me all the times someone mentions me. And one other thing: that's a cute kitten! :)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs Okay, first of all, I owe you an apology. There was no excuse to insult you the way I did in the last comment. I've probably been letting stress from school get to me in the last few weeks and that's probably why I let myself lose it on here. That's no excuse though. Second, thank you for reading my blog posting. To my knowledge, you're the only one who has. Whether you disagree with me or not, I appreciate it immensely. I just hope you read all of it. :) Third, your recent response demonstrates some thoughtfulness in your views. More than anything, that's what I was looking for on here. I DO honestly feel like gamers in general don't care about giving developers--or the industry--their fair due, and I DO feel that many people want to turn everything black and white so they don't have to think. But you've apparently got a little gray in your views, so I can respect that. Personally, I don't think Specter was right to suggest a shoddy camera is the result of "misunderstanding." Or that an FF game that scores a 4.0 has any real excuses. However, since I don't develop games--and personally think it's more than a matter of "common sense machinations"--I feel a need to give developers a benefit of the doubt in many cases. (From what I hear an executive actually came out and apologized for FFXIV, so it's safe to say they know it was bad.) (TBC)

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ cachinscythe ...I will agree that the camera is not the game-breaker everyone is making it out to be, which means people are squabbling over nothing. Therefore, it was something that didn't need to be defended, most of all by Spector. The issue I have with him, is that somehow, the one aspect that people detest - a game mechanic under control of the player - has translated in his brain to a misunderstanding on our part. If this were a film, where the audience has no control over what is presented, I would definitely appreciate a rebuttal since the camera is then a conveyor of meaning prescribed by the storyteller. However, suggesting that meaning is lost with a non-story device is sheer egotism.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ cachinscythe After reading your blog post from 10 December, I have to say I am astonished by how passionately you're taking this. In fact, it's borderline fanatical, given that you mention 9/11 and game development in the same breath. Be that as it may, your presumptions that gamers "know nothing" when it comes to game development is a non-argument, just for the simple fact that it just takes common sense to understand certain machinations within building a game. Spector is a AAA developer, who was commissioned by Nintendo and Disney - both powerhouses in their respective industries - to produce a game. The myriad variables you claim that we no nothing of do not apply. Both Nintendo and Disney wanted this game, and they wanted it to be a grand slam out of the park. Time and money were not part of the equation given all the parties involved; it was a perfect creative storm that had no boundaries...

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ cachinscythe The hell...? The last post I made here was over two months ago. What's your damage? Anyway, allow me to burn your Straw Men. Epic Mickey's "choice" aspect is nothing like say, Mass Effect or Red Dead Redemption. In Mickey, there's no real moral quandary presented to players that will impact the story. Your choices are on the spot, with immediate returns. That aside, Spector wasn't even talking about the Economy of Choice. He was, in fact, talking about the game overall. (Sims and Spore are poor examples, because they have no story and therefore are not equivalent to Epic Mickey). As for my statement about FFXIV, it was made in reference to what then-Lead Project Designer Tanaka had said about criticism of the game. Essentially, he couldn't understand why there even was criticism and that he made the game he did and players just needed to accept that. And those that couldn't didn't understand the game. And yes, the game was rushed, most obviously to beat WoW: Cataclysm to retail. Rushing a game in and of itself is no excuse for anything, since it's 1) a poor idea and 2) returns nothing positive. Rushing the game left out key features which became part and parcel of the MMO genre.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs "He said it was up to us to define the game, moment to moment. This is the, 'I left it up to the audience,' excuse (lol) that has been used in almost every medium since critiquing became a profession. It's the quintessential, 'Oh shi~! I've been caught!' " Gee, I guess all those successful games that are based around players defining the experience moment to moment had developers just making excuses as well! Oh wait...THOSE games get PRAISED for their choose your own adventure style! (The Sims, Spore, etc) "Ask anyone who's played an MMO if there is any excuse for the travesty that is Final Fantasy XIV. They - particularly those who played Final Fantasy XI - will tell you no, there isn't." Ask the developers whether Square Enix decided to rush it out the door to make money. Ask the developers whether their budget shrank or was large enough to begin with. Then you can come back and tell me there is "no excuse." I'm guessing you won't bother though. You'll probably just do what other gamers do: decide you're right no matter what anyone else says and move on.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

