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Poll

The vote... In a sleeply drunk, probably wrongly written Haiku at 2 am;

This only gave grief
- 3 (6.1%)
Grakelin is not stupid
- 6 (12.2%)
Are you happier now?
- 1 (2%)
------ Haiku, the encore -----
- 17 (34.7%)
Disagreeing, Fine
- 0 (0%)
Why you make a fuzz 'bout it?
- 3 (6.1%)
Lets just be happy
- 19 (38.8%)

Total Members Voted: 48


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Author Topic: My problem with modern games.  (Read 64970 times)

Muz

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2010, 12:12:00 am »

I know this goes a bit against my annoyance with the elitism of a lot of players, but a lot of these problems are there because they're what people want.  Games are too expensive to risk on innovation, which is why every cow that gives golden milk is milked to death and inbred until it's a monstrosity.  People buy them, so they keep doing it.  Same with the graphics thing.  Graphics is what sells games.  We're a very small minority, and just because we like something a bit more refined, that doesn't make the other people stupid.

I'd disagree. Innovation is a gamble with good odds today. Remaking a typical game is tougher. You have a guarantee that the game design will be good, but people just aren't attracted to clones. Innovation almost always works as long as you keep it easy to understand. Just about every classic game (except maybe Fallout 2) was innovative when it came out.
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Roundabout Lout

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2010, 12:23:40 am »

I think pretty much the only commercial game this year I'm looking forward to is No More Heroes 2, because it has a bit of personality.

What bugs me most is the dumbing down, and improper design choices, usually in an effort to dumb down (i.e. level autoscaling that doesn't even work ala Oblivion.)

I like graphics, because advancements in technology overall impress me, but I don't want them to deter from gameplay. Not one bit. Too bad so much time and effort goes into graphics when the parent corporation is pushing for a release date, leaving no time to make the game fun.

I used to be a console gamer, because there were quite a few good/great games up to the PS2 era. (loading times don't bother me too much, until they become excessive.) I bought into the newest console generation with an Xbox 360, because I loved Morrowind and was excited for Oblivion, which I thought would be better in every aspect. Do ho ho. 20 hours into that game, and I regretted spending hundreds of dollars earned over one whole summer specifically for that game. Almost lost my faith in video games on the whole.

Fast forward, and I somehow discover Tigsource in '08. Reading stories about some game named Dwarf Fortress I just had to then find and play. Never looked at console games the same way again (except for a couple good Wii titles like No More Heroes, and the obligatory party games for friends, or Mario, Metroid, yadda yadda yadda)
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 12:26:24 am by yougiedeggs »
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HideousBeing

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #47 on: January 22, 2010, 01:20:09 am »

I put graphics as the most because better graphics slow down every part of the development of games (thus less features). Need some graphics for the new enemy. Graphics for new spell. Graphics for new gun. Eventually a whole bunch of cool stuff has to be cut out because there isn't time to do it. Besides, that manpower could be used in much better places to make the game awesome.

I think the argument for/against drm shouldn't be "is pirating good/bad?" (it definitely leans towards bad IMO, but hey...I'm poor and don't want to buy crappy games), but "is drm actually making the companies any more money?" Besides the negative PR, it's gotta cost a ton of money to stick securom on their game. Since the games are usually cracked before day one anyway, is this even a benefit to them? Seems like wasted money to me.
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sproingie

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2010, 01:49:05 am »

The graphical detail requirements on new games certainly raise the bar to entry and increases the cost tremendously, but it's not like the same people are doing graphics for the guns as are doing logic for the game.  These are very much orthogonal tasks, so for the average game, cutting back on the graphics is not going to do anything for your gameplay.

Much as I like a good run and gun (well more like sneak and shoot in my style), I am getting more than a little tired of a genre of games where your sole interface to the world is the barrel of a gun.  I don't abhor violence in entertainment by any stretch, but the FPS genre really needs to go the way of side-scrolling platformers.
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Gabeux

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2010, 02:05:48 am »

I'm too sleepy to give a proper answer but, great post!
I agree with everything, mainly with the Dumbed down Gameplay.

I'm playing STALKER Shadow Of Chernobyl [how old is this anyway? got it 2 days ago, gfx looks bad and I can't turn dynamic lighting ON because it kills my computer], and I must say I'm having fun.
I'm playing in 'normal difficulty', but some places require me to think a lot about my tactics, and I love it.

About Dragon Age, I thought I would love that game, but I stopped playing and forgot to uninstall it since 3 months. If it was a movie, I'd fall in love with it, but as a game...it just doesn't make me wanna play it.

