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CAKE

No more Games?

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Why isn't anyone making games anymore? I haven't seen any games made for a little over 5 years now. For example, I picked up Homeworld 2 a few weeks ago thinking it was a game. It turns out it wasn't. Instead it was just pounds of cinematics and 3D Flash. Just when you try to get a hold of your tactics and manage your fleet, it breaks out into some video candy and zooms away from your current unit management. This is all I see being sold the past few years. Give it a few more years and games won't be much different from watching TV with a bit of an interactive nudge here and there. They will be made truly dummy proof. [edited by - CAKE on January 18, 2004 2:48:53 AM]

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All is about MONEY!

I agree with you, there is no games, just flashy graphics.

Many games have better been movies, like TRAOD (followed my gfx card
And many games are released half done, like ToEE(could be a very good game if there wasn''t all these irritating bugs)

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Maybe you''re playing the wrong games/genre or platform?

I didn''t read the whole post but you mentioned PC games.
Get a console, I think Gamecube games have more creativity than any games I''ve ever played.
Other people think XBox Live is the way.

Expand your views or obviously you''re gonna hate certain things.

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Games with flashy graphics sell better, because the screenshots look better and people choose them instead of the much better games with not-so-flashy graphics. Since they never try the better games, they think the graphically inclined games are the best there are, and the overall quality of games decreases, since graphics sell... Or maybe not. I don''t know. But it would be nice to have gameplay-shots instead of screenshots in the back of the boxes, wouldn''t it?

I agree with the fact that games should not be so movie-like. Now it seems that the time for actual gameplay (the time you''re in control of your character/units/etc, that is) gets lower, but the time you have to watch cinematic sequences gets higher (the worst case of course being that you can''t skip''em, either because you simply can''t (ESC does nothing etc) or because there''s some vital information embedded in them). In some games you even get cinematics in the middle of the game, abruptly, with no warning whatsoever, and after the cinematic you''re thrown back into action, also with no warning (usually with something nasty included, like enemies starting firing, in which case the cinematic becomes a reflex test).

Now, the player should be rewarded for success in the game, but I really don''t consider cinematics a reward (as some people seem to). Instead, especially if the sequence comes with no warning beforehand in the middle of a game, I actually consider it a way of punishing the player (this is of course just my opinion, if you really want to have your reflexes tested then go ahead), and the player has to sit back and just watch, he''s not playing anymore, which is probably not what he had in mind when he bought the game.

Using movie-like, linear plots in games indeed makes it merely an interactive show. Forcing the player to play in a certain way also decreases replayability: clearly many people enjoy playing tetris long sessions, maybe some even all day long, every day of the week, but how many like watching the same movie over and over again? I also don''t like movie-like plots in games like strategy games (where the whole world seems to revolve around the unique hero, even though it should be more about armies and the like). And how can you call a strategy game epic if all you get is a measly couple of hundred units fighting each other?

And adding some more movie-like pointlessness, eg. some unnecessary special effects, like the constant use of slow motion etc? No thanks. All in all, stop making seemingly interactive movies and make games for a change.

3D? Nothing wrong with 3D, as such. The problem is however in the perspective projection, in my opinion. Why do we always have to have a first/third person view of the world? I mean, you can do eg. an isometric view with 3D hardware as well, since you can define the projection matrix anything you want. Especially this pains me in strategy games (as well), since it is in my opinion even counter-productive to have a perspective view of the world (at least I find it distracting). This does not mean you couldn''t zoom or rotate the world (like orbit around a unit), just that units don''t scale despite the difference in distance to the point of view.

Of course, all this depends on things like genre, since it''s nice to have good stories in RPGs, the first person mode in FPSs , etc, but the gameplay is indeed more important than the state-of-the-art representation of the game world.

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I have to disagree a lot with your general statement that "there are no more [good] games". Especially in the strategy genre, I admit there is a lot of unnecessary games that just were made for money. However, usually at least 20% of the games in a normal computer store are not as bad as you say. It's all about picking the right ones. An easy way to make sure you buy the good stuff, is to try the demo versions before you buy. That procedure never failed me except one time, when the demo happened to be much more exciting than the actual game because of a time limit in the demo .

