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Game Crap


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#1 Rhetorician   Members   -  Reputation: 119

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:27 PM

Counting for quite a long period now, I think all of the "big" games coming out are critically lacking substance. I'm about to write up a list of examples, but crumby games are nearly everywhere anyway.

Rant Area. Please, don't actually discuss this part. They're only my opinions.
Spoiler


Although I really like computer graphics -- I find them extremely interesting and consider them as powerful elements for improving the overall effect of a game -- I'm willing to give away all of this shininess for games that are actually worth my time (old games!)

I don't merely count such worth by a little thrill or excitement (or any non-holistic constituents of fun), but of personal value. Valuable as in: something which creates a special experience. That's why I believe video games have potential to be the ultimate media. They combine interactivity with (hopefully) visuals and sound. More importantly, good game designers work to create experience in an incredible range of aspects. Besides aesthetics, emotion, adventure, lore, profound aspects (i.e. deep stories) and so on; this also involves the player's skill, and their dedication to the mastery of their involvement: being a player, and the reason why they are. (note that I said "to create experience" and not "to create an experience")

What do you think? You can state your opinion, but I mostly prefer your thoughts related to game design.


Side Note: Yes, as apparently; some of my thoughts were invigorated by
From the Editor: E3 2012 - The E3 of Disillusion


I strongly agree.

Edited by Reflexus, 11 June 2012 - 06:45 PM.


Sponsor:

#2 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2634

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 06:36 PM

I dont really buy/play any 60 money-unit-costing games, but i feel like theyre kind of like interactive stories with the focus on great graphical quality, with the multiplayer part where youre supposed to grind for a few months before buying the sequel.

They are fun to play through. But as "interactive movies + some grind", theyre not fun after completing the story. I like sandbox games because you can feed your own imagination if the built in imagination food runs out. Modern games need more sandbox.

o3o


#3 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2242

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 04:11 PM

I appreciate your point about modern games, however your rant area is literally that. I'm cool with hating a franchise, but it's nice to have a good explanation why so we can take sides and discuss. In any case, you said not to discuss so... *zips it*

I think the article on E3 had a good point. The AAA segment of the industry is very adolescent/Michael Bay. Ironically if deeper games had proved extremely marketable back in the day we'd have AAAs building them (or a take on them). But naturally shooters were the easiest to make and look flashy and market, so that's what happened.

I want to see more games where characters have motivations and you can change their mind. Imagine a typical AAA situation; you walk into a room and there's a guy with a gun. But instead you have a tense standoff and then come to an agreement. Or you fight a bit until the zombie horde comes and then you team up, etc etc. Even in action movies things aren't so black and white that an enemy now is always an enemy later. And vice versa.

#4 fayt   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:20 PM

As far as RPG goes, I think Square Enix screwed up the Final Fantasy series badly. It started out as a true rpg with FF1 2 and 3. Now it has gotten very futuristic and they are battling in the void, somewhere in space or heaven or something. Plus the levels are very plain and lack details or look the same.

What happened to the good ol' Dragon Warrior, Breath of Fire, Ultima, etc?

#5 Rhetorician   Members   -  Reputation: 119

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:08 PM

I like sandbox games because you can feed your own imagination if the built in imagination food runs out. Modern games need more sandbox.


I would like to add: modern games need more sandbox, perhaps discretely, but also integrated into the campaign (in a way; but not necessarily the same kind of "sandbox").

I want to see more games where characters have motivations and you can change their mind. Imagine a typical AAA situation; you walk into a room and there's a guy with a gun. But instead you have a tense standoff and then come to an agreement. Or you fight a bit until the zombie horde comes and then you team up, etc etc. Even in action movies things aren't so black and white that an enemy now is always an enemy later. And vice versa.


I really like your thoughts. Executing this simply as you put it would be tremendously effective for creating real player-immersion. I think a little more development regarding this idea, in just the right ways, could make an incredible outcome.

What happened to the good ol' Dragon Warrior, Breath of Fire, Ultima, etc?


Yeah, I'm quite bummed out right now.

Edited by Reflexus, 12 June 2012 - 11:08 PM.


#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 5055

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:02 AM

I'll nominate Okami and Zelda: Twilight Princess as two RPG-ish games from the past several years that I thought had real substance.

Edited by sunandshadow, 13 June 2012 - 12:02 AM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7987

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:03 AM

I would like to add: modern games need more sandbox, perhaps discretely, but also integrated into the campaign (in a way; but not necessarily the same kind of "sandbox").

I think that this is just the wrong way, let me explain.

Games suffer under the pressure of being either in realistic/movie quality or must satisfy a very large range of game features, including the modern trend of sandbox gameplay.

When a studio has to follow the movie trend, creating all the art assets, story, music etc. is so expensive, that the movie trend, that is taking a single scene, restrict it dramatically and polish it as much as possible, lead to hi-polished, small, and linear games.

On the other hand, putting too many game features in a single game lead to swallow games (everything in, but nothing really satisfying).

I think games (not interactive movies) should concentrate more on single game features and make as much game out of it as is possible (deep gameplay). I.e. minecraft is all about sandbox, it is neither RPG nor FPS.

#8 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:32 AM

What happened to the good ol' Dragon Warrior, Breath of Fire, Ultima, etc?


Hey, Dragon Quest didn't go anywhere! The last few have been great (particularly VII, although I'm not sure if I'm alone in that). ...Of course, they're turning Dragon Quest X into an MMO, so...

Life in the Dorms -- comedic point-and-click adventure game out now for Xbox Live Indie Games!

My portfolio: http://paulfranzen.wordpress.com/


#9 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2195

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

One person's "substance" is another person's crap. And people can ridiculous expectations on a company, title, or genre that can't be consistently met. So, I'll forgive companies that invest millions of dollars into titles that are excessively gratuitous in their content. Besides, like junk food, sometimes indulging in a junk game can be rewarding.