E) It is not a "bit much" to suggest that we don't "get" certain games. I used to be a Halo hater. I found the game itself to be very boring with dull objectives and a very standard selection of modes that ripped off Goldeneye in just about every way. Then last year I tried playing the game through on Heroic, and suddenly I understood why everyone enjoyed Halo so much. I realized that the game was actually about tactical thinking, that the game's difficulty was designed to offset the endless respawns at every checkpoint, and that the story was actually deeper than another story about battling aliens. I "got it." This same phenomenon happened to me with Goldeneye, Spyro the Dragon, and many other games. Furthermore, the mentality of not concerning yourself with whether gamers get what you're going for has led to as many GOOD things as BAD things. (From what I understand, Super Meat Boy wasn't developed to appease players at all; it was just something the developers made for THEMSELVES. The result has been something everyone loves. Why don't THEY get criticized for that line of thinking?) F) The majority of developers do not defend their stuff at all. Suggesting that because Warren has defended himself most developers are the same way is a huge generalization. G) Read my single blog entry that I wrote just before the New Year. It explains a lot of the reasons why I have these attitudes.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace C) If I'm a teacher and I give you 1 day to write a multi-genre paper that typically takes a month to write, is it your fault if the paper is crap when you turn it in the next day? Yes, it's an extreme example, but it can certainly happen to a lesser degree. And it's just one of the many things that can cause something to be crap by no fault of our own. In this case, Warren Spector was tasked with bringing back to life a legendary icon. That in and of itself makes the task much harder than it probably would be for other games. Maybe the team got overwhelmed. (Speculating again.) Other times it might not even be a problem with the development team, but rather a problem with the concept itself. I believe Sonic Team is one of the unfortunate victims of THAT phenomena. (I'll explain later if you like.) D) This isn't about what I like or don't like. Personally, I think that the development team IS at least partially to blame for how the game was received. But I don't know for sure why the game turned out the way it did. And since I don't know for sure, there is no justification for condemning Junction Point automatically, especially not with the kind of disdain and unforgiving nature that many gamers are. The only people who could POSSIBLY know why the game turned out how it did are the developers themselves. The rest of us just get to take guesses. Some may be more educated guesses than others, but they're still guesses. (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace If you're willing to continue this discussion, I'll continue to respond. I'm sorry if my last comment seemed kind of rude. I'll openly admit I was in a bad mood the day I wrote it. I can't take back all of what I said, but now that you've read all of what I wrote, I can acknowledge that it pretty much WAS all speculation. The problem is that I feel it's EQUALLY speculative to use an automatic responses like "blame the developers for everything." On to your points: A) No I don't work for Spector. And I'm guessing you don't either. So really we're BOTH just speculating aren't we? B) It is not a fact that the game's "quality is not up to par." Quality is not a straightforward thing. It is subjective. Some see quality where others see crap. Saying that it is a fact is essentially proclaiming those who disagree with you to be "wrong." It's not a FACT; it's an OPINION. Granted, it may be an opinion that most share, but it's still just OPINION. (TBC)

