Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Does anyone else worry about the industry?

This topic is 5261 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Sometimes i wonder whats in store for game development. As good as things look, i think theres still alot to worry about.. At any given time there are perhaps less than a handful of half-decent games and a couple times a year were treated to a really fantastic one... with so many games released each year now, that turns out to be alot of mediocre games. I havent had real fun playing a game since halo, sorry make that WC3. Im waiting on my copy on KOTOR. But all i see when i go to the store now is tactical shooters and WW2 sims.. Just as everyone was sick of Sci-fi and unrealistic games a few years, I too am starting to get sick of realism games. So we have a lot of copy-cat titles and alot of mediocre ones. Correlation? Possibly. Companies like EA, Activision, Interplay and friends have the money and power to pick and choose which games get published and those that dont. Anything that seems like a risk doesnt get published, simple. This prompts the question. Are they stunting the growth of the industry? Depends on your point of view I guess. From a business perpestive, no. There simply following the basic rule of supply and demand. Everyone in this business wants to make money, right? From an artistic side of things, yes. Theres almost no room for expression. You simply cant expect that many companies that will fund a game thats outthere. so we end up with more of the same, and customers slowly become dissatisfied. Oddly enough, thats bad for the business perspective too. Now we have 2 sides to the same problem that must come together in order to solve that problem. I dont see this happening any time soon. I do see a couple of developers out there who are trying to correct this problem and allow developers to strike out on new ground. But in the end, the big companies need to gather a little more vision and try to see beyond the Dollar sign. PS. im not asking to start a flame, just posting some random thoughts that i had. if you want to flame me, email me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Syrillix
PS. im not asking to start a flame, just posting some random thoughts that i had. if you want to flame me, email me.



You are just inviting some flames aren''t you?

To your question: I don''t think there are stuning the industry because look at games today and three years ago. I''m talking about graphics as this is the part that really gets better, and the part I''m most interested in .

"C lets you shoot yourself in the foot rather easily. C++ allows you to reuse the bullet!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What stunts the growth of the industry is bigger companies buying out smaller ones, and then not doing anything with the assets gained.

Who knows what that little company could have done had it not been bought out by a company looking for a new name to market their crap with hehe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Maega
What stunts the growth of the industry is bigger companies buying out smaller ones, and then not doing anything with the assets gained.

Who knows what that little company could have done had it not been bought out by a company looking for a new name to market their crap with hehe.



So very true.
C&C used to rock back in the days of the classic and also red alert. However after EA bought over Westwood, Tiberian Sun, RedAlert2 have been huge disappointments as compared to the earlier C&C games.

While i havent played any Ultima games, i heard they were the greatest games of their time, i did play UO however. It might have been the first MMORPG with the most dated gfx, but it's complexity, world, numerous skills, trades, player run shops, and many other features are still only exclusive to this game. Most MMORPGs are concerned only with making characters, killing monsters, buy stuff cycles which i think is called Level treadmill or something. It kind of gets boring after awhile. But in UO, you didnt have to fight if you didnt want to, it had a very strong sense of roleplaying, you could live your life as a lumberjack, fisherman and sell your stuff to other players either directly or through your own shops. PK's lurked in the wilderness, so you could perhaps pay a mage to cast a portal to the place you wished to go or hire another player to protect you on your journey. The world was never stale. We were all waiting for UO2 to appear which featured 3d gfx, and a completely new engine. However EA bought over Origin and canned the production of the game even though it was 60% complete simply because the first UO was making alot of money with 200, 000 subscribers. Also it was cheaper to make expansions than to make a whole new game and market it, publish it.

Money makes the world go round.


[edited by - GamerSg on August 17, 2003 2:50:10 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don''t believe that statement is true. There have been many unique, fun games introduced into the system, like Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2003, C&C: Generals, BF1942 etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GamerSg, i totally agree with you. The industry suxx! And marketing people are to blame!

another example: Dune2 - Dune2000.

I say everything should be sold on the net (at a decent price 40$ for a game is too much), so we shouldnt worry about marketing.

Scratchware rules! if u wanna read more on this goto:

The ScratchWare Manifesto (this site rules)

"The machinery of gaming has run amok.