It's a couple years old now but I just finished Red Dead Redemption and I was quite impressed over all. Never got into any other games by Rockstar so I don't know what their over all "quality" track record is. Can't help but wonder if they just lucked into something that was really good or if it was by design from the start.

#10 Rhetorician   Members   -  Reputation: 119

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:21 PM

Games suffer under the pressure of being either in realistic/movie quality or must satisfy a very large range of game features, including the modern trend of sandbox gameplay.


Oops. That rubbed off the wrong way. Actually, if I were to throw together a list of common game design mistakes, that would be a highlight. Sorry, I was hesitant while I replied, but it was getting late. I didn't take the time to elaborate as much as I wanted to. Here's what I mean, in the mood of:

grind for a few months before buying the sequel... after completing the story etc...


So lets think about replay value. We all know of the most common incentives that game designers craft to increase the replay value of their game (campaign).
  • The experience
    • Fun
    • Improving upon skill
    • Getting a higher "score" / better performance
  • Higher Difficulty (somewhat classifies under new experience)
    • Claiming bragging-rights
    • Sometimes, increased difficulty will enable a higher "score," or more interesting features
    • Unlocking achievements
  • Finding easter-egg secrets
    • Unlockables
    • Secret cut-scenes
    • etc
Although these are all effective features, we also understand that the experience is the most important to deliver. The sense of "sandbox" was supposed to articulate to the openness of the "experience." jefferytitan gave an extremely good example that complements this. (Side thought: I believe his ideas' more malleable than you would think. Because I require a context-example to illustrate the beyond obvious variety of its application (which I don't have), I just hope people think more deeply about the application of different game design concepts, while they consider.)

jefferytitan's idea is a counter-example to something like CoD Black Ops (sorry to tangle in my subjective opinion, but I think people can relate with that). Of course, I'm far from saying that jefferytitan's idea is the one everyone needs. There are many different possibilities which are right or wrong, depending on various circumstances, during careful consideration. Game design rarely involves the conceptualization of novel mechanics/premises. A game designer needs to find exactly what's right for their game, considering which ideas don't work, often while reusing concepts, and applying them uniquely, or as appropriately.

Thanks for pointing that out, Ashaman73.

One person's "substance" is another person's crap. And people can ridiculous expectations on a company, title, or genre that can't be consistently met.


Awe... yeah, the game industry has changed a lot, especially on the consumer side. I assume there's much more people playing video games now. With more "fans," you can also expect more "disappointments." There's also a larger variety in distribution models (DLCs, Free-To-Plays etc.), which affects the broad nature of modern games too. But I think its fair to say that a handful of developers have lost their grasp of solid game design, and maybe even neglect it. I'm seeing a juggernaut-sales attitude. Posted Image

Edited by Reflexus, 13 June 2012 - 12:52 PM.


#11 slayemin   Members   -  Reputation: 2888

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

I think the best way to get replay value out of a game is to design it so that you can accomplish the objective by using multiple strategies.
"A game is a series of interesting choices" -Sid Meier
The more "weird" the strategy, the more interesting it is to me.

The problem with some RPG's and some FPS's is that the story line is linear and character progression is also linear. The linear nature of those games puts arbitrary restrictions on what strategies you can use and usually one particular strategy is whichever is strongest. Strongest strategy is not necessarily the most interesting strategy.

I like to think of "Magic: The Gathering" as a very well designed game. It's got tremendous replay value because of its versatility. There are TONS of interesting ways to defeat an opponent. My favorite strategy is to make my opponent draw dozens of cards at a time causing them run out of cards. If you run out of cards, you lose regardless of your health. It's just so weird and unexpected.
When I played Starcraft 2, my favorite strategy was to play zerg and mass queens, spine crawlers, and overseers. It's another weird and unexpected strategy.

So, I'd say that to really get the best replay value out of a game, you have to introduce lots of mechanics which can be combined in very interesting ways. Some games just don't lend themselves very well to that. An FPS can only introduce a few different types of guns, which mostly do the same thing: Shoot stuff in different ways. The "replay" value from an FPS comes from the twitchy skills it takes to shoot quickly and accurately and competing with those developed skills against other players. It's moderately interesting, but doesn't require a clever mind to thrive at it.

Eric Nevala

Indie Developer | Dev blog


#12 KymikoLoco   Members   -  Reputation: 195

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 02:41 PM

Square Enix is killing the meaning of "RPG." I think all of their recent titles are completely worthless (I would even say, spanning back for quite a long time actually. At least 4 or 5 years)

Not really discussing it, but if you want to see a good example of an RPG SquareEnix should be making, play Xenoblade. Game is fantastic. Unless of course you already have, and that is what your opinion is based upon, then good on you.

#13 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2634

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 03:00 PM

I think the campaigns are usually fun, even if they tell you everything you need to do (movies are fun!) but the problem is that the multiplayer side feels like a quick addition to the game.

I think most people spens their time in multiplayer, not in the campaign.

So, the campaign should be multiplayer. It would be nonlinear and the progress would depend on how a certain "chapter" in the story went from the part of everyone who played it. For example on server 1, there could be a game running for a day or 2, with an objective to capture a fortress (which would take a day or 2) . If the players can capture it, the next chapter is advancing to enemy bases. If not, it might be falling back to the ships and defending against enemy planes and whatever.

o3o


#14 fayt   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:15 AM

I've often seen games where you can't free fight and level up. You level as you progress throughout the game, forcing you to be a certain level at a certain point in the game. I am a huge fan of free world fighting and uping my level to what I feel comfortable with before going on the next quest or mission.




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