Author Topic: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)  (Read 13891 times)

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Offline Turnsky

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Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
okay, this is a broad one, split into numbered mini rants.

1) ever notice that in most games, even ones touted as having a "gripping storyline" (blah blah blah), tends to fall far short of the mark? and the single-player experience plays second banana to the sometimes "tacked on" often mediocre reviewed multiplayer component?
or even, the ones that have NO single player element fails to rise to expectations, leaving the player sitting on their chair with a blank expression on their face, feeling somewhat cheated at the sight of the anticlimatic ending of a game when they finally slog through the umpteenth familiar looking corridor?

the episodic content of HL2 is excepted in this, as it seems they're trying to give it an cinematic feel, and fleshing out the story that they should've done in HL2 itself (don't get on my case about having to LOOK for the story, i looked, it filled NO gaps, infact it made more plot holes than anything else)

2) also, with the prospect of yet another bakers dozen of WW2 based games being released anytime soon has left me wondering, just how much "Story" is there to World War two?, and how long until players themselves will be able to experience the sheer utter MISERY people suffered in that conflict? i mean, sure WW2 is interesting and all, but making discs upon discs upon discs worth of games about it is making light of something very serious to a lot of people.

3) I've also noticed a disturbing lack of "feeling" in games, i mean something that looks like a lot of care and attention was put into it, to make it stand apart from the crowd, you guys know what i mean, don't you?.. it's what made many of the older lucasarts adventures stand out in a sea of interactive fictions, it's what made grim fandango stand out, what made the fallout games stand out  that special something that will make you one day, after a long while, take the case out of your collection, blow the dust off it, install it, and play it, and smile at the memories that it brought to you.
The prospect of the new Sam & Max game is a hopeful one, but i wonder how much of its charm will survive when it finally comes out.

In closing, i guess i'm just the sort of person who wants to sit back for a few minutes, and marvel at just the epic scale of the whole thing, to think, to just enjoy the game's story for its feel(cinematic or otherwise), and not just how to duck bullets and high explosives, etc. 
I guess games are failing to capture people's attention the way they used to.
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Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
We share your pain.
"Closing the Box" - a campaign in the making :nervous:

Shrike is a dirty dirty admin, he's the destroyer of souls... oh god, let it be glue...

 
Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Yes indeed. Ever since Sony's Playstation said "Hey! Look at my shiny graphics!" I've seen a huge decline in game quality.
"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -DEATH, Discworld

"You can fight like a krogan, run like a leopard, but you'll never be better than Commander Shepard!"

 

Offline Tyrian

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Seconded.  It seems that games with good gameplay have poor stories, while ones with good stories take a hit to gameplay.

Best example:  Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.  Anyone play the FFXII demo?  The controls just felt wrong to me...  I can understand the drive for innovation, but it just didn't feel like their new system was "working" for the series.
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This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address occurred during the same week.  This is an ironic juxtaposition of events--one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, while the other involves a groundhog.

Bumper stickers at my college:
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Offline Sarafan

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)

3) I've also noticed a disturbing lack of "feeling" in games, i mean something that looks like a lot of care and attention was put into it, to make it stand apart from the crowd, you guys know what i mean, don't you?.. it's what made many of the older lucasarts adventures stand out in a sea of interactive fictions, it's what made grim fandango stand out, what made the fallout games stand out  that special something that will make you one day, after a long while, take the case out of your collection, blow the dust off it, install it, and play it, and smile at the memories that it brought to you.
The prospect of the new Sam & Max game is a hopeful one, but i wonder how much of its charm will survive when it finally comes out.


The first Homeworld and C&C had that feeling. The problem is that games today are always focusing more on the graphics instead of anything else, tell me how many recent games had a incredible story? Not good, but a incredible one. The worst thing is that there are many games that are really good (all around, gameplay and story) but they dont sell too much because they're not shiny enough (this is not FS2's case).