Instead of serving creative vision, it suppresses it. Instead of encouraging innovation, it represses it. Instead of taking its cue from our most imaginative minds, it takes its cue from the latest month's PC Data list. Instead of rewarding those who succeed, it penalizes them with development budgets so high and royalties so low that there can be no reward for creators. Instead of ascribing credit to those who deserve it, it seeks to associate success with the corporate machine. "

"Death to the gaming industry! Long live games."








[edited by - Ilici on August 17, 2003 5:07:48 AM]

[edited by - Ilici on August 17, 2003 5:10:32 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Well, I work as a programmer in the games industry, and in a couple of weeks, I am finally getting out of it! Why?
For the reasons pointed out above. Yes there are god games, Halo, HL2, GTA etc... but they are the excpetions. The games industry is, on the whole, run by publishers, who (it seems like it anyway) are doing their damdest to make it the stalest entertainemt market ever to have existed. They dont want good games, they want big sellers at the smallest cost, and every one knows, you cant make a good game in less than a year, which is what a lot of the dev co''s are being asked to do now.
Hopefully, one day, it will mature, to the point where Indie games co''s can get out good games, as they envisioned them from the start, but thats a long long way off.

Oh well, thats my two cents

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I to work in the games Inds as a programmer, and I have to say, I do agree with AP''s pov.
Just hope it doesnt take as long as they think it will do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel your pain. I''ve been left a bit sour by cool companies being bought out and discarded or the really good game companies falling flat.

For starters, Bullfrog. Bullfrog created the God-sim genre of games. And I mean, how awesome was Syndicate, especially the graphics (only 16 colours!). Now, however, it appears that Bullfrog, having been swallowed by the behemoth that is EA, are resigned to making nothing but sequels.

No doubt this will hit a nerve with most people, but here it is: Looking Glass. System Shock. Thief. And these are the people that went bankrupt? Why are companies like this the ones that fail, whilst the monstrous entities that regularly belch forth mission packs and sequels and crappy sports games remain? What is wrong with this industry?

BTW, I completely agree about Westwood too. Haven''t played Generals yet, but... since maybe RA 1, it turned to crap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Looking Glass. System Shock. Thief. And these are the people that went bankrupt? Why are companies like this the ones that fail, whilst the monstrous entities that regularly belch forth mission packs and sequels and crappy sports games remain? What is wrong with this industry?


As easy as it is to say that companies and publishers are to blame, a heft portion of the blame falls on the consumers. Publishers are only taking advantage of the fact that a significant amount of games purchasing people are dumb enough to buy games based on brand rather than gameplay.

It''s like the games industry is turning into the fashion industry. Back when gaming was for nerds and social outcasts only, innovative games HAD to be made to keep the majority of market stimulated. Now where your average joe on the street plays games, the market is saturated by people that think it''s ok to pay $45 for a game that is just another uninspired sequel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''m still annoyed about Cavedog. It''s not the publisher''s fault; Cavedog self-destructed when all their talent left for more pay elsewhere after the release of Total Annihilation 2: Kingdoms (the most underrated game ever). Now it''s up to Hasbro (yes, the people that developed such RTS classics as... Scrabble) to finish the worthy sequel to the original Total Annihilation that Cavedog had had in the works. Why do I not have confidence?

Also, I suspect the bit about old-tyme gaming being for social outcasts is a cliche with little basis in fact. I get the impression that the droves of modern MMORPG players are dedicating much more of their lives to gaming than the early gamers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by mobias
I don't believe that statement is true. There have been many unique, fun games introduced into the system, like Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2003, C&C: Generals, BF1942 etc.


What does NeverWinter nights do, that Dungeon Siege, Darkstone or Diablo, or even Nethack for that matter, dont?

Unreal Tournament 2003, new and unique, in what way, its identical to every fps since Doom and wolf 3D in most aspects.

C&C Generals, why is this unique, or even new-ish? There are rts's coming out at a stunning rate, all identical.

BF1942, ok, now this game I can agree has some new element's added to a genre, but unique, no, not the lest. It had all been done in Operation : Flashpoint. And when BF1942 came, it also had system req's twice what any person had in his home PC, so naah, not very impressive.


I fully agree with the original poster, The industry is killing innovation. only slightly different copies of the same old worn out games keep getting marketed for silly ammounts of money.

