A gamer, a game developer.
I play and discuss.
Warhammer games, yeeeeeeaaaah!!!
Well, I’m sure OVR are kicking themselves now, we so many wanting to drop out of supporting them.
They’re probably having meetings at this very moment, asking themselves why the didn’t just stay independent.
I can understand, I’m sure the idea of not being able to maintain enough investor interest, to possibly not ship a retail product was a very exciting proposition for them. They could have been happy with a few groups who would use the development kits to do tech demos, and then leave the headsets to gather dust once no further development is possible.
They’re probably thinking now, regretting: “why did we go for education? A mass market product? Proper development channels and support? We could have had a gimped Minecraft, dammit!”.
Now, they won’t have the satisfaction of drifting into obscurity, now they’ll have to deal with the fact that their product may actually get to be what they have wanted it to be. Suckers.
Facebook is a content creator for the masses…
People may not like it, but Facebook was a platform. Not a hardware platform, but a software platform.
There’s a lot of potential, and it’s good to get some real money behind the idea. Facebook needed to dip into more avenues, and this is a really promising one to get behind.
They can help make a product for the masses, they can sell it cheaper, market it well, and get it into a position where there is more interest from software developers. And also allow for entry packages which are more accessible to some smaller software developers, too.
It’ll also be known that the early adopters – and has been proven thus far – is from the game development space. This is from both the user and creator. So that market is going to continue to be important for the development of the system.
The device may end up being more than a gaming tool though, and this is a great thing. More chance of innovation, more interest, more money. I’m especially interested in seeing how VR can enter the classrooms, and Mark Zuckerberg specifically made a mention of this in his statement. This is awesome!
It’s easy to be skeptical, but without this backing, there is every chance that the hardware wouldn’t have been profitable in the long term, and a small install base would have been an uninteresting proposition for content creators. Sure, there is always the hobby space, but what’s the good of innovation there if it’s not going to be expanded on to be beneficial to all?
Why would Facebook care about Valve…?
Facebook aren’t all that popular for plenty of warranted reasons, but they do still provide a service that does make a lot of people happy. Also, what was the last thing they bought and screwed up?
Incentives won’t work and shouldn’t.
A lot of people who do go to GDC on the companies dime, are there to progress business. Taking in alternate topics is right at the bottom of the list. The flip side to this, is the guys who pay to be there. It can be an expensive trip for some, and they want to make those connections, get a lot of info, and again; these topics fall to the bottom.
The majority of people who will visit these talks, are those who focus on them and get publicity for it, or the press. Because they’ll get sent there, and asked to report this stuff.
There is also the fatigue of the issue. It may seem like a weak excuse to people who fight for discussions on these points, but those who really need to listen and need to be swayed, are starting to not care. They see it plenty now, and have started to ignore it in some instances. Even if they accept the issues, and support the movements to progress, they’re not invested. Passive acceptance and support, but they no longer care as much.
I don’t know what the solution is, but perhaps if someone like Brenda Romero decided to do a game development related talk, more people would be willing to listen, and also by effect, they’d be forced to notice that fact that there is a women talking about games.
Placing the issue front and center, switches people off. There is evidence of this when ever the issue is brought up, and there are hoards of folks already dismissing it. And these are the very people that you need to communicate with, but they’re being turned away.
Awareness only goes so far, and it will get to a point where people will stop listening. There needs to be far more actionable points, these are something which seem to be constantly absent from most of these talks.
An actionable point is what EA are do. Actively push equality in the workplace. I believe Sony also had a programming course or something similar, targeting girls. But very little is actually looked at when someone is doing something right.
The message being delivered now is working in a limited fashion, but know that the people you want to hear don’t care to listed. If there were more tangible motions, then it would be at least encouraging for follow up and review. Or focus on what some companies actually do.
Instead, we’ll be left again to the same stories, spoken by the same people, to the same audience. And very little will change.