About WW2 games, it should be really easy to make game of that period with a real story but the problem is that most of these games boil down to mindless shooting, Call of Duty 1 & 2 could have a nice story simply because of those letters before each level, but it didnt. How many WW2 games are FPS and RTS? Its seems that the whole thing is simply restricted to just these two genres.

The Metal Gear series, IMO, is an exception to this rule, you can really see the whole effort that went into making each of them, the characters, story, etc.

 
Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.

Personally, I can't play anything after VI.  Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:

 

Offline Tyrian

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
I bought V and VI as part of a collectors' edition thing.  The save feature was bugged.  Hence they were returned, post-haste.  I still want to play them though.   :(
Want to be famous?  Click here and become a playing card!!!

Bush (Verb) -- To do stupid things with confidence.

This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address occurred during the same week.  This is an ironic juxtaposition of events--one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, while the other involves a groundhog.

Bumper stickers at my college:
"Republicans for Voldemort!"
"Frodo failed.  Bush got the Ring."

Resistance is futile!  (If < 1 ohm...)

"Any nation which sacrifices a little liberty for a little security deserves neither and loses both." -- Benjamin Franklin

Sig rising...

 

Offline Sarafan

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
*Hits TheSleeve with multiple beam cannons (BFReds, something that totally ignores the anti-flame suit he's using).*

Yeah, that's got to hurt. :P

 

Offline Ferret

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.

Personally, I can't play anything after VI.  Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:
I dislike the lot of them. The storylines are dull at best, and without that they have nothing except some pretty pictures. I like Tactics though.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Quote
3) I've also noticed a disturbing lack of "feeling" in games, i mean something that looks like a lot of care and attention was put into it, to make it stand apart from the crowd, you guys know what i mean, don't you?.. it's what made many of the older lucasarts adventures stand out in a sea of interactive fictions, it's what made grim fandango stand out, what made the fallout games stand out  that special something that will make you one day, after a long while, take the case out of your collection, blow the dust off it, install it, and play it, and smile at the memories that it brought to you.
The prospect of the new Sam & Max game is a hopeful one, but i wonder how much of its charm will survive when it finally comes out.

I agree for the most part, but there are still a handful of exceptions if you look around a bit. Chronicles of Riddick and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (the latter mainly just for its level design) fit that criteria well IMO.

That being said though, I definitely wish we had more adventure games of any kind. Almost all the adventure games I have played have been memorable in some way.

One other trend I'm not too happy about is how multiplayer FPSs have in general become quite slow paced, often due to a supposed emphasis on "realism." I'm hoping UT2007 will change this.

 

Offline Ransom

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Yes, gaming is in a decline; focus has been shifted from making good games to making games that sell. But it's always been a case of finding the gems amongst the rubble, especially in regard to storylines. It's that way with the entire entertainment industry right now, and while it's certainly gotten worse recently, it's not like we were drowning in classics a few years ago either. The reason past years seem so much brighter is because you've forgotten all the games that were either disappointing or just weren't very good.

There are still games around that possess genuine 'feeling'. Case in point: Shadow of the Colossus. With only a handful of characters and sparse smattering of dialogue the game managed to fit more emotion and depth than any number of wordy, epic fantasy trilogies with gazillion dollar budgets. Games like Perimeter and Beyond Good & Evil are still out there, brilliant despite the fact that most people you'd care to ask would never have heard of them. They're harder to find now more than ever, yes, but that doesn't mean they're not there.

The main thing here, of course, is the sudden focus on graphics. It's a novelty that, once the graphics have gotten so good they can't improve much anymore (a boiling point that I think will be reached within a couple of years), will wear out and attention will return to gameplay and story. This is a growing period for the industry. It's having teething pains, that's all.

 

Offline Sarafan

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.

Personally, I can't play anything after VI.  Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:
I dislike the lot of them. The storylines are dull at best, and without that they have nothing except some pretty pictures. I like Tactics though.