Scratchware rocks!
//Martin

[edited by - Bad Maniac on August 17, 2003 10:12:25 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
The problem is not that there are sequels, expansion packs and clones. The problem is that there is a hige amount of crappy sequels, expansion packs and clones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not too worried about game development.. check out Steel Batallion with it's interface for $200 and planned sequels for it.

Not to miss the point hopefully, however, there are two problems I see:

1) monopolies.. mech games exclusive to microsoft/xbox, nintendo64 has its own stuff, PS2.. for the sole purpose of selling consoles. nothing illegal about it but taxing to us poor folk.

2) the only way I see this technology advancing is making you feel as if you are in the game, like fancy controllers and/or VR goggles. wonder if xbox makes vr goggles for their stuff



I fseek, therefore I fam.

[edited by - drarem on August 17, 2003 10:34:27 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has been so pounded into us that certain types of games found unequalled success, that developers are trying to duplicate those formulas instead of coming up with original ideas, or fun new ways of implementing the existing ideas.

My most elaborate idea for a game was a futuristic military RTS with genuine fog of war that you could only penetrate with radar towers and AWACS. You could operate the radar screen and give commands to whole squads, or hop into a craft and actually carry out the battles. There would be tanks, artillery, AA guns, jets, heavy attack hovercrafts, walkers, transports with beam buffers to hold units inside, cannon towers, missile towers, and a wide area tactical nuke.

What I was unable to do is prove that the design of all the units would break the game (that the game could be won with only a few units instead of making good use of all of them). And I have yet to do that.

I don't envy the challenge of coming up with new ideas. In so many ways, it feels like all of it has already been done, except maybe new adventure stories exploring new cultures and items we've never seen before. Even then, the story lines could repeat something we've already seen. (I remember being very disappointed with the movie Stargate - the first half showed so much potential, then it just turned into another "slaves defeat their master" story)

I think the most original game I ever played was '98's Battlezone. There has been no other game like it as far as play style and room to play around with everything. I think sometimes designers care too much about balance and they take away the fun factor by fixing it. Multiplayer balance was a big problem with Battlezone, though.


[edited by - Waverider on August 17, 2003 10:43:22 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by mobias
I don''t believe that statement is true. There have been many unique, fun games introduced into the system, like Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2003, C&C: Generals, BF1942 etc.

UT2K3 Unique? How exactly? Apart from improved graphics its exatcly the same as almost every other FPS game out there, its got to be the most overused Genra there is at the moment. If companies can''t think of any new ideas they throw out another FPS game into an already over-saturated market. There are a few that add something new, Deux Ex and Halo spring to mind, but most others are just clones of each other. Add a new weapon here and there and they thing it makes it a whole new game.



APE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I believe the industry is suffering from a lack of innovation. As has been said, the big companies aren't willing to take risks. I go to the store and I just see game after game on the shelf that is just one of 100 clones. Someone also mentioned all the realistic and historical games right now. I agree. I'm getting sick of seeing all these. I want a more diverse gaming selection.

Kudos to Maxis for creating new and interesting simulation games (The Sims), also to Blizzard for stepping outside the normal boundaries of the strategy genre with WarCraft 3. Examples such as these prove to me that everything, in fact, has not been done.

[edited by - EvilProgrammer on August 17, 2003 5:01:12 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
BF1942

EA just owns 19% of DICE, the studio that developed BF1942. I remember reading that one of the reasons why DICE are pouring so much resources into that title and its expansions/sequels is that they own a significant part of that IP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, ideas are short... every type of game you can think of has been done, so anything else produced will ALWAYS be a clone with a few additions. Unless someone comes up with a new genre, something like a real-time massively multiplayer strategy from a first person view, we''re not going to have anything original... and even then, it''s just taking a few ideas and putting them together. Complain all you want, but any type of game you can think of has pretty much been done to death. The only thing the industry can do is re-use old ideas, add in better graphics, a new storyline, some new weapons, and call it a new game.

You guys keep saying the game industry won''t do new ideas, but I think it''s the other way around, they can''t find new ideas to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Ready4Dis
...

