PS3 News: Bastion Developer Pushes Benefits Of Digital Gaming - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

Bastion Developer Pushes Benefits Of Digital Gaming

Games aren't cheap and on the flip side, it can be difficult for developers to make a profit, what with such huge budgets.

In so many ways, smaller downloadable games (which aren't anywhere near as small and simple as they were at the start of the generation), are refreshing. And designers are starting to notice the appeal. Supergiant Games went for digital distribution with their first game, the well-received Bastion, and writer and level designer Greg Kasavin extolled the benefits of that approach:

"Many of us used to work on retail games. Amir, Gavin, and I met while working on the Command &Conquer franchise for Electronic Arts, and Andrew worked at Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare and its sequel. So we’ve been there before. I’d be foolish to say it’s something I’d never want to do again under any circumstances, because once in a while there’s a truly amazing retail game that’s like nothing else out there. But we deliberately left making retail games in favor of making downloadable games because we saw more exciting opportunities here. We can work faster to make our own games, make the kinds of creative choices that would never be permissible at a large studio, and ultimately provide a better value to players out there — folks have remarked that Bastion has the quality and scope of a full retail title, but it’s available for just a fraction of the cost."

It's certainly true that in terms of value, digital games are starting to make their presences felt. Some of the very best experiences can be found in the downloadable realm; they're often unique, too. Games like Flower, Limbo, echochrome, Joe Danger, the PixelJunk series, and now Bastion have proven their excellent worth. Who wants to bet Journey will be another can't-miss "little" adventure?

There are other options out there, and not all of them require the standard $60 investment.

Tags: downloadable games, digital games, gaming industry

7/28/2011 10:36:50 AM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (22 posts)

Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:09:27 AM
Reply

I'm not going to lie, most of the PSN Mni games look duff. The only games to truely excite me are:
Siren Blood Curse - Which was relased on Blu-ray anyway.
Wipeout HD + Fury - A series which is known for good quality gaming, best welcome back present :)
Limbo - I have yet to buy it, 10 pounds does seem steep for it, but I would like to play it.

I play games to be immersed within a story, most of these games do not have stories. essentially they're mobile phone games made to pass the time on a train journey.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:30:41 AM

Books usually tell better stories than games. So maybe your time would be better spent just stripping out the game and focusing only on story telling. Few games have made me pause and say, wow that's actually some really good story telling. But many games have made me pause and say, wow, that's really clever and entertaining game design. Please don't take this as an attack. But it just seems so bizarre to me when people claim the only or major reason they play games is fortheir stories.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:46:14 AM

I find many games to have a good story and cast. Silent Hill 2 a prime example. normally a stand alone sequel would be a flop. but SH2 is so good it actually works and in many peoples eye including mine is the peak of the series.

Then you get other games like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, which have really compelling stories. Or titles like Heavy Rain or Shadow of Memories, which stories adapt to the players decisions. This form of an interactive narrative leaves me very excited for future of story telling in gaming.

Don't get me wrong I like gameplay games too, like Ridge Racer Type 4. But games like these I just can't find any purpose to play them.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:53:21 AM

I don't think it's that strange Temjin, as an avid reader and movie watcher I have to tell you the experience IS very different. When playing a game, the very simple shift of playing as a character or characters within the narrative completely changes how the consumer consumes the story. You aren't watching someone else do something, you aren't reading about your favorite sleuth solving the case, you yourself personally are directing attacks, making decisions (when available), and feeling that sense of the experience yourself.

To a certain extent you ARE the hero, you can't get that in other narratives and it's also why games are blamed for people that kill other people. I mean, clearly games that let them experience a digital act of violence made them insensitive to it right?

Well, you get my point.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:59:40 AM

Just sounds to me you like mostly chocolate but you're buying neopaliton. I understand that stories can work well with games, I like them too. But when I read that people play games for the purpose of story alone it tells me they're either undermining the value of a game's total design and worth, or have somehow missed the memo that books tell more focused stories.
Like I said, bizarre


Last edited by Temjin001 on 7/28/2011 12:00:19 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Eld
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 12:11:39 PM

Some people enjoy interactive storytelling. There is nothing bizarre about it...

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 12:23:03 PM

I like interactive stories too. Mass Effect and HR are great at that. Eid, you just changed the point. I'm not going to create an essay responding to straw men.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Eld
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 2:32:19 PM

Some people enjoy interactive storytelling and there is nothing bizarre about them playing the game to enjoy only the story. Is that better?

It's unclear to me whether you're calling people bizarre because they play the game for story alone or is it because they play the game enjoying only one element of the game. Would you call people who play for gameplay alone bizarre as well?

Games today have many elements. Gameplay, story, the way story is told, graphic art design and style, music art, even the skill of making it all work within limitations of hardware are all something that can be appreciated individually and can be reason enough to play the game.

I've known someone who played the game purely because he enjoyed art style. It doesn't mean people like this somehow undermine the value of game design just because they ignore elements that didn't produce "wow" effect for them. By your logic, unless the game is perfect 10 on a personal scale you shouldn't play it, or you're stabbing a knife in the back of some developer.