What you said about "with new games I have hopes that things will get better, but don't" (with your own words), well...I think like this too..
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Sean Mirrsen

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #50 on: January 22, 2010, 02:56:18 am »

I put the vote up for graphics focus, but I'm equally disgusted by the progressive shift towards simpler gameplay, the enforced fake freedom, the DRM, and the multiplayer tendencies.

Graphics is understandable - everyone wants prettier graphics. In most cases, it's fine, too - making a generic game stand out by improving graphics is a good way. However, lately just about every non-indie game is trying to push itself forward technologically. Everyone wants to make their game look good, and they spend the budgets on hiring artists and visual designers instead of programmers and game designers. This frequently results in games that have great graphics, but that have such low performance on midrange rigs that they feel like the GPU manufacturers were supplying half the budget.

The simplification of gameplay is the side-effect of the rise of multiplatform games, even though there are exceptions in that area. I can't stand it when what could be a great game becomes needlessly simplified to appeal to a bigger audience (I'm looking at Spore, specifically). I see the reasoning behind it, but why can't people make difficulty settings include complexity?

Enforced fake freedom is a staple of "sandbox" games, but thankfully many titles avert this. Though you still see invisible walls here and there, even in games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion, a lot of times the game designers have the brain to remember another great way to prevent sequence breaking, which I remember from as far as Desert Strike:War in the Gulf. 'Tis simple, if the player goes where you don't want him to, crank the difficulty up to 11. GTA IV excelled in that regard, there are relatively few places where you cannot go - this is generally characteristic of the series as a whole.

The DRM is a matter that's been discussed at length here, I see. My view on it is that the best DRM is game quality, and availability/accessibility. If you're making a good game, people are more likely to like it enough to buy it. If the nature of the game is such that a single playthrough would reveal everything the game has to offer, then either release a good demo (if there's a good reason for having a short-ish non-replayable game), or introduce something that can be unlocked, or downloaded, or something. Enforcing DRM on paying customers is just mean.

And the multiplayer tendencies... well, they don't hurt too many genres. FPS games frequently only benefit from a multiplayer focus, but foregoing the singleplayer aspect entirely is never a good thing. Strategy games, on the other hand, were completely devastated by the shift to cybersports. In the wake of Starcraft, every RTS conceived since, with very few exceptions, has strived for simpler and faster gameplay. The biggest gaming disappointment before Spore came in the form of Supreme Commander. With a completely redone economics and balance system, the slow-paced gameplay that was possible in Total Annihilation became useless in competitive matches. The 'Crafts and CnC are having a very disruptive effect on the genre, and I find it very sad.

mendonca

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2010, 03:42:22 am »

THUMBS

He he he ... never thought of it like that, but yeah, thumbs.

Even a fast-paced game ... take sensible soccer ... ONE BUTTON, EIGHT DIRECTIONS, must be one of the most absolutely perfectly playable games to have graced this earth.
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Soulwynd

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2010, 11:40:37 am »

Hey, look what Goron PMed. me. :)

First of all, the few posts I've seen from you, you did the exact same thing. You went offensive and ran away. That's a sad behavior for anyone who claims to be right about their opinions.
lulz,
nah, I just don't bother with public arguments about it anymore. I've discovered two things: one, you can't convince someone that they are being immature because they lack the inherent maturity required to comprehend their own immaturity...
two: I've found many of these same babies can't handle being scolded for being wrong and tend to go heavy on the report button.

So, rather than entertaining pointless arguments I let my thoughts be known then back out. How is arguing over it going to help at all? I know I'm right, and I know that if the people that argue otherwise ever become any bit successful in life (by their own merit) they may realize their success is attributed to intellectual property in some way or form.

You can continue on your delusional crusade to claim pirating is right and justify it all you want while assuming my non-involvement is a sign of concession... I really couldn't care less.

I quote myself.

But I don't doubt we bumped into it and you ran away just the same going rabblerabblerabble-I-AM-THE-LAW-rabblerabblerabble.

I specially like the "you can't convince someone that they are being immature because they lack the inherent maturity required to comprehend their own immaturity..." part. Fallacy at its finest.



As for the graphics. I do like graphics, but I don't think I care much about them. I specially hate it when they put so much emphasis on the graphics to the point it seems it's all there is in the game and that if you don't have a computer good enough for them, the game goes from crappy to sluggish.