You guys keep saying the game industry won''t do new ideas, but I think it''s the other way around, they can''t find new ideas to do.


but we dont need total and complete innovation which would call for a new genre. Max Payne showed innovative game play by adding bullet time to an action game. WC3 added innovation to the strategy genre, well most of the elements had been done before but to my knowledge not all in the same game.
The point is, combining genre''s, creating new game play elements and such are the innovation tactics we should use. i agree, coming up with something totally new is sometimes a headache. but if we try to enhance the current state of other genre''s we''re at least innovating a little bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by EvilProgrammer
I believe the industry is suffering from a lack of innovation. As has been said, the big companies aren''t willing to take risks.


Perhaps on the PC side (I don''t play many PC games), but for consoles I definitely disagree with that. I think console developers and publishers have been taking more risks than ever before. From bringing over games from Japan that wouldn''t have stood a chance just a couple years ago (Animal Crossing, Ikaruga, DDR, Gitaroo Man, Mr. Mosquito, Rent A Hero), $200 controllers for one game (Steel Battalion), trying interesting "bargain game" ideas (Top Shop, Sol Divide, Italian Job), just developing interesting games (Pikmin, Viewtiful Joe, GTA3) or downright excellent ones (of which I could list many).

Perhaps people don''t see these risks as successful, but the risks are definitely being taken. Never in 15 years of gaming have I been so satisfied with what''s easily found in the local stores. As the industry continues to grow and more and more types of gamers hop on board, I can only see things getting better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree too.
The more i read the replies to this though, the more I think of this...Nintendo was right all along.

Nintendo''s business philosophy is not to buy out companies, which it stated on several occasions.

It doesn''t seem to put out alot of crap-filled games.

It seems to always strive of innovation or something unique and focuses alot on gameplay.

And many times Nintendo made it known that the industry will someday collapse if it continues to grow at the current rate and with the current force for growing.

Having said all this, whether you believe it all or not, Nintendo seems to be playing the whole biz according to it''s philosophy - or in other words, it is marching to its own drum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Man.. and here I was thinking that maybe the gaming industry wasn''t right for me for worrying about the very same things. Personally, I''m really glad that I''m not alone here, and share alot of opinions that have already been stated throughout this thread.

I remember hearing somewhere on TV not too long ago (not too sure where), that industries were focused on combining video game entertainment industries with the movie industries, and that this was something worth looking forward to. However after hearing this myself, my stomache turned for a reason I''m unsure of.

I mean, I''m here because I want to make games, not interactive movies.. Sorry, but I don''t, and on occasion I still find myself playing some old games that still have that luring gameplay imbedded within them, still working on players who are curious enough to get out the old floppy disks and play them for old time''s sakes.

When I think of where the gaming industry is at now, I think of depth searching. For years people have dug paths deep to where we are now, war games, sports games, strategy games.. err.. general 3d crap, and I think it''s time to mark this path as a dead end, and go back to the previous intersection and follow that path and see where it takes us.

Perhaps the only reason why we''re still here, is because while we were all admiring Sonic the Hedgehog, Doom, and Simcity at age 10, there were kid''s being born who would, at age 10, see the limited selection of games we have out now (3d game clone galore), which they buy because they''ve seen nothing better like the games we have. And the game industries cater to those kids buying more and more of the same old games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Naku
quote:
Original post by mobias
I don''t believe that statement is true. There have been many unique, fun games introduced into the system, like Neverwinter Nights, Unreal Tournament 2003, C&C: Generals, BF1942 etc.

UT2K3 Unique? How exactly? Apart from improved graphics its exatcly the same as almost every other FPS game out there, its got to be the most overused Genra there is at the moment. If companies can''t think of any new ideas they throw out another FPS game into an already over-saturated market. There are a few that add something new, Deux Ex and Halo spring to mind, but most others are just clones of each other. Add a new weapon here and there and they thing it makes it a whole new game.



APE


Can you explain to me how Halo is unique or interesting? I only see another FPS when I play it. *shrug*

Anyway, I agree with some things that have already been said. The only market I see with good innovation is Nintendo''s (although Steel Battalion is also a great example.) Yes, most of the big companies flood the market with crap, but that''s the way it is with business. There''s no getting around it.

Another serious problem I see (in the US anyway) is the "kiddie" stigma games seem to have. When games are finally recognized as a legit, "adult" form of entertainment, I think a new door will open for the industry. It could also help stem the tide of reactionaries saying "Video gaems are teh evil, and they make teh kids eval too!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites