Author Topic: The Death of the Space shooter  (Read 19179 times)

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Offline Flipside

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Space combat games are often treated like 'Flight Simulators in Space', which is why there is limited appeal. Most Spce-shooters require a myriad of controls for various actions, like controlling shields/power, sending messages etc.

Without sounding cynical, modern Pop culture prefers Glitter games, lots of special effects, not much depth, and a shallow learning/completion curve.

Problem with FS2 is that it is neither one or other, too simplified for a simulator, too complex for a throwaway distraction.

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Thank you, Spartan, for the warm welcome.  I wasn't trying to poke at the hornets' nest with a pointy stick when I mentioned "3," "S," and "F" in a phrase.  I know enough about the game to appreciate the wisdom in not constantly reminding a widow(er) about the death of their spouse (I read that analogy somewhere).

So...FS2 didn't cater to the streamlined, lowest-common denominator gaming market, and that's why Volition took a financial beating?  Depressing.  I prefer PC games to console games precisely because of the availability of deep strategic titles like Total War, Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic.  Freespace is by no means a "deep strategic title," but it certainly is more complicated than your garden-variety shooter.  Doom 3, though beautiful, bored me into a coma after the first three levels.  Still, I know plenty of PC-gamers who prefer "deep" games to sterile, mind-numbing shooters (although "mind-numbing" is precisely what I want sometimes, especially after a hard day at work).  Are there not enough of us types to make a space shooter a reasonable financial investment? 

From a developer and publisher standpoint, I suppose it boils down to risk.  We can RISK making an excellent game in a sick genre, or we can make another sequel to a proven and safe success. 

And a word on Darkstar One: It's receiving mediocre reviews at best.  Normally, I disregard "outlier" reviews, but when I keep hearing the same complaints in multiple reviews from different sources, I pay attention.  I guess I'm "stuck" with FS2 Open, which is fine with me because it 1)looks freaking beautiful, and 2) our beloved technologically-competent fanbase keeps producing quality campaigns.

As long as the industry churns out an occasional game like Medieval Total War 2 or Bioshock (yes, I'm guilty of assuming these will be amazing games), I'll continue to dwell on the fringe.  It's nice and quiet out here, especially for a misanthrope like me...

Dobralov


 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Games don't have to be deep and stategic to be good. Look at Volition's earlier series (they were still Parallax when they made it): Descent. I don't think I'd call Descent deep, yet it tops out as one of my top ten games of all time.
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Offline Turey

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Actually the "beauty" of the welcome beam was that it was an old tradition that faded away, until fairly recently. It's since lost it's beauty... particularly since it tends to pull up ancient jokes from the early years of the community, despite always being given by new members to other new members.

I'm very sorry that I wasn't intelligent enough to find this community when it first started. Please excuse me for trying to have a little fun. I'll stop now.
Creator of the FreeSpace Open Installer.
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why would an SCP error be considered as news? :wtf: *smacks Cobra*It's a feature.

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Both Hunter and Dobralov are right. FPS games SHOULD have an involved storyline (Halo being, IMHO the GREATEST plotline created). However, it's not an FPS without mind-numbing shooting of hostiles. One also has to look at HOW the FPS works. Being a fan of FPSs over anything else, I've spent considerable time contemplating what makes a good FPS, and I've compiled a fair list:

1) Decent storyline - Nothing too fancy, just enough to believe that we're killing the right thing. In BattleFront 2, you kill droids because they're part of the Confederation that you want to re-join with the Republic. The droids are killing clones because their masters believe that the government wasn't truly listening to them. There, a good storyline that explains WHY you're killing something, not just violence for the sake of violence.

2) Good HUD - No gamer wants to be left wondering how much ammo is left. Again, I think Halo had the best HUD of its time, with Halo 2 adapting well to the times. There shouldn't be any stupid looking reticle in the center. We just want a hole to shoot through. If shields are involved, and health ALWAYS is, we want to know how much of either we have left. However, the exception that I allow is Halo 2 because your health regenerates with your shields, almost eliminating the need for the health bar. It'd be nice, but unnecessary. Ammo is important, but we don't necessarily need to know how much EACH of our weapon holds. Just the one we have out is fine. Grenade counters are REALLY nice in an FPS, because you don't want to be trying to throw a grenade when you don't have one.

