Thoramir

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About Thoramir

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  • Birthday 04/02/1980

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  1. I was expressing both my experiences and the wider public perception at different times (which probably just confuses people). Hell, there are still journalists out there in 2010 writing articles about the "surprising number of older gamers." I knew there were over 30 gamers before I met any, but they were rare when games designed to appeal to an older audience were rare. In 1999 I knew one over 30 gamer (sorry I didn't think of him right away). Ick, apparently, knew "plenty" of them. I probably know over 500 fly fishermen, but that doesn't mean fly fishermen are a statistically large group. It just means I know how and where to find them.
  2. WK, you made exactly the point I was trying to make before I got sidetracked. There was an explosion of games in the late 90s that appealed to older gamers and a whole lot of people got into gaming at that time. Me. . . I like to argue. . . sometimes even to the detriment of my overall point. I went looking through my college library (I went back) even to the point of looking through scholarly journals in defense of a point I wasn't even trying to make. I often use the term "unheard of" loosely and often. I should have just pointed that out.
  3. Come to think of it. One of my dad's friends did play Larry Bond's Harpoon series; he always got crap about it from my dad and the other guys he worked with too. I guess that would've been one of the first game series that had would really appeal to adults, but online play meant a 1200 baud modem and one opponent back then. Of course, this post will probably just lead into the debate about whether simulations are games or which simulations are also games.
  4. WK, you do have point about flight simulators. I'm not sure I'd consider flight or sub simmers "gamers" in the most traditional sense. Ick, I've lived from one end of this country over the last 20 years. I have rarely stayed in one place long enough for anywhere to be remotely considered "Thoramir Land." If Thoramir Land does exist it would have to extend from the Gulf Coast, to the East Coast, then the West Coast, and finally the Arctic coast, because I have lived or spent time just about everywhere in the US. I'm sorry you're upset that you belong to a demographic that was statistically negligible 10 years ago. You probably work with computers and know a bunch of geeks, does that make you feel better? Of course, if it were me I would take it as a sign that I was on the cutting edge of a new trend. Growing up adult gamers were thought by many people to either be programmers themselves or they were suspected to be child molesters. Gaming wasn't really socially acceptable among adults until the first generation that grew up with video games grew up themselves. Heck, parents, relatives, and teachers were constantly nagging us (my siblings, friends, and I) to, "grow out of those %^&@ video games already," because we were "wasting our lives away." Hell, my dad has been in IT since the '70s and it still wasn't socially accepted among the people he worked with until sometime in my 20's (I'm 30 now). Today, most of the people that nagged me about gaming growing up now play video games themselves. I guess they couldn't beat us, so they joined us. Hell, I didn't even consider over 30 gamers to be socially acceptable back in the '90s. It was only when games that would logically appeal to older people (like Rogue Spear, Close Combat (strategy, not FPS), or flight sims) started being released that I considered it to be relatively normal. For the record, there were probably dozens of news articles about the increase in adult video gamers in the early 2000's. I'll probably try to dig some up when I have a little more patience to deal with google. . . since searching for "adult video gamers" seems to link to more results for "adult games" than anything else. -Thor (age 30, gamer since 1983)
  5. John, I have moved on. These days, it is hard to claim I even like to play FPS games, but if I did I would rather play a Metroid Prime game than a game with modern graphics and Rogue Spear gameplay. I'm not bitter, I don't stay awake at night thinking about what UBI or Tom Clancy did. I'm here because I'm addicted to forums and there's people I know here, it is as simple as that. We are discussing it in this thread because Redstorm is in the news and forums discussions tend to veer off-topic. Yes, I still have an opinion, maybe it is not even a very nice opinion, but you're making just as many assumptions about those of us "on the outside" as we make about you. Let me give you a clearer idea, I feel so passionately about Tom Clancy that I watched Hunt for the Red October and Patriot Games in the last week and half, I'll probably watch Clear and Present Danger later this week. (I don't like anything he's done in the last 10 year, but that's not stopping me from enjoying his older movies.) I feel so strongly about UBI that I bought Shaun White snowboarding for my wife's birthday and I happen to love flailing about on the Wii balance board playing it. (I don't like some