Tatics was incredible but they didnt put enough effort in it as with the other FFs, the story could have been great but they try to do too many things that it ends up confusing everything and leaving god know's how many plotholes at the end. So much potential wasted. :(

 

Offline Nuclear1

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)

3) I've also noticed a disturbing lack of "feeling" in games, i mean something that looks like a lot of care and attention was put into it, to make it stand apart from the crowd, you guys know what i mean, don't you?.. it's what made many of the older lucasarts adventures stand out in a sea of interactive fictions, it's what made grim fandango stand out, what made the fallout games stand out  that special something that will make you one day, after a long while, take the case out of your collection, blow the dust off it, install it, and play it, and smile at the memories that it brought to you.
The prospect of the new Sam & Max game is a hopeful one, but i wonder how much of its charm will survive when it finally comes out.


The first Homeworld and C&C had that feeling. The problem is that games today are always focusing more on the graphics instead of anything else, tell me how many recent games had a incredible story? Not good, but a incredible one. The worst thing is that there are many games that are really good (all around, gameplay and story) but they dont sell too much because they're not shiny enough (this is not FS2's case).

My absolute top favorite games in terms of story all have reasonably outdated or older graphics: Starcraft, Red Alert 2, Homeworld, and FS2 (sans SCP). The only exception to this rule that I've found was Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, which was terrific in terms of story, character development, and gameplay, but still had excellent graphics.
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Offline Tyrian

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.

Personally, I can't play anything after VI.  Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:
I dislike the lot of them. The storylines are dull at best, and without that they have nothing except some pretty pictures. I like Tactics though.

We now have a difference of opinion which must now be settled.

*Puts together his M107 Barret*
Want to be famous?  Click here and become a playing card!!!

Bush (Verb) -- To do stupid things with confidence.

This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address occurred during the same week.  This is an ironic juxtaposition of events--one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, while the other involves a groundhog.

Bumper stickers at my college:
"Republicans for Voldemort!"
"Frodo failed.  Bush got the Ring."

Resistance is futile!  (If < 1 ohm...)

"Any nation which sacrifices a little liberty for a little security deserves neither and loses both." -- Benjamin Franklin

Sig rising...

 

Offline Sarafan

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)

My absolute top favorite games in terms of story all have reasonably outdated or older graphics: Starcraft, Red Alert 2, Homeworld, and FS2 (sans SCP). The only exception to this rule that I've found was Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault, which was terrific in terms of story, character development, and gameplay, but still had excellent graphics.

Yeah, lots of the games that I have that present a good story are outdade when it comes to graphics, Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 hold's one the best stories that I've seen but are old. The whole C&C series are a good example too. The first Kotor is another exception, when you find out who you are, now that was impressive. :yes:

Edit: Dark Reign had tons of background story, does anyone here played it?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 09:03:36 pm by Sarafan »

 
Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
The main thing here, of course, is the sudden focus on graphics. It's a novelty that, once the graphics have gotten so good they can't improve much anymore (a boiling point that I think will be reached within a couple of years), will wear out and attention will return to gameplay and story. This is a growing period for the industry. It's having teething pains, that's all.
I agree with everything you say here, but I don't think graphics will reach their limit that soon.  Well let me rephrase that.  I don't think visual realism will reach its limit for a very long time.  We've still got to overcome the Uncanny Valley.  Personally, I think that's going to leave a lot of room for improvement.

So let me explain what I mean by visual realism vs. graphics.  A graphic, by its definition, is a flat, motionless picture.  In computer games, we draw those pictures on the screen at 30 times per second (more or less).  This creates the illusion of motion, and the overall experience we have constitutes the visual realism of that game.  Graphics may be nearing their limit, yes, but the realism of those graphics in motion has a rough road ahead.

No matter how good we make a computer model of a person, even in film special effects, we are able to discern it as a fake once it is animated.  In the pretty far future, only when it is possible to create and model characters based on musculature, bone structure, etc, with their movements entirely AI-controlled (as opposed to motion-captured animations), we will cause them to act in a lifelike way, and will truly overcome the valley.  We will actually think and feel that the character on the screen is a living, breathing person.  What a trip that will be.

