It’s 2016. That’s one whole digit higher than the last time I wrote one of these. The responsibility to do it up right is tremendous. Not really. I figured I would just ramble on about games for a few hundred words like I usually do, only this time I will be writing about the future. Strap on your shiniest scifi outfit, fire up some theremin music, and cuddle up with your robot companion. Here we go.
It’s exciting that this year will be the first year of virtual reality. Like actual virtual reality products that you can buy. Lots of them. It is sort of a bummer that virtual reality is the term that we have settled on though. Virtual reality was ginned up in the 80’s, before anyone had any idea what we could use these immersive displays for. Recreating reality, the place we all live all of the time, was the best we could come up with. So reality, only not so much.
Sometime this year you will be able to buy a high end screen that you can plunk on your head and, I’m speculating here, you will be able to pretend you are a giant frog, flying a spaceship, into a star, that turns out be the dream of a young girl from Croatia. Then you get to be the girl, and dream that you are the frog. The girl falls in love with the frog. The frog falls in love with a nebula. It’s all very touching and beautiful. The score is by Austin Wintory. It will be decried as heralding the downfall of the games industry. You’re going to love it.
This year indie games will continue to grow in popularity and cultural relevance, but the term “indie’ will fall out of favour. Indie will be labeled exclusionary and derogatory. Mostly by seattle rock bands that want to take the title back. Also, Electronic Arts will spin up its “indie” label and start a marketing campaign to attract developers with the tagline “hey Indies” set to the tune of “Mickey”. The campaign will end in a dramatic failure, but it will spawn a neogaf thread on whether the original song was titled Mickey, Hey Mickey, Hey Kitty, or simply Kitty. Seven people will become very angry.
The latest graphical treatment trend will be visible polygon seams. Several tutorials will go up on Gamasutra defining different ways to create shaders achieving the perfect polygon seam look. Extra aliasing will be computationally costly, but considered worth it.
Ubisoft will completely reinvigorate the Assassin's Creed franchise when they release Assassin Creator. The game will allow you to create any assassin and assassination scenario that you can image. The ability to create female assassins will be patched in after launch.
Highly anticipated game The Last Guardian will be released. The game will be exactly 83 hours long, regardless of the players actions. To play the game you will mostly have to hold the controller to the right, but occasionally up and to the left. It will go on to be one of the most massive critical successes of the year.
One pioneering team will blow it’s early access program wide open, and allow players to write code and create art for the game in progress. The game will become an unprecedented money maker. It will be officially released in 2019.
Sometime in the early hours of a dark 2016 night, I will put out a game. Of the games I have personally made, it will go on to become an unprecedented money maker. It will be officially released in 2019.