blackace
blackace

@cachinscythe: Do you work for Warren Spector or something? What you were suggesting is speculation. I did go back and read what you won't. Even after everything you've written I still stand by my last comments. Whether you like it or not, that's the way it is. Warren Spector definitely has the right to defend his work. No different then Denis Dyack complaining about the poor reviews "Too Human" received. Stating that gamers didn't "get it." was a bit much though. lol!! That still isn't going to change the fact that the critics didn't like certain aspects of the game and the majority of gamers complained about it. Warren can defend his camera team all he wants. That still won't make the camera work in the game perfect. Some developers (aka Polyphony) will actually come forth and apologies for their poor development. Some won't. Developers need to leave how to take criticism.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace Sorry, but this has been bugging me for a while, so I'm just going to continue this discussion. You don't wanna respond, don't. 1) You say that everything I'm suggesting is just speculation and in the same breath acknowledge you didn't read it all. Typical gamer logic. 2) You aren't presenting facts. You're presenting conclusions BASED on facts. There's a difference. Spector comes out and defends his camera team, and many CONCLUDE that he has thin skin and that he's making excuses for his development team. Here is the fact: Warren has defended his camera team. Period. Nothing else. 3) Actually, during the PS2 era, there WERE a lot of developers that contacted programming duties to large groups of programmers that agreed not to appear in the credits. They've even openly said that they don't CARE about getting credit; just getting the games made. 4) Your refusal to take all of three minutes reading my entire comments strikes me as evidence that you probably couldn't do a better job than Spector getting Epic Mickey's camera to work, even if you DID have the skills to. Typical gamer attitude: everyone needs to work hard except me. And we wonder why our economy is so awful compared to China's. Now I'M being brutally honest.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace Fair enough. I respectfully disagree. :)

blackace
blackace

@cachinscythe I didn't even read all of that wall of text. Everything you are saying is just speculation. Unlike you, I'm not going to make excuses for the developers. As I said previously, the facts remain the same. The games quality is not up to par. The camera work is spotting and has problems. The developers who worked on it are to blame. It's that simple. Those are the facts. Unlike you, I won't waste my time speculating or assuming on what could or may have happened, when the facts will never change. Nuff said on this topic.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace (continued): That is the attitude I find too often among gamers, and it is--IMO--the attitude of a little child trying to turn a complicated situation into something straightforward so s/he doesn't have to think hard about all the things that stand between him/her and the developer. It is--IMO--a desire to be intellectually lazy and ignore everything else, ESPECIALLY the person staring back at him/her in the mirror. I'm not saying you're one of those people or that it's necessarily true of anyone on this comment page, but the generally absolute nature of the language that gamers use to describe their feelings about a situation when something like this happens suggests--though does not necessarily prove--closed-mindedness and "us and them" mentalities. I firmly believe those mentalities are wrong, so I'm here combating them. (I actually have a lot of other stuff I could add, but I think I'd be better off just writing it all out in a blog so I don't overload this page with comments or look like a pretentious preacher. Might be too late for that though. :) )

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace (continued): Yes, I'm sure there are plenty of times where developers have been able to overcome those odds, but even the best of us have bad days. (Miyamoto's bad day was Yoshi's Story. lol) And unless we're demanding perfection--which some of us apparently are--I don't think they deserve to be treated like they've fallen from grace just because they screw up a couple times. They're only human. Of course, like you said, none of this is relevant to the consumer as what ultimately matters is the level of quality, and if people don't enjoy a game, then that's fine. Play what you like. But as I said, that's not what I'm taking issue with. I'm taking issue with the black and white attitude of "I'm not having fun, so it must be the developer's fault. Period." No consideration of the publisher's role, no consideration of your personal tastes in gaming, no consideration of all the things that happened that day which could be affecting your mood and therefore affecting your ability to have fun. Just blame the developers. (continued)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace: It's not necessarily a matter of WHO'S to blame for the other 5%. It could also be a matter of WHAT'S to blame. For example, unless I'm mistaken, Epic Mickey began development before 2008. That means that when the project started, the economy was doing much better than it is now. Given that it has been two years since the economic meltdown, I think it's legitimate to consider that Spector might have had some trouble keeping Junction Point afloat financially. It's not like game developers get to focus only on developing their games; they also have to secure funding, make deals with publishers about deadlines, and keep the entire staff satisfied. Unless the process in the game industry is somehow drastically different from the process in other industries, I'd say those are things a lead on a project has to worry about. So given the numerous things that the lead has to keep track of, and the numerous things that can go wrong in that process at any given time--equipment failure, funding yanked, sudden demands from workers that could lead to a strike--I believe it is entirely possible for even the greatest developers on the planet to be backed into a corner where they are going to fail, period. And without us having firsthand experience with the development process for many of these "disappointing" games, it is not fair for us to completely dismiss those possibilities.