3) Good, All Around Weapons - Nothing's more annoying that carrying around a weapon you don't want. Again, Halo did an EXCELLENT job of having the right weapons when you need them, and left out the ones you don't need. I, personally, am a short-range specialist. Nothing feels better than blowing something up, or watching your enemy die right in front of you. However, there are those of you out there who enjoy the mid-range weapons, like the Battle Rifle from Halo, or the Pulse Rifle from UT2004 (I probably misnamed the latter). Finally, there are those of you (wimps) who prefer to pick off enemies from afar. There should be weapons for all three weapon favorites (jk on the wimps part). The developers can let you choose what weapon you want to use where, not pick them (oft times wrongly) for you. 

4) Sequels, but no Prequels - Almost never in a game can the developer create a sealed plotline that starts where the player starts and ends when the player ends. Most games have sequels, which is good for developers and gamers alike. Developers can make mucho dinero when it comes to a sequel. It's a safe bet that a sequel will sell somewhere in the vincinity of the first game, assuming the developer takes the time to re-write the game enough to be different, but, at the same time, plays true to the previous game. And us gamers enjoy playing a sequel because we already know most of the characters, and don't mind another story (how many stories did you have your parents read to you when you were younger?). What gamers don't want is the same game with the same exact characters doing exactly what they did last time with the same weapons. It's boring to just write that. However, Prequels are mostly nasty. There have been a few prequels that did well (Star Wars Episodes I-III told the story that they were supposed to tell, even with Hayden Christensen and Natlie Portman sucking major ...). But mostly, we've already been told the story, we know what's going to happen to the characters, we know what weapons are going to be developed, etc. IMHO, it's just not smart to develop a prequel.

5) Graphics - Hunter's going to disagree with me, but graphics DO add to a game. The time has come and gone to shoot pixelated monsters that we can't distinguish from ourselfs (Doom...sorta). Deep down inside, we like things to look pretty (Women like to look pretty, men like to look at pretty things). IMHO though, you still shouldn't override a game with good graphics but turn the game into a resource hog. It'll be soon enough when our processors are 100GHz, with 1 Teraflop of RAM. Until then, make the game look pretty, but don't let only those with big $$$ enjoy the game. UT2004 did REALLY well, IMHO, with graphics. Currently (though I REALLY hope to upgrade SOON!) I'm running a Nvidia GeForce Fx 5500. UT2004 looks pretty good, even at 1024 X 768 with shadows turned off.


IMHO, the above should be considered BEFORE making a decent FPS...

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 

Offline Turey

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Can we get this moved to games and gaming? It seems to be turning into more of an all around games thread than a FreeSpace TGW/2/Open thread.
Creator of the FreeSpace Open Installer.
"Calm. The ****. Down." -Taristin
why would an SCP error be considered as news? :wtf: *smacks Cobra*It's a feature.

 

Offline Polpolion

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Who was the person who turned it from "the death of the space shooter" into the "Good FPSs" topic?


BTW, FS2 didn't do well because interplay sucks at life.

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Who was the person who turned it from "the death of the space shooter" into the "Good FPSs" topic?


Spartan_0214

@Spartan: I said absolutely nothing about FPS's, and the main topic is Space Shooters. I think Dobralov was just comparing them to FPS's because they are the Space Shooter's main rivals.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 09:31:38 pm by Dark Hunter »
"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!"

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
apologies, didn't mean to turn this topic around. You guys go ahead and talk pessimisticly about a genre that hasn't really done well to begin with, and I'll continue being optimistic towards FPSs. (notices irony in statement.  Doesn't care.)

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 

Offline ShivanSpS

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Space combat games are often treated like 'Flight Simulators in Space', which is why there is limited appeal. Most Spce-shooters require a myriad of controls for various actions, like controlling shields/power, sending messages etc.

Without sounding cynical, modern Pop culture prefers Glitter games, lots of special effects, not much depth, and a shallow learning/completion curve.

Problem with FS2 is that it is neither one or other, too simplified for a simulator, too complex for a throwaway distraction.

