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Jackyll

what if?

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did it ever occur to you that you never felt a videogame system was old until you heard an announcement that there is a new system under development and coming soon?.. that''s what happened to the snes when saturn and psx showed up, and that''s what happened to the n64 and psx when dreamcast and ps2 were coming.. did you ever feel discontent with your super nintendo until the new systems came out, and it was out of focus because all the companies concentrated on the next generation systems.. i mean what if the evolution of videogame consoles stoped with the snes? what if no new dazzling system was announced? wouldn''t we still be playing snes and happy with the polished graphics and the quality of gameplay... snes still had mines of potential before it was ditched for the newer systems, proof is that the snes hardware is still being used for educational purposes in digipen as a medium for projects.. ((work for the world like you will never die, and work fopr the hereafter like you will die tomorrow)) - Prophet Mohammed.

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Maybe games like Starfox, Stunt Race FX, Faceball, Doom show why. Developers were itching to create 3D games and the SNES wasn''t a platform to do it with.

I agree that SNES had mines of potential before it was ditched. The GBA seems to be picking up where the SNES left off.

But I shudder to think of what would have happened if the Playstation never came out, and developers continued to create 3D games on the SNES.

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I'll just quickly say that, yes, the SNES was not a viable 3D platform, but I thought StarFox was a monumental achievement in regards to artistic expression, imagination, and doing as much as they could with what little they had to work with.

At the same time, all of this all 3D stuff is getting kind of old. As long as they make it feel gamey, like Mario Sunshine and Tony Hawke accomplish, then perhaps there's still something in it for me to enjoy for time to come.

Still you don't necessarily need the power of an XBox, Gamecube or PS2 to play games like Mario Sunshine or Tony Hawke, but, if people will buy it, then the companies will make them (otherwise they just lose their business to the competitors with the better system)

Makes you wonder what the XBox or GameCube would have been like if there had been no other competition...

[edited by - Waverider on November 4, 2002 7:08:32 PM]

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I think everyone has missed the point of the thread; What Jackyll is refering to i think is the realativity of systems.
I have often thought about this myself. I think the fun I have had with games is not realative to the state of the art, but the game play, and my state of mind. Yes, just remember the old rant: "when we were kids we didnt have , and we did just fine". This actually has a term: modernity. Things are ever new, and we are ever dazled by new things developing. But if you were to remove the pgression of time and bring back from the distant future the latest game tech, say from 3002, then all the technology of today and many 100''s of years hence would seem plain bland, and unless the techies of today could understand the future game tech, then we would be stuck with this awsome, spectacular games platform for 1000 years to play games on, and would not know any better technology to compare it with. However, and here''s where the nature of humanity and modernity come into it: if we observe a state, we instinctually imagine improvemtents, thechnologies yet to be made concrete. So my guess is that in my "back to the future" scenario, scientists wuold just break their frontal lobes, trying to comprehend the technology from the future and then they would better it, simply because they desire it so much, to realise that which they concieve of. That means that since the human imagineation is apparently limitless, so to is progression limitless. Modernity is simply the ever new state of things. Now here is the question: is the ever new technology (technology as in objects, political systems, science etc) what we want? Do we need to create continually somthing more this more that? Sure it is exciting, but ultimately hollow. The only thing that makes today cutting edge and "exciting", is the day before it, and the invisibility of the day to follow. Perhaps we sould stop accelerating of into the comparative sunset and consider what the hell we are doing with all this "new" stuff we keep churing out.

I believe this analogy caries over to game development well: instaid of pushing the envelope in the visual, audial apearance of games, should we not focus on the gameplay. Think of your favourite book. Now think of the technology that brought you that experience - words: a medium that has been stable as a technology (not dramatically altering) for quite a while. I look forward to the day when the technology of digital synthesis becomes stable, and someone "writes" a Lord Of The Rings of gameplay.

But we can start this today! Write your gamelgic well enough that it may plug into any gameengine, and develop your world mechanics as one would a peice of art, slowly and carefully with great atention to detail. then when you are finished, hook it into the latest game engine world synthesiser, and reveal to the world your masterpiece!

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Interesting. Well, here are my thoughts on the matter:

I definitely DO want to see continual improvements in the technology. There is still a debate on the whole "technology stifles creativity" thing, but what is true is that increasing technology enables new forms of gameplay. The shift to 3d, for example, or even the mouse. Though we haven't nearly exhausted what can be done with current technology, that is no reason to hold back. Its sort of like not making talking pictures because there was still so much that could be done with silent films.

