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BBC Drama about Rockstar Games - BBC Two 9pm


Capwn
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I thought the Jack Thompson stuff was terribly one-sided though. They basically made him look like a man of conviction, 100% right and only let down in the end because he just cared too damn much.

I briefly caught a couple of snatches of this last night between watching recorded shows, and that was my immediate impression, within about 30s. It was the bit where kids chuck stones through his window and he gamely hobbles after them.

They quickly painted his disbarment proceedings as a misjustice based on a mistake.

Also caught the submission to the ESRB and thought WTF?

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I enjoyed this, I watched it while on the laptop, and i thought i should give it my full focus since it didn't drag. It's similar to The Imitation Game in having that modern slick sheen to it, being loose with the facts and sensationalizing aspects of the story, it's a product of how films are made now (mainstream ones based on true stories especially). I'd rather it was dry and understated and real, but i'll still just try to gain enjoyment from some of it.

I agree that there's a great documentary to be made about Rockstar and this isn't it, but I went into it with low expectations anyway and that it would only focus on the Hot Coffee episode. I didn't expect any insight about the birth of the game, and regardless of how accurate it is, I found it fascinating. I felt the same with Indie Game The Movie, for years the most insight i could get into a game's development are magazine making ofs with brief comments by its makers that tended to focus on the technical challenges which I can't relate to. I'm more interested in the the more personal reasons and broad intentions of what they were trying to achieve which can really illuminate my understanding of their game. Like I remember one musician (autechre) saying criticism is interesting because the journalist is trying to gauge the quality of something whereby they don't know what the musician's intention was, and if they don't know how can they say they were successful or not?

How accurate is the depiction of Sam Houser? He comes across as completely unreasonably demanding in parts. The depiction of Rockstar as being just a bunch of mates at that point with Sam calling all the shots, all dressed like they're about to go to a baseball game. I was mostly curious about his reasons for being able to change Carl's appearance and the reasons to include a sex scene that's as good or better than what is in films or books. That will never be possible. And he didn't include it just for a laugh like everything in GTA? And he didn't know it was still in the code and likely to be revealed by a keen hacker?

I've never really bought Rockstar's intent was to satirize America, like they could only do it as Brits looking from the outside in. I think San Andreas represented a change within Rockstar of decisions being made more for business reasons than artistic ones.

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I think San Andreas represented a change within Rockstar of decisions being made more for business reasons than artistic ones.

In what way..? Not a leading question, just interested.

I remember San Andreas feeling like a bit of a risk at the time- a sprawling game set in hip hop culture with a black central character- it didn't feel like the safe and obvious follow up to the more kitsch Vice City.

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In what way..? Not a leading question, just interested.

I remember San Andreas feeling like a bit of a risk at the time- a sprawling game set in hip hop culture with a black central character- it didn't feel like the safe and obvious follow up to the more kitsch Vice City.

I didn't view it like that, I think San Andreas is massively ambitious and genuinely a technical achievement in a way that I don't automatically consider the more dense more detailed GTA IV world to be. I always considered GTA III and Vice City to be gangster games, that satirized American culture on the same level as The Simpsons, merely poking fun. I don't think going bigger represents more risk, it was just the next logical step for them to go in (tackling vast open spaces, highways, rough terrain away from the city). I think setting it in Los Angeles and in hip hop culture opened the series up to the largest market possible i think. I didn't at the time see it being a big deal that you played as a black character, it's only since whenever it's mentioned that I think '..oh yeah'. I think he just was the best choice to allow them to do long street gang shoot outs with the improved third person controls and really establish that part of the game becoming more prominent. I think the choice of an Eastern European immigrant in Niko Bellic is more of a different dis[tinctive choice of central character tbh.

The series has since gone back to basically creating San Andreas [Continued...] in GTA V, and in doing so has cemented the series in becoming more of a life simulator where the game is sold (in screenshots and trailers) on all the different things you can do. I think GTA IV was more of a risk (relatively) and a commitment by them to doing something they obviously wanted to do that no one expected them to. After San Andreas, where do you go? Bigger or smaller, and they chose to rein in the previous game's sense of freedom to tell a story they believed in. I didn't like GTA IV, i eventually found it a chore. And I loved San Andreas, I remember being so engrossed in it, being genuinely amazed by how the sense of scale was so effectively realized which I don't necessarily find in modern games with large maps. I think Skate gets it incredibly right and Fallout 3 gets it wrong, and I think it's do with how well they use height, and layers, and areas within areas within areas, that maybe with a wasteland is harder to achieve.

I think after Vice City, which felt in some ways like an expansion pack of sorts, i certainly wondered whether they'd take the series forward or back in time, or to another country like England (like with GTA London), they would represent more of a 'risk' than present day Los Angeles. I think the setting of San Andreas was chosen to allow them to do the vast spaces but also to appeal to the largest possible audience and it's why, if with GTA V they're trying to make as much money that is why as they've returned there, and how i don't think they'll move away from America as a setting.

I think with Vice City they were still a bunch of British guys making games set in America, whereas with San Andreas it became more of a bunch of British guys making an American game.

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