I think I understand your view but bizarre is really too strong word for something so innocent.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Nickjcal
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 8:00:58 PM

I'm loving From Dust. I would have paid 60 for a full title on that game.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Nickjcal
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 8:00:58 PM

I'm loving From Dust. I would have paid 60 for a full title on that game.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 8:12:59 PM

Eid, okay, I'm placate you here. I do think books are the best form of telling stories.
All human language and emotion is captured best through words. Words convert the very way we think and communicate into the building blocks of human communication. Nothing can articulate anything better than words, characters, and symbols. Stories can be told with pictures, motion, and sounds as well, but not as well as articulated language that usually comes in the form of books. But whether it's a movie, comic book, music, or workmanship of engineering they all begin in symbolic form. Movies work from written scripts, software works from the logical organization of numbers and mathematics, and classical musical composers didn't even need to hear the music to be able to write great musical masterpieces.
When I read people who claim that the interactivity makes for a better story because you feel you are that person, I question the very idea of story telling in that sense. To be virtual, as in to feel as if it were real, I don't recognize as story, someone correct me if I'm wrong. But I don't look at my actual living life as a story. It could be made into a story with a controlling narrative, but by living and experiencing it doesn't make my life story driven. Fallout 3 can feel very immersive to me. It's real as if I'm there, living my life in a fictional setting. But it is not the story that drives me forward. The experience doesn't even need the plot points to create the virtual experience. It's the tangible components of art representing physical matter that creates the illusion that I exist in the reality it creates for me.

So fine, maybe I'm being too presumptuous of Ultima. It's not improbable that Ultima reads books and plays video games, but I remember a distant discussion where he said he didn't like the newer tekken's because tekken 2 had a better story. I'm not going to even go there. Tekken is anything but a literary masterpiece. I tire of reading peoples remarks who suggest that they play games only for the story. Because if that were true of myself, I wouldn't look to games for great story telling. I'd look to books.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:11:54 AM
Reply

Bastion is good stuff. I suspect Supergiant will eventually bring it over to PSN.


Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:55:05 AM

I really don't understand the move, unless only XBL was attainable by SuperGiant because I think it's safe to say that anime rpgs aren't what the Xbox audience wants to buy. Whereas Playstation owners would strangle their mother for such games.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 1:00:35 PM

I don't really know myself. Though, I suspect the fact Bastion was the lead title for XBLM's Summer of Arcade promo might have something to do with it--just a guess

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

jimmyhandsome
Friday, July 29, 2011 @ 11:35:06 AM

Its because its part of the summer of arcade. If the developers choose to, I'm guessing it'll make its way over to the PSN in about a year (a la Limbo). All Summer of Arcade titles are usually exclusive, or timed-exclusive to XBL.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 11:58:47 AM
Reply

I'm not much for downloadable titles at all, but I think it's great for the industry and gamers who are.

If you would have told me ten years ago that there would be critically acclaimed best sellers that were basically outdated in every way possible I would have said you were nuts.

But the fact that some games can hit it big with small digital releases means gamers get more fun games and smaller game companies that aren't capable of the HUGE budgets needed now can grow slowly instead of having their studio hinge on the success of a single game.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 7/28/2011 12:02:06 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Excelsior1
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 12:51:25 PM

me neither. i think the majority of digital titles are overpriced shallow experiences that i find i quickly become bored with. i find better value in just buying older retail releases that offer the more in depth gaming i prefer.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 12:09:33 PM
Reply

Hmmm,

I'm wondering why Kasovin talks about it being much cheaper, but leaves out the pricing altogether.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 7/28/2011 12:10:50 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tlpn99
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 1:02:09 PM
Reply

I bought Limbo last night and enjoyed it. Had it completed after about 3 hours of gaming. Worth playing for £10 yes it was. Games £40 3 hours for £10 12 hours for £40 sounds right, shame some £40 games are 6 - 8 hours in length.

Limbo is worth buying.

I tried Flower and didn't like it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 3:47:52 PM

I endorse the exact opposite of your statement :)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kiryu
Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 8:33:25 PM
Reply

Greg Kasavin was the best game reviewer for gamespot.

He knows his games.

Last edited by Kiryu on 7/28/2011 8:33:43 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Friday, July 29, 2011 @ 4:30:15 AM
Reply

thats why 2D platformers are only found on XBLA steam and PSN now.
because the budgets are allot smaller, the expenses are allot smaller, and the price point is allot smaller.
that all adds up to a publishers confidence that they will see their money back.
so there allot more willing to fund something thats risky and different, then they would if it was a retail game.
but then on the other hand thats also a problem because theres allot of things you cant do on a DL game.
plus your constantly left with the feeling the game could be so much more if it was a full fledged retail game.
splosison man the perfect example.
great game, but its so simplistic, they could of really expanded on it and created so many different mechanics to it instead of just sploding.
they could of had different splodes, different heights, different distances, different speeds, so much more they could of done with it then just your plain old basic sploding.
eh, i guess thats what sequels are for.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed Xbox exclusive, and...
...I'm so pissed, I can't see straight.
...I'm annoyed, but I can be patient.
...I'm not caring much at all.
...I think it's actually a good thing.

Previous Poll Results