Neither are computer stores the only place on earth where you can find games. You should investigate the internet and hunt for odd companies that make games that divert from the usual pattern. Trust me, these games do exist even though they may be hard to find. I'd say that 50% of my favorite titles are those that I've ordered from some unknown companies' websites.

EDIT: A few serious spelling spelling errors were corrected...

[edited by - Unwise owl on January 16, 2004 7:27:24 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Fidelio66
I disagree. I still get a lot of fun out of games, even if they are eye candy. Driving a few laps in need for speed hot pursuit 2 is fun, even if it looks very pretty.


yeah hes talking about people like you who like the graphics. Im not saying thats a bad thing i like it too, but games like the ones he mentioned are better

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quote:
Original post by Fidelio66
I disagree. I still get a lot of fun out of games, even if they are eye candy. Driving a few laps in need for speed hot pursuit 2 is fun, even if it looks very pretty.


NFS Underground is even flashier graphics, but teh gameplay is extraordinary. Adreniline begins pumping through my veins as i''m reaching 190km/h on a drag strip and my racing wheel is shaking like mad and i can barely see the road cause of motion blur. Of course that kind of speed is only reached after you''ve played the game for hours and built your car up from stock. NFS is one of the greatest racing genres the game industry have seen. I''ve allways been satisfied extraordinarly with their products.
Strategy games however, are going the route of BETTER GRAPHICS LESS GAMEPLAY. I''ll still pick the 2D command and conquers over the new age generals any day. So what if generals has super new armys and rankings and way better super weapons, the gameplay just doesn''t match though. All the new features were implented in a way that would only be visually nice. They do almost nothing for improving the tried and true gameplay of the C&C franchise. I have yet to see one 3D strategy that doesn''t have a 2D counterpart that is far superior in gameplay. Not to say that there aren''t any good 3D strategy games, its just their not as good as where the bar was raised to by the generations of 2D strategies.
FPS games are getting overly flashy as well, but this is a given.Its all a fps can really do to improve itself. Not to mention the FPS genre has allways been the leader of improving graphics and being better and better looking. It''s expected now a days. The amount of gameplay that you could cram into one topped out with goldeneye on the N64. I haven''t seen any FPS since that has improved on that game other than with graphics.
I think that games need cinamatics. They offer an unmatched method of suspending disbelief for the player. Getting the player more and more involved in the game is essential for the game to be fun. Putting those cinamatics in the middle of a level however is far more than damaging to your gameplay. They should only ever be at the end of a level, between campaigns, or implented in a way where aplayer can still play while it is going on. The only games i''ve seen that succesfully interupts the game with cinamatics are RPGs.
RPGs though are pretty much beginning to become exactly what you''re describing. A movie, where occasionally you have to push a button. FF7 did cinamatics in gameplay the most effictively that i''ve seen. Ever since square has been pushing more and more cinamatics into their games. Essentially they''re becomming a movie studio that produces interactive fantasy films.
The game industry is moving more towards interactive movie like software, but thats not to say that real games aren''t sticking around still. There''s still plenty of games out there that are breathtakingly beautiful to how much design is put into them. Personally I think we have just finished a growth generation of games, and with a new generation of OS''s and consoles on the horizon, a whole new generation of gameplay is coming. The industry has been trying to catch up to the demands of their consumers with the brand new graphics cards. Now that all the techniques are developped and have been experimented and refined over the last few years, less focus will be put on the graphics. Game developers and publishers are beginning to focus back on gameplay again. New control ideas and better AI are beginning to emerge. Deeper more intricate interactivity with the game worlds are starting to get developed. Flashy graphics are getting close to being mastered and publishers and developers are beginning to hear the crys of the world for more exciting gameplay.

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..once my eyes stopped burning..