Do you think that this 'relativity' of game systems is a healthy thing for gaming? On the one hand, it forces developers to create new designs and take advantage of greater system capabilities and just plain makes more ideas possible. On the other hand, we often find that the technology and graphics can become the focus, which hampers innovation. My own thoughts are that in the end, it is better that the old things eventually become obsolete, to make room for the new.

[edited by - Kugels on November 4, 2002 8:48:27 PM]

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People are constantly getting tired of older technology and developers are constantly trying to push the envelope, even on the same console. This is why people label games as first or second generation games. After the first generation of games, developers learn to exploit hardware and create better second-generation games on the same system. In the case of SNES, you''ll notice that over its lifetime, cartridge memory got bigger, games used more Mode7, and hell, Rare plops the Super FX chip down so they can create 3D games. So even without next-generation consoles, people are still looking for bigger and better, even on the same console.

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Technology is good if used properly. That''s the bottom line.

I just "stopped" playing GTA Vice City (I am so addicted, I will start playing in about 10 seconds). As much as I loved GTA 1 and 2..... they are NOTHING compared to 3 and Vice City. And that is all thanks to the limitless possibilities of larger, 3d environments and the raw power to process the complex gameplay.

2D games can be created with 3D hardware, and if the design allows is good for a 2d game it should be 2d. Some people abuse the technology and ignore the gameplay but the gems who unilize both shine through.

-SniperBoB-


What if The Matrix was recursive?

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One thing that has evolved over the years that I am glad happened is the evolution of input devices. Pong just had a wheel that you could roll one way or the other. Later arcade games had a joystick and a few buttons. The NES had a D-Pad and 4 buttons (2 were hardly ever used, though). The SNES had a whopping 8 (6 usable) buttons plus a D-Pad. The N64 had 8 usable buttons (L and Z are mutually exclusive), a start button, a D-Pad, and an analog joystick. Other systems have more buttons.

Anyway, we might not need a controller like the N64 or other high-end systems, but what could we do if we had never innovated after pong. How many ideas for games can you think of that could suffice with a wheel that only goes 2 directions? Maybe a car racing game, where you always go a constant speed, and the wheel turns you? That''s all I can think of.

Okay, maybe pong is a little too far back. What if you were a game developer in the days of the NES, and you wanted to make a fighting game. Left and right must be used for moving around, up would make you jump, down is crouch. You also want the character to be able to perform high punches, low punches, high kicks, and low kicks. There simply isn''t enough real estate on the controller to do all that (without causing problems, like having to use select in the middle of a fight, or having to press A and B together.) You could either just implement "punch" and "kick", but wouldn''t it get boring fast? So, what do you do? You press for another system!

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you are going way back man, pong and the nes are bad examples, that''s why i talked specifically about the snes, the system was great wether it was graphics , controller design, gameplay, audio etc.. lets imagine that the snes had 3 more years to live than it actually did before saturn or psx came out, do you thing anybody would complain? i personally don''t think so, snes was an ideal system at it''s time, and i believe that even if it''s still alive till now, the possiblity for new innovations in gameplay would be limitless, i think that snes has more room for innovation than modern day technology.. think about how many games utilize the technology for gameplay purposes? was there any real improvement in gameplay from psx to ps2 or xbox? was there anything revolutionary in gameplay? the only thing that helped improve gameplay was faster and steady frame-rates..

the problem with the systems today is that they are technology-driven, games are designed to fit the new technology, which makes for alot of uninspired gameplay, in a perfect world the advance of technology should be regulated by a vision of the future games (a good example was miyamoto''s influence on the design of the n64), that way we can make sure that the technology is utilized to the optimum, instead of making games to cope up with new technology.




((work for the world like you will never die, and work fopr the hereafter like you will die tomorrow)) - Prophet Mohammed.

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I dunno...I''ve seen some pretty innovative stuff come out of trying to think of ways to use something. I think that, creatively, it can actually help to have some limit to begin with. If someone just said "design a game" there''s no way to tell how to begin. If someone says "We have a system that can display a gajillion sprites at once! How should we make use of it?" it will likely get better results.

But fun, successful games can be made whether or not they are original and whether or not they take advantage of amazing new technology. I''m not too knowledgeable about the console world, but on my PC I see evidence for this all the time. Doom III is going to sell great based on graphics, but it is likely to be a ton of fun as well. Black & White was very original, but it arose from trying to utilize technology that Lionhead had already developed(or so I hear). And one of my favorite ganes is Insaniquarium, a little 2d fishtank game that runs in a browser. So I think it just depends on what you want to make.

hmm...maybe the PC examples aren''t relevant to the console-related discussion...

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