Well, for me, FS2 has the best learning/completion curve of all, the PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, its you who learns to avoid and destruct ship, is you who learns to evade missiles, its you who learns to bombering, etc. Not a fuc* number on screen, or on a virtual pilot. That for me the best than pass 2 months playing a game to do anything better, like X2, X3 do it...

Microsoft has do it well to, Starlancer was good, but suffer of a extremly stupit AI, and their do it well in Freelancer too, but they fail on giving to that king of game a "Free style" after finish the story fine, Freelancer is good, but after finish the storyline, there is nothing more to do (I remember to get sleep two times when playing Freelancer in the midle of a fight!, that never happend and will not happen which FS2).

But I agree FS2 could give something of progress... Like the ranks... the ranks are nothing more than a name and a few stars (mm no, I remember that in FS1 multiplayer a Vice admiral guy who can give departing orders to ships  criticals in the mission), but that sounds more like a bug, there should be not allowed to give the departing order to the Hope for example :P... That guy... was Hurricane if a remember well.)

Anyway, FS2 fail on two things, Ranks and marketing.

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Quote
Problem with FS2 is that it is neither one or other, too simplified for a simulator, too complex for a throwaway distraction.

who wants a cheap distraction?

Anyway, FS2 fail on two things, Ranks and marketing.

I dunno. The ranking system works until you get to Admiral and aren't .... Oh .... say ..... ACTING like an Admiral. Admirals do NOT fly fancy little fighters into battle, OH NO, they're too valuble. We have to insulate them in big fancy ships with big fancy weapons... --------------------------------------------Dead Air--------------------------------------------. Anyway, the ranking system would work if you could actually conceivably be allowed to pilot one of those ships (btw, you can, but if you try to go third person, the game crashes).

yea, the marketing of FS2 was really bad, that's why we don't have....... n00bs, close your ears, turn off your monitors.....FS3....
« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 09:42:56 pm by spartan_0214 »

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

 

Offline Flipside

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Yup, part of the simplicity of Freespace 2 is the physics, that's why it's 'neither one nor the other' as it were. In one way, at least, Spartan is correct about one fact, Space Combat games have been on shaky ground since the Wing Commander, Star Wars and Freespace 1 era.

Maybe it's because we aren't simply satisfied in the 'same thing with prettier graphics', even SCP is as much, if not more about improving the functionality of FS2, the graphics are a great boon, but what makes the SCP so incredible is the potential.

As for the cheap distraction, I mean the stream of games with similar gameplay, which simply look like the same engine with different graphics. Every so often there are some interesting exceptions, but for the main part, I find the current market to be saturated with 'Pop' games, like Pop music, they are pushed out quick and similar.

 

Offline TrashMan

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter

Maybe it's because we aren't simply satisfied in the 'same thing with prettier graphics', even SCP is as much, if not more about improving the functionality of FS2, the graphics are a great boon, but what makes the SCP so incredible is the potential.

As for the cheap distraction, I mean the stream of games with similar gameplay, which simply look like the same engine with different graphics. Every so often there are some interesting exceptions, but for the main part, I find the current market to be saturated with 'Pop' games, like Pop music, they are pushed out quick and similar.

Eh? Don't RTS's and FPS's fall into that category far more than space sims? You have so friggin many of those 2 genres that there really all do even feel the same (mostly)
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Offline Flipside

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter

Maybe it's because we aren't simply satisfied in the 'same thing with prettier graphics', even SCP is as much, if not more about improving the functionality of FS2, the graphics are a great boon, but what makes the SCP so incredible is the potential.




Eh? Don't RTS's and FPS's fall into that category far more than space sims? You have so friggin many of those 2 genres that there really all do even feel the same (mostly)

Exactly, Pop Culture gets away with it with the myriad of FPS and RTS games out there, but the more complex games, like simluators and RPG's tend to face a far tougher crowd because we aren't as easily mugged by pretty pictures.
As for the cheap distraction, I mean the stream of games with similar gameplay, which simply look like the same engine with different graphics. Every so often there are some interesting exceptions, but for the main part, I find the current market to be saturated with 'Pop' games, like Pop music, they are pushed out quick and similar.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 02:30:44 pm by Flipside »