of the decisions they've made, but they're a big company. Why should I not enjoy snow boarding or IL-2?) In other words, I don't care what games come out with the Rainbow 6 or Ghost Recon names, I don't play them. I'm probably not going to play Ground Branch if it comes out. It's not because I'm arguing with you now, it is that those days are gone and I don't ever expect I'll have a similar experience playing similar games again. If Ground Branch comes out tomorrow I'll want to like it, but my heart just isn't in it anymore. "Like it or not, R6, RS and OGR did not generate enough revenue to sustain RSE as the company it set out to be." They certainly did not, but it's almost never that simple, lots of companies with good, marketable products fail. OGR alone sold over a million copies about $50+ each (I think that was just PC sales, but don't remember). That's 50 million dollars in revenue, it is hard to claim there's no market for it or potential or profit margin. That's a pretty big indicator that RSE didn't fail because of there was no demand for their products, it indicates they would have failed for one of the numerous other reasons most small companies fail. Maybe they also spent too much producing their games, maybe they got involved in too many unprofitable side projects. Who knows? I doubt that even you do, to be honest. Plenty of niche games go on to be successful. I don't think the Clancy games were really niche games, but if they are they are the biggest niche that isn't being served in the marketplace. UBIsoft itself touted Ghost Recon (and Raven Shield) as a tremendous success. No RSE did not succeed, but there are still over 50 million reasons to believe they could have if they weren't doing something else wrong. UBIsoft also decided to change Ghost Recon and Rainbow 6 hot on the heels of their own touted successes. Many of us here argued with them back then. We told them that it wasn't it wasn't idea to trade a loyal fan base, for a fickle one that only buys the flavor of the week. We told them that it would pay big in the short run, but it wasn't a good long term strategy. Hell, we practically told them, "Don't build a community around your game build your game around a community." Were we right? I don't know, but Redstorm is suffering now and a lot of us predicted short term success with a long term decline. You seem to think we're upset, that we can't get over it. But I am not the one trying to make a tactical shooter that I (apparently) don't believe there's a market for. I am not the one with catchy acronyms like "NORG." Based on your arguments, I don't see why you are trying to do what you are trying to do. You've got me confused. Maybe I should just feel bad about the employees who lost their jobs. I certainly hope they land on their feet, but I don't buy games out of altruism. TV networks make entire shows on why a certain companies fail. People find it interesting; I find it interesting. That's why I'm here.
  6. There's lots over people over 30 playing games now, but there weren't that many back when Rainbow 6 came out. I didn't say PEOPLE. I SAID WOMEN. There's a difference. AND I'm not saying intellectually they don't understand the concept, I'm saying there's no appeal to them. There's no appeal in Star Wars for most women either. Most of them tolerate it as best. Star Wars is popular, but once I stopping hanging out with other geeks* I learned real quick, most people do not like Star Wars. There's still more than enough people out there who do like Star Wars to make loads of cash, but the are not in the majority. I know. . . I was pretty shocked too. *I stopped hanging out with geeks after my parents got divorced and my mom sold had to sell my computer to pay for a move, it wasn't a personal choice. What geek wants to hang out with a guy that doesn't have a computer? I have since obtained many computers, but never managed to fully get my geek social standing back. I've become too geeky to for a lot of non-geeks and too "outdoorsy" for most geeks. That's probably why I'm such a forum whore. That's great, but they are still a minority.
  7. Wait, what!? I wasn't questioning your recollection of events. The only thing I was questioning was whether you think so-called mainstream gaming is really mainstream anything. That's a belief, not a recollection or an event. My take is that "Mainstream" gaming isn't mainstream in the slightest, it is a fantasy world for the 18-24 male who can't get a girlfriend. Now about my last statement regarding Tom Clancy in that last post I didn't question anything. I was trying to agree with you. I was trying to say, "Look, I can't know what it was like on the inside. I can't even be sure what you meant by your earlier post. That I can't tell from your previous post how you view him. I was trying to say I can only look at from the perspective of a customer and from a customer's perspective there's good reason to not want anything to do with him." John, I'm sorry you thought I was questioning your recollection of things. I was trying to tell you that you're right and I can't know. Unfortunately, I have a knack for saying things in such a way that my intent gets misinterpreted that occasionally makes people upset when I agree with them.