blackace
blackace

@cachinscythe said: @blackace That's a completely legitimate perspective. Being unfamiliar with how long the other developers have been around, I can't say that it's entirely unfair to criticize Spector for getting it wrong. And yes, in the end, it's the quality that matters. What I take issue with is this constant attitude of "If it's not quality, it is automatically, completely, unquestionably the fault of the developer." Even if that's true 95% of the time, there's still the 5% of the time that it isn't. Take the example I made earlier to another commentator about Mass Effect. A guy writes in and calls it a crappy game cause it isn't as action packed as Halo 3. Does that make it low quality? No, it makes the player ignorant. ******************************************** Well we know the development team made the game correct? That is indeed a as well. Who else can we blame? Warren was the director and monitored the progress. He was the lead, so how do we not blame these people? I think the 95% is correct in this case. Tell me who the other 5% is? Did they contract someone not on the development team to do the camera? Warren already admitted it was his teams fault. So yeah, I think it's safe to say it's a fact. I don't think the game is terrible. It's just not at the level of quality we expected.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs Bottom line: this is a complex, detailed world we live in where virtually nothing is cut and dry. Therefore, behaving as if absolutes like "no excuse" and other phrases that convey certainty are acceptable descriptions of a situation is misleading at best and an unintentional lie at worst. No, I don't think you meant it that way. It's simply how it's coming across to me. But then, that's why I'm here debating with you: to remind everyone else that there are other ways to look at this stuff. And it's when most everyone has the same attitude and view that outsiders have to step in and say something. Enjoying this discussion. Be happy to continue it if you like. :)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs: ...Or perhaps you have the traditional gamer's excuse for that: all those developers ARE getting the same tools and tricks but the vast majority are just lazy hacks who don't care. Of course, that's the CYNICAL perspective, which the majority of humanity typically frowns upon. (At least if MY experiences are to be believed.) The optimist would likely say, "They're trying. Let's cut them some slack." And speaking of percentages, how about the people talking of how devs have all developed thin skin lately actually add up all the ones that are defending their work and then compare it with the number that aren't. Let's see a ratio showing just how pervasive this horrible desire to defend oneself is in our beloved industry where the only things that matter are us, the consumers. (I will give you points for qualifying your statement later by saying, "At least Spector does," however.) (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs: So let me get this straight: a few developers figure out how to "perfect" camera control in their games and somehow all developers are supposed to magically know how to as well? Do developers pass around coding amongst each other for proper implementation of camera in 3D games just to assist everyone? Perhaps, but I find it unlikely. Else why not pass around Valve's Source Engine or Epic's Unreal Engine for free? Unless you're somebody who has programmed a camera before and knows all developers are handed the exact same tools and tricks for how to use them--and if you are then I apologize for my prior statements--then I can't see how you can say with absolute certainty that all developers are implementing these "good camera aspects" into their games. (Yes, you DID say that: "...has improved to such heights that every developer is implementing them...") In fact, I'd be shocked if that were true, cause there's still a heck of a lot of complaining going on about bad cameras in games. (I'll estimate that 75% of them have "bad cameras" according to reviewers. Assuming my estimation is correct--which it probably isn't--you're saying "all developers" comprise 25% of the games made. Wonder where the other 75% come from eh? :) ) I also can't see how you can say whether it has changed over the course of the industry or not, given that developers have to work with programming languages that are evolving the same way the industry is. (TBC)

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace That's a completely legitimate perspective. Being unfamiliar with how long the other developers have been around, I can't say that it's entirely unfair to criticize Spector for getting it wrong. And yes, in the end, it's the quality that matters. What I take issue with is this constant attitude of "If it's not quality, it is automatically, completely, unquestionably the fault of the developer." Even if that's true 95% of the time, there's still the 5% of the time that it isn't. Take the example I made earlier to another commentator about Mass Effect. A guy writes in and calls it a crappy game cause it isn't as action packed as Halo 3. Does that make it low quality? No, it makes the player ignorant. Is Warren's argument the same? No. It's a different situation if you make a game that SHOULD have good camera control and doesn't. So he's not completely off the hook. But please remember that you prefaced your view with "I think," and ultimately, short of being on the development team, that's all we have to work with: opinions. Not facts.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ cachinsythe A paradox, huh? I didn't realize I'd have to draw out a word picture for you. No where did I say camera work is "easy." My implication was, yes it IS hard. That goes without saying. But for someone to excuse a piece of their work that falls short by saying it's hard - when others have succeeded at that aspect of theirs - that's a total cop out. And as for your rant on "no excuse" let's break something down here. Gaming is not a new invention. Yes, it evolves, but it isn't new. When a developer absolutely fumbles something in their design that really hasn't changed over the course of this industry - or has improved to such heights that every developer is implementing this something into their work - there is no excuse. Ask anyone who's played an MMO if there is any excuse for the travesty that is Final Fantasy XIV. They - particularly those who played Final Fantasy XI - will tell you no, there isn't. Yes, developers have thin skin. At least, Spector does. Gamers misunderstood him because of a shoddy camera? That's essentially the argument you're making here, since he's refusing to label what Epic Mickey is in terms of anything outside of "It's a Wii game based on Disney characters." He said it was up to us to define the game, moment to moment. This is the, "I left it up to the audience," excuse (lol) that has been used in almost every medium since critiquing became a profession. It's the quintessential, "Oh shi~! I've been caught!"

blackace
blackace

cachinscythe said: @blackace That may be true, but even then suggesting there is "no excuse" without knowing the circumstances under which the game got made is kind of arrogant, don't you think? "No excuse" is a distinct absolute that gamers like to throw around. And from what I can tell, it gets thrown around a LOT. Perhaps that's because the entire game development community is a bunch of lazy hacks. Or maybe--JUST MAYBE--it's because there's more to the story than we want to consider. Just thinking out loud. ********************************************************** The "no excuse" is appropriate after you read Warren's comments. I'm not arrogant, just brutally truthful. He says "it's the hardest problem in video game development" which is has been for certain developers. but Warren Spector is a 'veteran' in the gaming indusrty. He's been around longer then then people like Cliffy B, Jason Rubin and Ted Price and they've done excellent camera work in their games. I could understand the excuses if this was a new developer who just started 5 years ago, but Warren is 55 years old and worked on games like Ultima Underworld 1 & 2. There's 'no excuse' for his game to have spotty camera work. It doesn't matter how the game got made, as it's all about quality in the end. Like you said, maybe it was laziness. They could have ran out of time, but I don't think that was the case here. I think they settled for "it's good enough", when it wasn't.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@blackace That may be true, but even then suggesting there is "no excuse" without knowing the circumstances under which the game got made is kind of arrogant, don't you think? "No excuse" is a distinct absolute that gamers like to throw around. And from what I can tell, it gets thrown around a LOT. Perhaps that's because the entire game development community is a bunch of lazy hacks. Or maybe--JUST MAYBE--it's because there's more to the story than we want to consider. Just thinking out loud. :)

blackace
blackace

@cachinscythe said: @blackace Call me a language Nazi, but "perfection" is impossible. Camera control will NEVER be perfect. But even if it could, there WERE no 3D games in the 80s. Only HALF of the 90s. They've only had 15 years to "perfect" it. ****************************************************** Whatever. That facts remains they still had plenty of time to get it right like other developers have and they didn't. Even Super Mario 64 & Banjo & Kazooie 3D camera work was better then Epic Mickey and those games came out in the mid 90's. Like I said. No excuse.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@payne6705 Does the entire development community have to say, "Yes you're right about everything. Forgive me master!" before we're willing to let them get away with defending themselves, even a LITTLE? I consider that "high school mentality," which is to say the nerds don't get to stand up for themselves against our constant railing about everything they aren't. Maybe he's happy for the "mixed criticisms" because it allows him to learn from his mistakes. Or maybe it's something more along the lines of "If everyone accepts me for who I am, it's because I'm not breaking the mold enough." Are those not legitimate reasons to be happy about a mixed response? I'm not saying that you and the others I've criticized on this page don't have good points, and I'm sorry to any that think I'm making extreme arguments that demonstrate anger, as that's not my intention. I am however quite frustrated by the continuing mentality of absolute entitlement that we gamers continue to present and how fast we are to criticize those who make our entertainment at incredible cost to themselves both monetarily and mentally when we won't even take two minutes to adjust to unusual control schemes. Frankly, if you ask me, it's pathetic.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spetz_naz_basic When did we get it into our head that standing up for oneself against criticism with acknolwedgement that one didn't get things completely right automatically equated to "fanboy mentality." Have any of us actually LISTENED to ourselves? Or bothered READING what he said? Spector said, "it's not my place to tell [reviewers] that they're wrong," but he uses the word "misunderstood" and somehow we completely forget everything else. If I told BIoware that Mass Effect was a terrible game cause it wasn't nearly as action-packed or intense as Halo 3, would they be wrong to come out and say "You clearly don't get what we were going for"? No. Given that Mass Effect is an RPG and Halo 3 is a shooter, they'd be COMPLETELY right to say that. This is EXACTLY what someone wrote in a letter to Game Informer in which s/he complained about Mass Effect receiving the same score as Halo 3. Developers do NOT lose all credibility by bringing that argument out. And could you do the rest of the development community--which I am NOT a part of for the record--and stop taking the actions of a few popular game makers and applying their mentality to ALL developers? That's a totally blanket statement that disregards a substantial MAJORITY of the developers IMO.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@SolidTy I respect that. I was "merely" (LOL) pointing out that if I were to make a game worthy of Metacritic's notice and I averaged something higher than a 6.5 I'd probably go out and celebrate at the Olive Garden. I'm not trying to tell you how to spend your money at all. Only that using the word "mere" for 73/100 COULD (emaphsis there) be construed as insulting given that most of us don't develop games. That's all.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@Zloth2 That's fairly semantic. Granted, he said "literally," but so what? If you've got 9's and 5's that's kind of polarizing. And remember that he said it was the most polarizing game HE'D worked on. That doesn't mean it was distinctly polarizing; just more so than he's had before. @SolidTy I don't think you mean it this way, but calling 76/100 "mere" given how competitive and difficult the gaming industry's climate is could be construed as insulting. I'd imagine if most of us tried to make a game, we'd be lucky if we broke 60. @blackace Call me a language Nazi, but "perfection" is impossible. Camera control will NEVER be perfect. But even if it could, there WERE no 3D games in the 80s. Only HALF of the 90s. They've only had 15 years to "perfect" it.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@spoonybard-hahs Dude, can you see the paradox in what you just said? "If he says it's hard to make a 3rd person camera work, that gives me pause." Why? "Cause I've played games in which the camera works just fine." Oh I see, so if a game has a functioning camera, it obviously WASN'T difficult to make it work. It should only give you pause if you've actually had to create a camera YOURSELF. Thin skin eh? A guy comes out and says in a completely reasonable tone without any sort of grudge that he thinks people misunderstand the game he made and he's demonstrating thin skin. And I suppose that if someone comes out and finds one little problem with the Halo franchise, it automatically makes them a Halo hater. That is absurdly extreme. These developers have to put in multiple years to make games work, let alone fun to play, they release the games and find them tossed aside after five minutes because of things you can get used to easily, and in many cases have to put up with people insulting them about not caring about the products they put out. Yet THEY'RE the ones with the thin skin. Sure. It's time for a reality check. The GAMERS have the thin skin. Anything minor frustrates them more than once and they throw a temper tantrum and start screaming about how the industry isn't what it used to be. They are the ones who refuse to accept that THEY have changed just as much as the industry has. It's developers getting fed up with OUR thin skin that is causing some to speak out

Javier
Javier

On paper, the concept is awesome; in pictures, its amazing; With a controller in hand, its a chore. No one misunterstood your game,Mr. Spector, you misunderstood what gameplay is.