I appreciate they are improving the graphics, but I think they should focus on scalability as well.
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alexwazer

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2010, 12:32:05 pm »

Hey, look what Goron PMed. me. :)

PMs should remain in private. Please edit that last post, that's just childish bickering.



As for the original topic, I hate all the things you mentionned, except the loading screens, which I really don't care about (otherwise I wouldn't play X3). Of these, I mostly hate the dumbed down gameplay and "Oooh pretty" focus, which more often than not come together in a shiny bundle... shiny but usually buggy (bah, that's what patches are for...)  It's especially annoying me when I read that games are "simplified" (dumbed down) to reach a wider audience, yet the game has requirements way above what the average Joe has. They basically slap the "dedicated" gamers with 1 hand and casual gamers with the other.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 12:50:19 pm by alexwazer »
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Soulwynd

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #54 on: January 22, 2010, 12:46:32 pm »

Hey, look what Goron PMed. me. :)

PMs should remain in private. Please edit that last post, that's just childish bickering.

To quote yahtzee, short answer no. Long answer nooooooooooooooooooooooo.

I'm sorry but if anyone takes anything I said in public into a private fallacy, they will become a public display of stupidity.


And since you modified your post...

I think the problem with "reaching a wider audience" by simplifying it is literally saying this wider audience they are trying to reach is either too unintelligent to grasp complex designs or too unintelligent to grasp the concept of the game with the little time they have.

I can understand games being made for children, but most games are made for teenager and young adults. The kind of public that, even with limited time, should be more than able to enjoy a game that should have been not as simple.

I mean, I work 8+ hours a day, I have to dedicate time to my family, my friends, my girlfriend, the people I care about and also sleep. In between, I like wasting my hours on hobbies and one of them is playing games. I agree with you that it's a slap on the face of anyone who enjoys games. Most of the times I think it's more of an excuse due to their limited time to produce a game and their own inefficiency.

For an example, I used to play City of Heroes and there was a huge deal of chatter about customizing powers, their looks, their appearances. The developers constantly said it was impossible due to how the engine was built. I constantly argued it wasn't hard at all to change how powers are displayed and handled in game. I quit a bit after, but look at it today, they got customized powers. So it just felt more like an excuse for them being too lazy to work through it.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 01:07:34 pm by Soulwynd »
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sproingie

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2010, 01:35:53 pm »

1. Get a room.

2. Stop throwing around "fallacy" until you've taken at least one college-level course each in logic and rhetoric.   The circular relationship of immaturity is asserted as inherent, and not separate propositions.  Plenty of self-reinforcing conditions exist like this.

Anyway, I should say something about games here.  I think it has to be taken as a given that as the game market grows, it's going to get more segmented.  I think what clearly needs to happen is that good free or cheap game engines need to continue to evolve so that "indie" games can still have appeal when their market segment would otherwise wither away.  I'm pretty happy with the Neverwinter Nights toolset in that respect, but it's been steadily degrading since then.  I think it needs some competition.


« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 01:40:45 pm by sproingie »
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Soulwynd

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2010, 02:30:04 pm »

1. Get a room.

2. Stop throwing around "fallacy" until you've taken at least one college-level course each in logic and rhetoric.   The circular relationship of immaturity is asserted as inherent, and not separate propositions.
1. Check.
2. Check. You can include a few courses in philosophy as well if you want. Of course, I haven't taken any psychology courses as my major was physics, but you get the point.

I believe he's talking about psychological maturity, not physical. I perceive him as being immature, he perceives me as being immature. I try to explain my point in the subject, he avoids the subject and says his point is, you can't convince someone is immature because they are not mature enough to see it as immature. Ruling out the fact that people -do- become mature psychologically with the interaction with others. I'm sorry, but it's completely against the very definition of psychological maturity as it's not considered inherent, but learned from interaction and observation. Maturity, as far as I know, is related to how to respond to situations, how rational and thoughtful you are in them, how aware of consequences you are, how your decisions affects others, and so on. That's something you learn and you cannot say someone who's being immature cannot change his mind about it if reasoned with. I believe we all had moments when we had to step back, consider the situation and change your mind, or take different actions, or apologize. That's a point where you become more mature at the situation, or people may perceive you as being more mature as well.

I don't consider hit-and-running to be very mature, nor hiding in a PM afterward to be aggressive to say the least. Well, I don't consider exposing it to be very mature of me, but I'm well aware of that and starting to regret it already.

Of course, I'm not all that acknowledged with psychology, so if we have a psychologist around to give a better explanation and if I'm wrong in the definition of maturity, I'm more than fine to back away from the fallacy claim.