  8. John, can you really say there's an RSE today? The Redstorm of today doesn't make games in the franchises it created, they're all made in other countries. I'm not even sure what they've worked on after that America's Army game. Ghost Recon was the last really good game they made. Sounds like if it wasn't for Ubi, Ghost Recon still would've been the last really good game they made. Anyhow, what would have done them in? Too much money put into all those obscure titles that most of us never saw on the store shelves?
  9. Edit: Sorry I wrote so much, I didn't even realize it was that long until I posted. I don't know whether that statement that I missed the mark entirely or whether there is resentment but I just can't imagine how bad it was. I just know it was an insult to us fans. And that if I worked for a game studio after he said what he said I wouldn't want to put his name on something I worked so hard on. I don't know him or what happened inside, I just know that publicly he acted like a jerk and that his name doesn't stand for anything but "$$$" these days, even when it comes to "his" books. I knew he wasn't directly involved with Rogue Spear or any project after that. (I suppose he wasn't involved with Eagle Watch either, but I'm not counting expansions.) Sid hasn't been directly involved with most of his games since the early 90's. I watched a video several years ago at one point where he basically sums up his involvement in game production with the Civilization, series as "playing around" with things about once a week and asking, "have you considered this. . . ?" type questions. However, Sid is also responsible for putting the right people in place to make the decisions and I'm pretty sure he still designs a lot of Firaxis' smaller projects. . . woohoo, it's Sid Meier's Sim Golf! I know Tom didn't write the story lines, or design the games but I figured at least for a while after R6 he would give his insight once in a while or helping facilitate contact with people who understand military or counter-terrorist operations or equipment. I remember he had a bug up his butt about Sam Fisher's goggles at one point but he gave his blessing to Splinter Cell anyway. I guess I just figured he was involved in a minimal way. John, think about this. Deep down, you probably can't really believe that "mainstream audience" bullcrap, can you? If you do you've been too influenced by the game industry. Rogue Spear was the first game I played with women and the first game I played with anyone over 25 (I was 19 at the time). The first time I played Rogue Spear online I was kicking some a** with a 53 and a 35 year old within a half an hour of setting up my Zone account. Later on, I got girls on campus into Rogue Spear, eventually including my wife to be. I seriously doubt that ever would have happened if I never heard of R6 and kept on playing Jedi Knight games. We don't think anything of it today, but over 30 gamers were unheard of at the time. Rogue Spear and Ghost Recon were the first game we could wrangle our girlfriends into playing. Sure, they're both pretty masculine games but women actually "get it," and in my experience picked them up a lot easier than our Quake playing "bunny-hopping" friends. Because we've been gamers for forever and a day we don't tend to see it this way, but Red Storm is the company that put "mainstream" into gaming. Women and older people don't relate to health packs, force fields, and teleporters. They don't relate to Gordon Freeman and Master Chief. What they do understand is a world with terrorists, dictators, hostages and you had better believe they understand shoot the other team and don't get shot. Not everyone is an 18-24 year old male. The only thing that really isn't mainstream about R6 and Rogue Spear was the god-awful obtuse planning phase. (Not that planning is bad, it's just that it you just about had to be a programmer to understand the logic behind the way it was set up). Once they took that out (Ghost Recon) the game went on to sell over a million copies and it wasn't hard to "make converts" even in the 18-24 male demographic. I'm sure these games would have kept on growing the way they were made back then. I asked my wife which of the four games is the most mainstream, Ghost Recon, Halo, Rogue Spear, or Half-life? Her answer was, "What? I don't know. I know Halo is the most popular." I told her I didn't ask which one was the most popular, I asked which was the most mainstream. I rephrased the question, "you're making a movie based on a game, which one is the most mainstream." Her response, "Oh Rogue Spear, definitely. I would've picked Ghost Recon, but I wanted more than one choice for each design philosophy. Another thing to consider is time,what we consider to be mainstream today didn't exist when Ghost Recon was released. Today every other game released seems to be Half-Life in Desert Siege clothing. A big part of that is because of 9-11. Games that at least vaguely resembled current conflicts were bound to do well, but over time it seems like everything got more and more homogenized. Now mainstream means it looks like Fallujah (whether they're too PC to call it that or not), has linear maps w/checkpoints and slowly regenerating health. That kind of game didn't exist in 2000. Our perception of mainstream has changed a lot, but it seems like the mainstream in terms of gaming moved farther toward Ghost Recon than Quake III. Maybe it would've kept moving going that way if UBI/RSE didn't decide to meet everyone else in the middle.