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
The one thing that does my head in is the way the hostiles can straife (slide ?) so they can hammer you as they go past but you can't return the favour. Always annoying when devs take the lazy route and give hostiles special abilities. Such as the way bad gays can stop and turn on the spot in AC3, soliders shooting you while not anctually poiting their gun at you in the original Medal of Honour etc etc

I don't usually point out typos cause I make plenty of my own but this one was too amusing to let pass :D Curiosity about AC 3 jumps up several levels :)
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
It's not space shooters dying, it's SciFi as a theme in general. There are a lot of interesting space shooters and strategy games out there (Empire at War, ORB, anyone heard of those?) that are very good, it's just that most of the attention has drifted away from SciFi. The only people who like space combat are a few hard-core nerds like us. Most major games now have a basically modern theme even if they claim to take place in the future (Half-Life and Warhammer, for example). There's just not a big audience for old-style "alien invasion" games like Freespace. In a few years the trend will switch back, but in the mean time there's just a trend toward modern and semi-modern gaming (and past history) rather than really futuristic games. No big title like EA is going to sponsor a space shooter for a while, and signficiantly the whole video game industry has shifted focus in the last few years. Game releases are more profit-oriented and companies are less willing to take risks exploring new genres.

The other thing you have to consider is replayability. The idea behind FS is that you play the campaign and then use FRED to design your own missions. People who aren't mission designers would just get bored and throw the game away, while FPS has a lot of multiplayer potential. Most people today see FPS as more replayable than space shooters even if FPS usually doesn't have powerful mission editing tools.

Just a little interesting off-topic tidbit: Wing Commander movie- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_Commander_%28film%29

 

Offline Thor

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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
oh the wing commander movie....

Yeah...one day there will be an awesome space sim game....one day
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Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Well...flight sims made a big come back and all it took was a really good game like IL2.

Space sims just need a really good game to re-ignite the spark.

To be honest, I just found out about FS2 recently and I'm a big space sim fan. Played all the X-wing games, Wing Commander, Starlancer, FS1 and even a bit of Independence war which by the way, only found out about a few years ago.

Basically, FS2 and independence wars never got any real advertising. Even fans of the genre did not know they existed at all.

Wing Commander and X-Wing really kept flight sims afloat. They were names people recognized. But that dreadfull Wing Commander movie did more to ruin the genre than anything else.

To say FS2 killed space sims is ridiculous simply because no one even knew it was out. How can a game that no one knows anything about ruing a whole gaming genre?

 
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
FSX, YAY! I have "2004: A Century of Flight", and I love it!!! I don't like the "missions", but I think that most people will still enjoy it....

Sadly, I haven't played any of the X-Wing video games, but I have read the books....which don't apply at all to the video games....wonder where I can get the X-Wing games (are they for PC?).

DarkStar One IMHO was a good try to restart the series, but all it is is a re-vamped Freelancer, minus the coolness of different ships....(unless there are mods for it, which I doubt)

FS2 COULDN'T POSSIBLY have killed the space sim, it's too good a game...

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"Take my love. Take my land. Take me where I cannot stand. I don't care, I'm still free. You can't take the sky from me. Take me out to the black, tell them I ain't comin' back. Burn the land boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me. There's no place I can be since I've found Serenity. But you can't take the sky from me." - Ballad of Serenity

  
Re: The Death of the Space shooter
Well...flight sims made a big come back and all it took was a really good game like IL2.


Flight sims always had a strong support base- IL2 had nothing to do with it, they just never died in the first place. Space shooters just got old- there was nothing new, anyone looking for storyline or action went for FPS, anyone looking for piloting picked up a flight sim.

And I think FS2 did kill the genre- from a business viewpoint. When developers pump millions of dollars into games like Tachyon and Freespace only to see them flop, it kind of turns them away.

Face it. Freespace didn't die because of marketing. It just wasn't popular. Pretty much the only people who support space shooters are the people on forums like these who keep  hoping the game will come back to life. Let's say there's a thousand people actively part of Hard Light, Hade's Combine, etc. Even that's 1/10th of the number of people who wanted to buy a new space sim, that would only be 10,000 people. Now consider that even very small companies expect their first game to sell 50,000-100,000 copies if the company is to survive, and those are the cheap, made-by-three-guys-in-a-garage-feel games. No major publisher would start a big project to cater to 10,000 or even 100,000 customers.