Develop 2009: 31 clicks before you actually play World of Warcraft? David Perry wants to make games more immediate with Gaikai
Opening Develop in Brighton 2009 to a packed conference room was the astute David Perry, game developer, consultant and creative director of Acclaim Games.
The first day of the three-day conference was devoted to the future of the games industry, and Perry shared his vision for online and browser-based game services in the form of Gaikai.
Similar to the recently revealed Onlive, Gaikai is a web service that will make it possible to play modern games directly from a web browser on a broadband connection. Perry ran a video of the service running games such as EVE Online, Spore and Need for Speed: Pro Street, the latter being complete with multiplayer capabilities. Perry claims users will be able to join each other in games instantly, simply by clicking a feed embedded in a webpage or live stream. “You can have your gameplay, as you’re playing something, streaming live in your blog – [friends] just click on the video of you playing Mario Kart and they appear in your Mario Kart game. And then the two of you can play together,” said Perry.
Gaikai will also give users the power to save and share their own in-game screenshots and videos. This vision of connecting users with on-demand game experiences, free of time-consuming registry processes and pages of legal spiel, was emphasized with a look at the trial demo for the all conquering MMORPG World of Warcraft. At the time of reporting, it took thirty-one clicks before a user could truly enter the play environment.
Prolonged install and registry processes such as this are off putting to potential new users and audiences who’ve not yet discovered games as a pastime.
Referring to the negativity associated with social gaming, Perry said “as developers, you can either stick with what you know, or keep challenging yourself.” He encouraged developers to see the potential in social gaming as an alternative revenue source – especially for start-up companies. Partnering with existing social networks, like Facebook or MySpace, is also a possibility. Acclaim’s own Ponystars, a web-based social game, has reached over 728,000 users.
Perry’s talk touched on a variety of other subjects, including advertising, content storage, game investment, overseas licensing and user-generated content. Perry stressed that many of things that game developers are accustomed to today will be changing in the years to come. He said it was “essential” that developers are ready to adapt, and embrace new skills and ways of doing business. David Perry’s session was a stimulating start to Develop, and as he so rightly put it, “every time you do challenge yourself to learn something new, you do level up.”
Find out more about David Perry and his various projects at dperry.com.
Photo: Bastion, Ben Hussein