There are good games out there, you just have to dig for them! There''s a lot of repetitive tripe made to get a quick buck off the unwitting consumer - no doubt - but there ARE some winners. I''m an RPG nut and I love Morrowind and Neverwinter Nights, I consider those pretty decent games.. reasonable graphics as well.

It all depends on what you''re looking for, I guess. Most FPSes are graphics-driven and most FPS players I know prefer eye candy over complex gameplay (after all, it''s all about how many bits you can splatter over the environment). RPGs I expect deeper gameplay from, some do and some don''t provide leading-edge graphics as well (me, I don''t care as long as I can tell what''s coming after me I''m happy lol).

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Ok, everyone here seems to be close enough to the mark so I
won't sit here and split hairs. I'm going to get into some real
specifics to clarify what's been going on. Take Starcraft for
example. I have played that fairly regular for at least 5 years
and it is a true masterpiece. Starcraft has mastered getting
bang for the buck out of each game piece. Many other games need
twice or three times the game pieces to encompass the same
rich, diverse, density in game play. Take a real close look at
the art work, really look at it. It's actually very unique and
creative. I also own the Brood Wars expansion to it, I never
play it much because I don't end up getting anything extra out
of it in a significant way then Starcraft alone.

Then Blizzard delivered Warcraft 3. On paper I'm sure everything
looked very good, but...it went 3D (oh yuk). Now I don't know
about you but building placement is important to me. How you
align and place your buildings is key. In War3 you have this 3D
angled perspective which discourages from effeciently aligning
towers or fodder buildings to create a clean sensible defense.
There is also NO time to really appreciate and develop your hero.
You are too rushed with other things to do it well and take the
time to really enjoy it. Everyone more or less sticks with the
same old building sequence with next to no evolution to it.


[edited by - CAKE on January 18, 2004 2:52:02 AM]

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quote:
Original post by CAKE
Then Blizzard delivered Warcraft 3. On paper I''m sure everything
looked very good, but...it went 3D (oh yuk). Now I don''t know
about you but building placement is important to me. How you
align and place your buildings is key. In War3 you have this 3D
angled perspective which discourages from effeciently aligning
towers or fodder buildings to create a clean sensible defense.
There is also NO time to really appreciate and develop your hero.
You are too rushed with other things to do it well and take the
time to really enjoy it. Everyone more or less sticks with the
same old building sequence with next to no evolution to it.

That''s funny, I don''t have a problem with it? Must just be you.
quote:
Original post by CAKE
There has been hundreds of bad decisions in the game industry to
go 3D with a particular game and it was a major flop because of
it. The Starcraft II (not ghost) that''s rumored to come out have
many people requesting it be done in 2D.

And these people are qualified to make that request how?
quote:
Original post by CAKE
Most people don''t have good taste.

I''m assuming that you''re one of the exceptions.
quote:
Original post by CAKE
Racing car games and others like 3D shooters appear to me more
like simulators then games.

Huh?!? So Doom/Quake/Unreal are simulators of what, killing monsters?
quote:
Original post by CAKE
I played all the online greats by the way. Ultima Online was
interesting wasn''t it?

Define interesting? I thought it was a bug ridden, badly designed piece of crap.
quote:
Original post by CAKE
Online games are a very long story with me. Oh so very long. They are designed to make money. So what do you design for? You design to give or get?

All games are designed to make money in the long run. What''s your point?
quote:
Original post by CAKE
Games are just one of the most tricky things to get right design wise.

We''ll be waiting to see your masterpiece. Then you have the right to critique and brag.

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I think part of it is people like you really don't look for new games in the genre you like. Either that or no new game can ever live up to the nostalgia driven hype\love you have for older games.

That said, there ARE interesting strategy games out there, they just aren't huge mainstream releases. GalCiv is an interesting and fun turn based space 4X game that reminds me of the older MOO games. It was released around the same time as MOO3 and most reviewers agree that it beats MOO3 at it's own game. At the very least you should download the demo.

Victoria, by Paradox also looks very interesting to me, although I haven't played it. They also have a lot of other super complex historical strategy games (Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis II), I suggest you look at them also.

