Game Trailer Awards...

Jan 6, 2005 twenty to six pm

It's time to vote on the GameTrailers Awards 2005.

Maybe I'm just extra grumpy today, but doesn't this seem silly?  Game Trailers?  Wouldn't this be like the movie business voting on the best magazine ad for a film?

The trailer has nothing to do with the game play experience.  It might not even be done by the team that made the game, or in the engine.

I could see awards for the best interactive demo.  That - at least - reflects the game play, and there is a true art to making a good demo (just enough, but not too much).

Here are my categories for game awards:

Shortest opening cut-scene

Best game that doesn't need a save game except for going to bed at night

Best use of 3D graphics that don't involve giblets

Best FPS that had no crates

Best female character not wearing thong during combat

Best game dialog that didn't repeat after the 1st time you heard it

Best short game play experience that was rewarding

Best MMOG where I don't have to deal with other people

Best game that didn't leaving me wondering why I am in this industry

Other people's comments:

Posted by Kingzjester on Jan 6, 2005 quarter to seven pm

None of those award ideas will ever fly. They're too reasonable.

Posted by Frank on Jan 6, 2005 seven pm

I think the year where games grow up and go back to being fun and carefree as opposed to self concious angst ridden teenagers is the year we'll see some of those awards handed out.

Posted by Factory on Jan 6, 2005 ten past seven pm

"Maybe I'm just extra grumpy today, but doesn't this seem silly?  Game Trailers?  Wouldn't this be like the movie business voting on the best magazine ad for a film?"
  No, it would be like a website that distributes X having an award for good Xs. Like the ad industry might have an award for the best tv ad or something.

Posted by Bleed red on Jan 6, 2005 twenty five past seven pm

I tend to dislike general cynicism, but voting on the best game trailer is a ridiculously stupid idea.

Posted by bacon on Jan 6, 2005 half past seven pm

what's the first best book you've ever read on the structure and plot of a story? (the 'four screenplays' grumpy ad)  i'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Posted by Bacon on Apr 25, 2005 five to two pm

Ah, 'Screenplay'. Thanks.
I suppose a deal's a deal...
I'd say Propp, but then I'm a complete idiot. I like the less movie-specific (or any medium-specific) type analysis. I thought you were gonna say Aristotle.

Posted by David on Jan 6, 2005 twenty five to eight pm

Aren't we missing a key category:

Best Game Awards

At this point, I just need to know which awards are important.

Posted by Brady on Jan 6, 2005 quarter to eight pm

Shouldn't there just be a category for games that wern't just made for the hell of it or just to exploit something's populatiry?

Posted by Sean on Jan 6, 2005 twenty five past ten pm

I'm reminded of how Loonygames used to have critical analyses of game cut scenes (http://www.loonygames.com/content/2.15/pixel/ for example) rather than games.

Posted by UncleJeet on Jan 7, 2005 twenty past midnight

I like the tv spot for the console version of Call of Duty.  It goes on about being the most realistic and intense first person action ever or some such, then proceeds to show a pretty prerendered animation - from the first person.

Still, as lame of a trick as that is to pull, I guess it's progress from photos of bathtubs full of blood and John Romero making us his bitch.  I'm just not sure if it's the sort of progress anyone should be proud about.

Take World of Warcraft, for instance.  The opening cinematic is gorgeous and exciting, with glimpses of every character type in glorious detail and intricate realization - then you get to the game itself and absolutely nothing you were just primed for is there.

I remember cut scenes that were short and sweet and always in-game, with the same art and animation as found in the rest of the game.  I wonder if it's just coincidence that so many of those games are so much better than anything produced today, in spite of not having tens of thousands of dollars to contract out cinematics work.

Posted by eloj on Jan 8, 2005 quarter to eight am

>I remember cut scenes that were short and sweet and always in-game

It's been downhill since MM.

Posted by HooN on Jan 7, 2005 twenty to one am

The Grumpy Gamer awards! Featuring a special (once in a) Lifetime Achievement Honor for the only game not to try to sell the CGI cutscene as actual game play in a commercial! Of course this award will not be given away but it will be announced that it is up for grabs! Tune in to see who gets a grumpy, stay for the unconfortable celebirty appearances and plenty of musical performance filler just to dumb you down a little more!

Posted by toxicTom on Jan 7, 2005 quarter past two am

Nice award ideas since they actually make me think about what I would vote for. And why. Very reasonable indeed. Although some categories are too easy to answer for lack of competition:

Best FPS that had no crates:
1st place: Q3A
2nd place: Wolfenstein 3D
3rd place: none

Best female character not wearing thong during combat:
1st place: Cate Archer from No One Lives Forever
2nd place: none

Whereas the last category is the toughest.