Oh well. I hope I will not derange this further away from the main topic.

Oh, hurray, modified post back into topic!

Anyway, I should say something about games here.  I think it has to be taken as a given that as the game market grows, it's going to get more segmented.  I think what clearly needs to happen is that good free or cheap game engines need to continue to evolve so that "indie" games can still have appeal when their market segment would otherwise wither away.  I'm pretty happy with the Neverwinter Nights toolset in that respect, but it's been steadily degrading since then.  I think it needs some competition.
I loved NWN toolset back in the day. It gave us so many options. That was a game I bought with all expansions and never regretted it. I wish more developers would take that stance. Not only they did that, but they also patched the game for years. I'm not sure how active they still are, but that was impressive back then.

It seems that sadly, the indie part is the one doing games because they love it. Because it was the game they wanted to play. A couple decades ago, the companies making games had people who loved the games they made. They made games they wanted to play. I wonder how many designers and programmers who work in any given game project today are happy with what they are making. The gaming news always have them optimistic and happy with it, but I always have the feeling they are being slightly phony.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 02:49:00 pm by Soulwynd »
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mendonca

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2010, 03:12:27 pm »

A couple decades ago, the companies making games had people who loved the games they made. They made games they wanted to play. I wonder how many designers and programmers who work in any given game project today are happy with what they are making.

One of the rare genuine complete success stories of the game world is Jagged Alliance 2. It has everything. You just get the feeling that the people that made this game knew exactly what a game should be.

Unfortunately it didn't sell, and in a short time the company goes under.

In the capitalist world in which games companies operate, the metric of success is not, "are people still playing this game in 11 years time" (most would do well to last 11 days) it is "units ... units ... must .. shift .. units!!!!"

It would be nice if we could use todays technology coupled with the developers and creativity in the framework that games companies could operate in 10-20 years ago, this is true.

So we either de-couple the games houses from the constraints of the market (like artificial subsidies), or we educate the ignorant masses about the potential beauty of this entertainment genre, thereby shifting the target. I'm not sure which task is more unrealistic. Is this too cynical? Is there hope?

Also I completely agree on the point about reviews, my brain vibrates hurtfully when I try to decipher from the available literature whether or not a new game is any good. I usually just wait four years and see if it is still about.
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Soulwynd

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2010, 03:38:10 pm »

That's why I find this to be so interesting. I also really enjoyed jagged alliance one and two and really want to go back into playing 7.62mm.

I'm not sure we can shift the targeted audience much. As others have pointed out, studios will keep with what makes money and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. What bugs me is that we still lack a major studio that makes more complex games or that the others will not even consider it. This just reminded me of Overlord and how the news were comparing it with Dungeon keeper. It was disappointing and yet a lot of people bought it and enjoyed it. How many dungeon-keeper-like have we seen in the past few years? I can only think of Evil Genius and when it shipped it was full of bugs and quirks. Then people wonder why things wont sell.

While studios milk some games, others suffer from a massive dukenuken forever syndrome. I'd really love to see a dungeon keeper 3, for example, that took all the aspects of the previous games and enhanced them, adding more options, creatures, choices, visual goodies, etc.

This gave me an interesting idea. Create a survey to try to see what b12ers in general like/dislike/want in games. I might work on that over the weekend if I have some free time.
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sproingie

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Re: My problem with modern games.
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2010, 03:52:57 pm »

Evil Genius was so close to being actually fun, but ended up being awesomely tedious instead.  Were I doing Evil Genius, I would have:

  • Added more maps with varying goals.  Cramming everything into "Big Island" and "Holy Crap That's Huge Island" didn't do anything for variety.
  • Differented the geniuses a little more, giving each one unique missions.
  • Gave henchmen a little personality, and had henchman-specific missions
  • Eliminate the use of minions in stealing, using only a point allocation system.  Your notoriety would of course affect these points.
  • Make AOI's at least slightly interesting, even if it was just to add comic-book still panel "cutscenes" when they succeeded instead of those repetitive and dull radio announcements.  Add a "Wall of Infamy" to the Inner Sanctum for you to review your dastardly deeds.
  • Removed tourists.  Agents are annoying enough to babysit.  Actually I would have added a mission or two for dealing with tourists them, with the damn hotels already built and not sucking down half your power budget.
  • Streamline building in any of a zillion ways, any of which would have removed the "watching paint dry" factor.
  • I could go on and on
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 03:54:51 pm by sproingie »
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