[edited by - impossible on January 17, 2004 5:28:47 AM]

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I think you just have to look in the right places, in particularly with independent games from smaller developers. For example, "Astral Tournament" by Apus is a great little game that is very addictive and strategic. Or the Pontifex series.

Machaira: What did that add to the discussion? Geez, I thought moderators were supposed to stop people flaming, not do it themselves...

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Machaira let me help you, you sound confused...


You said "Huh?!? So Doom/Quake/Unreal are simulators of what, killing monsters?"...

- In case you haven't noticed, the huge part of the game is controlling something with 2 legs, 2 arms with 2 hands and feet. It's called a human that you are trying to control and simluate your actions with. What you shoot at doesn't really matter does it? I mean, us humans will shoot at almost anything


You said "Define interesting? I thought it was a bug ridden, badly designed piece of crap." reffering to Ultima Online.

- It was the first of its kind which will always remain interesting. I know about all the bugs and 28.8 modems that used to connect and lag out the game. It was a technical nightmare but at the same time seeded many to follow. EQ came after and although they got a lot of things right that UO did not, it was still designed to make money.


You said "All games are designed to make money in the long run. What's your point?"

- You couldn't be more wrong, especially a place like this. Have you read any posts here? I've created games out of the pure love of doing them as so many others have. Sometimes you get lucky and money follows behind you like a little puppy. Sometimes it even pays all your monthy bills and more. I care VERY much for my customers, when I work on a new version to my game I only care about pleasing them, I really do. I have always cared about people in that way. I have a 4200+ customer base now, through pure "self publishing". So you've made it clear to me you design for money and I for giving. This is why I will always make the better games. And no I won't be mentioning the game, it sounds moderately dangerous in here Besides I'm to old to BS.


Other reply's...

Impossible: GalCiv was a bad game. You got to raise your standards a little higher. It just didn't have it. I will take a look at the Victoria game by Paradox however.

Oluseyi: Tell that to all the magazines that use a 3 narrow column format. Let me know when you fiqure out why they do that

Ok I think that covers it, let me know if you see any real talented pieces of work out there for a game. I mean we've been doing this a long time now, and we had it right years ago.

Now it's time for some cake I picked up downtown. I like the light european cakes. It's hard to find a really good cake in north america. I do manage to find them though. I'm not into the fake cream, fake chocolate coating etc. Just the good stuff.

[edited by - Oluseyi on January 17, 2004 11:30:49 AM]

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quote:
Original post by CAKE
Oluseyi: Tell that to all the magazines that use a 3 narrow column format. Let me know when you figure out why they do that
Your snide response is actually rather ignorant. Magazines - paper magazines - have different constraints than computer monitors. Very few electronic versions of paper magazines or newspapers maintain the three-column format (Washington Post, LA Times, NY Times, PC Magazine, Playboy...) The amount of travel involved in scanning all the way across a paper page - small font, relatively close to the face and particularly with US broadsheet formats - is way more than that involved in a webpage that is properly designed to concentrate text in the middle 60-70% of your screen.

Your post above (edited by me) is easier to read than the ones that precede it. Three guesses as to why. Let me know when you figure that out.

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Oluseyi: I didn't realize you run your desktop resolution in
640x480 mode People especially here run their monitors at a
very high resolution. The edit change you made is actually more
difficult to read compared to the way it was before. When you
read an extremely wide sentence, It can be difficult for a lot
of people to orient themsleves for when the next sentence starts.


[edited by - CAKE on January 17, 2004 11:48:39 AM]

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quote:
Original post by CAKE
Oluseyi: I didn''t realize you run your desktop resolution in 640x480 mode

Stupid response, because if he was running in 640x480, then your posts would probably fill his screen anyway and he wouldn''t notice the line breaks. Please respect the consensus on the forum as to formatting. If you don''t like it, I''m sure your browser will let you implement some sort of custom style-sheet.



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The editor which is used to create this posting has a specific
default width which I am conforming too. Congratulations on
reducing a thread to trivial babble. Well done!

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