Posted by jp-30 on Jan 7, 2005 quarter past two am

I know I-JET desterves some sort of award for its trailer(s). "Best series of trailers with absolutely no in-game imagery and that tells you basically nothing about a game that hasn't really started production yet". http://www.bad-brain.com

Posted by telarium on Jan 7, 2005 twenty five to seven am

I have one... kind of a pet peeve of mine.

"Most overuse of a camera that flies around the environment during a cutscene."

Posted by Gage on Jan 7, 2005 five past eight am

"Best game that didn't require a six-week course in using the controls and interface" would be nice.

Posted by Someone on Jan 7, 2005 five to ten am

You missed one!

Best game without the word "Dark" in the title

Posted by Flirbnic on Jan 13, 2005 twenty past four pm

I can think of only two games with "Dark" in the title, and they're both some of the best games ever made. Thief: The Dark Project and Darklands.
In Latin manuscripts from the 15th and 16th centuries, Germany was often referred to as "the dark lands", hence the title of Darklands (which takes place in 15th century Germany)

Posted by Joshi on Jan 7, 2005 ten past three pm

You mean like Dark C- no, wait...

Nice examples of consistent and non-consistent graphics in gameplay and cutscene are both from the same studio. Ubisoft brought out Prince of Persia The sands of Time (although Warrior Within does the same thing) and Beyond Good and Evil.

In Prince of Persia, you're treated to a pretty decent cutscene introducing you to the world and the story. The rpince is fully formed in 3D, like if you were to see it on a movie screen, no out of sync speaking, but perfect sound and movie quality.

And then there's the gameplay, which looks blocky (despite decent graphics, it looks blocky in comparison) and the Prince actually looks totally different. It Get's worse in warrior within (they basically look like different people)

And then there's beyond Good and Evil, decent enough game, but evey cutscene uses the exact same ingame graphics and it still looks great.

And it's by far the better game.

Posted by Wordsworth on Jul 17, 2005 quarter past midnight

3rd paragraph "It Get's worse in warrior within" should be "it gets worse in warrior within". See wiki on apostrophe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe_%28mark%29

Posted by cliffski on Jan 7, 2005 four pm

this has to be the best rant ever!
I thought I was the only one who got annoyed by this crap....

Posted by Srumi on Jan 7, 2005 ten to six pm

Ron, all these are fine but to get to the point......why don't you make an adventure game like the ones you used to(like monkey island)? It does NOT have to be a monkey island sequel! Just an innovative, among many other things, adventure game!

Posted by Ron Gilbert on Jan 8, 2005 twenty to two am

I know of no publishers that are willing to fund an adventure game for the 21st century.  

I have a lot of ideas and I'm more then willing to do it...

If you know of one that I don't, send them my way...

Posted by Alan on Jan 8, 2005 twenty five to eight am

I think that the only way to get adventure games back on their feet is to make and market them in an unconventional way. (Especially marketing) And this means that they may have  to be distributed in an unconventional way as well.

I think there's still hope for the genre but it may have to go through some extreme changes (such as being dumbed down) for it to become mass market again. Action-Adventure hybrids, in my opinion, are the shortsighted result of this...

Anyway, this comment could get really long, so I'm going to end it with this... Summary, I think adventure games may come back, someday, in a different form, if someone takes a chance on them and manages to succeed. But that's a risky business venture and every publisher knows it.

Posted by UncleJeet on Jan 8, 2005 eleven am

Adventure games will come back when they're good again.  Of course, the genre will never be the industry darling that it once was, and I agree with you that they'll probably be distributed differently (digitial content distribution, most likely) - but the main reason that there aren't any good adventure games around these days is because that there simply aren't any good ones being made by talented people.

Even the most lauded adventure games of the past few years are just plain bad and boring.  Syberia, The Last...er, whatever, I forget, etc - all serious, all somber, all too arty for their own good.  Boring.

Adventure games will resurface when they're FUNNY again - a good joke will always make you laugh, regardless of sprites or polygons or specular highlighted normal maps.

Posted by on Jan 9, 2005 five past four am

Have you considered starting an open source project?

Posted by Robert on Jan 15, 2005 noon

What fun would be playing Monkey Island if you can't pirate it?

Posted by Flash on Jan 11, 2005 quarter to five am

What about Bad Brain?
They seem to be willing to invest into everything that is Ex-LucasArts, and if they don't get the Rights to Sam and Max 2, they might have some money left.
Here's an Interview with their boss.

Posted by Srumi on Jan 16, 2005 twenty five past ten pm

Yes of course. They got "The Vampyre Story", as well as a future project from Synthetix Interactive(see Unnamed Project Joe), so why not one of your ideas(Ron)?

Posted by Martin Donlon on Jan 7, 2005 ten to eight pm

I don't know, I don't see how a Best Game Trailer award is all that stupid. Like you said the trailer often has nothing to do with the gameplay experience. It could be considered a completely seperate artistic endeavour. Some trailers are really just 3D animated shorts based around the themes and characters from game.

Wait, am I meant to be grumpy too? Crap, sorry:)

Posted by Adam on Jan 8, 2005 twenty five past four am

How about:

Best game to use drama instead of melodrama for a change

Posted by Alan on Jan 8, 2005 ten past seven am

Maybe these awards are out there so that the marketing teams can get a little credit?

I must say, sometimes trailers impress me just because of the production of them. I saw an Unreal Championship 2 trailer that was really cool and I just have to give props to the marketing people, or producers or whoever ended up working on it, that put it together.

But, I don't think that the marketing departments in the game industry really deserve an award, yet. I'm really not seeing any great amount of creativity coming out of the gaming industry's marketing departments. However, I guess it's not too often that you see creativity comning out of marketing. And that's not a stab at the profession, just the nature of the beast. It's hard to be creative, when marketing is based off of tests, research, etc...

So, if there is a marketing department out there that actually did something creative, such as Microsoft's marketing department and what they did with Halo, then yes, I think they deserve some credit.

Posted by UncleJeet on Jan 8, 2005 half past one pm

Why give out some sort of ceremonial reward for any of it?  It just seems silly.  In my mind, the award you get for doing a good job is your paycheck.

Posted by SiN on Jan 8, 2005 twenty five past two pm

Let me take a stab at those awards ... the industry isn't as devoid of innovation as everyone would like to think, but yeah, these games come around few and far between. HL2 has stolen my heart for now, so it shows up quite a bit, but there are quite a few classics in there too ...

Shortest opening cut-scene
Half Life 2
Grim Fandango (AFAIR anyway)

Best game that doesn't need a save game except for going to bed at night
Pick any random LucasArts adventure game! :)

Best use of 3D graphics that don't involve giblets
Black & White
(The now canned) Unity
Rez

Best FPS that had no crates
Quake 3 Arena

Best female character not wearing thong during combat
Jade (Beyond Good & Evil)
Alyx (Half Life 2)

Best game dialog that didn't repeat after the 1st time you heard it
Half Life 2

Best short game play experience that was rewarding
Quake 3 Arena
GridRunner++
(I've only had a brief play, but) Katamari Damacy

Best MMOG where I don't have to deal with other people
I've got nothing :)

Best game that didn't leaving me wondering why I am in this industry
Half Life 2


SiN

Posted by Comalies on Jan 13, 2005 twenty to four am

Am I the only one who feels the team behind ICO and Wanda and Colossus is one of the few truly innovating in gameplay? Perhaps I have assimilated so much the game market that I consider them original though they aren't?

I hate most games since 3d took the place and all went car games+fps+sports+3rd person shooting. Or a mix of them. What happened to the "hey, what if we make a game about (insert gameplay idea not extended to saciety in market)" ?

Posted by Flirbnic on Jan 13, 2005 twenty five to five pm

Best historically accurate game taking place before the 1900s that isn't based entirely on warfare and isn't strategy.

Best RPG that professes to be 'medieval' and actually takes place in (a historically accurate) medieval Europe.

Best game that doesn't have a single jumping puzzle.

Best game that doesn't try to impress gamers with its graphics.

Posted by Rodi on Jan 15, 2005 ten to five am

I don't think these awards are entirely unreasonable, as they're done by a site that's actually about gametrailers. Why shouldn't there be awards for all different kinds of creative extremities of a game? As long as they don't pretend these awards say anything about the game it's perfectly fine by me. Myself, I like trailers and tend to appreciate them from a mini-movie stance.

Posted by Malcolm on Jan 19, 2005 quarter past five am

I didn't even know there were game trailers.

Best bad remake of a game that was originally published 15 years ago
Too many condenders.

Best game based on an original concept
Oops, sorry. None of these around.

Posted by Al Giovetti on Aug 20, 2005 ten to nine am

Pirates eliminated the repeating text, by only allowing you to review the text one time.  If you missed reading it because your mouse button finger was too fast, you simply cannot review the answer.  Chalk another one up to great game design -- the game was designed by Sid Meier who is called the "father of computer games" by MobyGames.com

Hi Ron -- it is Al Giovetti - yes please remember me.


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