  10. Yes, but where would those sales be now if UBI hadn't bought RSE? Part of the reason for those sales is just that the console market exploded and the PC game market stagnated. (In my opinion, part of that is because Microsoft was trying to drive the game market from PC to XBOX, but that's just my perception.) A bigger market equals more potential sales. I can't count the number of people whose first exposure to a Clancy game came with the XBOX. Consoles, do lend themselves to simpler controls and gameplay, but RSE had always participated in the console market with it's FPS games. What would have happened in this expanded market if RSE kept making the kind of games most of us here loved? They might have made even more money just because there was there was something to distinguish their products from everyone else's. I doubt a console gamer is going to tell you they don't like variety. There are just too many variables; we will never know. I wasn't meaning to suggest it was. I wasn't suggesting other corporations are any different and I never blamed UBI all that much (though I certainly did my share of arguing with them). I blamed Tom Clancy. Tom didn't just decide to sell RSE. . . he sold it while flipping us all the bird. I don't know why he did it this way, but many of us here probably still remember his statement about basically not giving a crap about electronic games. It is one thing to say that if you have never had anything to do with games, but that was basically a kick in the teeth to all his gaming fans, and even more importantly a kick in the teeth to all the people he employed producing his game. I can't imagine that didn't hurt, John. Tom could have easily sold the company and still insisted on QC'ing anything with his name on it. But when he didn't I knew it was the beginning of the end. After that, it didn't surprise me one bit that other people are now writing his books and it didn't surprise me when he actually sold his name outright a few years later. Sid Meier sold his company, If I remember correctly he even sold his company twice. But to his fans, his name still means quality. The vast majority of games with his name on them are still quality games, even when he hasn't been directly involved in their production because he actually cares what he puts his name on.
  11. You're thinking of UBI buying the rights to Tom Clancy's name outright. They can slap his name on whatever they want now. If I recall UBI bought RSE shortly after Rogue Spear: Urban Ops came out. Maybe, but Ubisoft bought RSE more than a year more than a year (August 2000) before Ghost Recon came out (November 2001). Considering RSE has never had a reputation for long development cycles, I think it's safe to say that much, probably even most of the game was produced under Ubisoft. I do think that GR came out before Ubisoft's "corporate culture" had a significant impact on the studio, however.
  12. All of the Ghost Recon games were produced after Redstorm was bought by UBI.
  13. I just figured they were projecting images on butcher paper. . . silly me. Even if you have to replace it, it is probably still cheaper than self healing fabric (but far less cool).
  14. I used to use an alternate name on Facebook, then I realize that anyone who searches can easily tie my real name to my email address and my handle and that I've got about 10 years of history spouting off my opinions on forums so I learned not to care.
  15. "Anybody of note at Red Storm jumped ship to Blackfoot ages ago, really." I noticed this comment on one of the links articles. While, I have little no that this ISN'T true, but I do have to ask. . . John, you're the only former RSE employee working on Ground Branch, right? I'm just wondering where somebody got the idea that a whole bunch of RSE guys jumped ship for Blackfoot studios, unless this guy was trying to suggest that you were the only employee of note. . . .