termadoyle
termadoyle

Should have also put it on the HD consoles. Wasted potential.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@payne6705 He just enjoys games and he enjoys making them. nothing wrong with that. There needs to be more level headed guys out there like him, where they focus on making a game and making it good, instead of wasting millions of dollars making a game where everything is all about Multiplayer, and a 4 hour single player mode.

payne6705
payne6705

@spetz_naz_basic Dude you are totally right. I was thinking the same thing. How is he happy the game got "mixed criticisms?" He is acting like the too cool 13 year old. Like that kid who wears or does something outrageous and he "doesn't care" you just don't understand my creativity or understand me. You are making a game for the general public here with a character that is known throughout the world and known to children everywhere. Why are you making this so complex? Answer: you aren't that's your lame excuse to sound like you knew what you were doing the whole time and not admit "okay maybe we took it in the wrong direction."

payne6705
payne6705

I was so interested in this title until I heard all the problems. What bothered me the most the game is about choices use ink or use ink thinner. Yet if you go back to the level where you used ink or thinner it would reset. Plus that camera angle and the enemies ugh no thanks. Amazing concept horrible execution.

rpawloski2458
rpawloski2458

Epic Mickey definitely had flashes of brilliance, but the execution just wasn't there. Spector still deserves a lot of leeway though, as he has quite a pedigree of great, genre-busting games.

spetz_naz_basic
spetz_naz_basic

The moment a developer plays the "you just don't get it" card to defend their game their entire argument loses its credibility. Spector's not alone though, there's also Denis Dyack, Tim Schafer, and the developers of Hydrophobia and the new Castlevania. They're all part of this growing trend of developers getting overly defensive about their work and throwing their toys out of the pram if anyone has the temerity to not like it. Responding to criticism with nonsense like "the reviewer doesn't like the game because he misunderstood it (Epic Mickey) or played it wrong (Hydrophobia, Brütal Legend) or lied (Castlevania)", or "Publication X gave our game a 9, therefore anyone who gives a lower score is wrong" (Hydrophobia again, but probably others too). When did developers start adopting a fanboy mentality?

The_Godfather_
The_Godfather_

Developing Wii games or platform games is not for Warren Spector. he should turn back he's origins.

Bruchko7
Bruchko7

And these half dozen perfect scores he's talking about showed up in uh...what magazine again..? Maybe I need glasses

deviant74
deviant74

What did Disney want after this game was released over everything Else. They wanted there mouse to be cooler, kooler, kuler then Mario, Sonic, Kirby, and Donkey Kong. Magic paint brush (What) to kill off enemy's that look like they are planning on tickling Mickey to death. In a world that was been there done that back in the 90s. Plus let's put this game on grandmas wii. Then we will put 3d platform jumps with almost instant deaths if you miss, together with a half a$$ camera.

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

This Epic Monkey game is DA BEST game on the Wii this year, and by far the MOST ORIGINAL GAME debuted & announced at this year's E3, all because of this fabulous Warren Spector, who is apparently my most favourite game designer since the days of Deus Ex.

FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

Optimism is key, say the man who is now wishing he didn't believe in something so stupid as that. :D

Proman84
Proman84

Maybe instead of making "the problem harder" they should have tried to solve it?

digi-demon
digi-demon

Shame.... Oh well... looking like I'll be waiting for the retail price to drop on this one before I look to purchase it methinks....;)

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

"mixed reviews' doesn't mean 'good or ok game" at least it has good sales.

Darkaned
Darkaned

I was looking forward to this game, and was very disappointed. it just had no flow and felt unfinished. not just due to the camera, but the frame rate and environments was lacking.

SociopathicBox
SociopathicBox

Well Spector sounds like a good guy, and hes a billion times better than Molyneux.

hakjie11
hakjie11

I rather have Spector than Peter Molyneux.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

Classic Spector rhetoric. "I wish people would get it out of their head that we made a Mario competitor, because we didn't." Well....MAYBE HE SHOULD HAVE. He's brilliant, but he has this thing where he's unwilling to (in his own words) "execute well against a well understood problem". This is not the sort of guy you want making a platform game. Whether or not they were trying to make a platform game, they did, and platform games are one of the most well understood problems in all of game development.