Just think about the complexity that goes into the motion of a human... and how do we duplicate it to trick the viewer into thinking that person is real?  They must breathe properly, speeding up when exerting themselves, slowing down when resting.  The intake of the air swells their lungs, which react mechanically with their flesh to produce visible motion to an observer.  When they talk, move, or just stand around, they are idly (and subconsciously) shifting their body weight, moving their appendages, and focusing their eyes on different things.

Several developers have attemped to emulate these idle motions as preset animations, and have in fact animated entire characters based on motion capture alone.  But think of the possiblities when motion is controlled entirely by AI!

AI says "move your hand upwards."  The virtual bicep flexes, along with the anterior deltoid, and the rigid bone structure causes the arm and hand to move in the desired way.  But during this motion, a projectile comes in at the character, and the AI redirects the hand to shield its eyes.  All this time, the rest of the body is acting in a realistic way.

Maybe I'm going a little overboard, but what I'm trying to get at is that even when we reach the point where a stationary human model looks real on a computer screen, once set into motion, we become aware that it is in fact a fake.

But someday, we'll have the processing power (and programming capabilities) to allow AI to bridge the gap.

I, for one, am excited.

But, that's the long term.  As for the short term, I totally agree with you.  I sense, and hope for, a gameplay revolution in the next decade.  A renaissance, if you will, of the golden age of gaming.  I have a dream that someday, there will be no more "shiny," "purdy" eye candy to go around, and we will be forced to judge games not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.




...in the meantime I'll be playing super nintendo.

 

Offline Fury

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Yes, gaming is in a decline; focus has been shifted from making good games to making games that sell.
It's not just games, this has been affecting the whole entertainment industry including movies and whatnot. When the men in suits realize the how much money can be milked, that marks the turning point of an industry. And money-milking won't stop until joe and jane averages wake up.

 

Offline Nuclear1

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Look at the Final Fantasy series.  It seems to me that gameplay took a hit post FFX-2.

Personally, I can't play anything after VI.  Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:
I dislike the lot of them. The storylines are dull at best, and without that they have nothing except some pretty pictures. I like Tactics though.

We now have a difference of opinion which must now be settled.

*Puts together his M107 Barret*

I say, dost thou challenge a lady to a duel? Have at thee, ye honorless swine! :p
Spoon - I stand in awe by your flawless fredding. Truely, never before have I witnessed such magnificant display of beamz.
Axem -  I don't know what I'll do with my life now. Maybe I'll become a Nun, or take up Macrame. But where ever I go... I will remember you!
Axem - Sorry to post again when I said I was leaving for good, but something was nagging me. I don't want to say it in a way that shames the campaign but I think we can all agree it is actually.. incomplete. It is missing... Voice Acting.
Quanto - I for one would love to lend my beautiful singing voice into this wholesome project.
Nuclear1 - I want a duet.
AndrewofDoom - Make it a trio!

 

Offline DaBrain

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)
Story-wise the best games I've ever played are Crono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6.

Square had big teams working on the story. Every sentence in the games seems to well-thought about.

New game teams probably have only one person in charge for the story.



Remember Halo? They worked out the graphics first and admitted that they had no story yet. (Ok, Halo turned out to have a good story twist in the end though.)

Some games don't need a good story.
Wing Commander has a really cheap story. (Cat aliens attack... ) But it's still interesting, as it's brought to the player on cinematic level. And I'm not limiting that to the cutscenes.

Actually I think the Freespace story isn't great too, but it's exciting for sure,
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: Trends in Gaming.(a rant)

Even VII rubs me the wrong way.

*Puts on anti-flame suit*  :nervous:


*Stares coldly while priming the hand portable fission cannon*

No no no, Why did you have to ruin my day..............