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Game design ideas of the past and present

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What do you think are some of the more innovative and respectable design bits of games present and games of the past? Games that I've played such as Descent, Half-Life, Flight Simulator, and Tokyo Extreme Racer have all had interesting game design in some form or another. (Of course, they all have their flaws too.) I'm a big fan of the open-city driving environment, if only for the simple fact that I've been used to it all the time with Microsoft Flight Simulator letting you fly wherever you want. I picked Descent because of the simple idea of a spacecraft-based first person shooter where you were shooting bots, and Tokyo Extreme Racer was all about racing on realistic city highways (I own TXR 1 and 2 for the Dreamcast). What do you really think is missing from the current games released? I usually cheer for the unique and innovative games released (like Katamari Damacy) because are risk-takers, and game publishers need to know that individuality can be embraced as easily as Final Fantasy 35. -slippers2k

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From my experience...

Carmageddon (1 & 2) was innovative and very fun to play, so was Liero (though it was inspired by Worms (btw, very good series!)), not to mention Crimsonland with it's truly amazing gameplay (one could argue that it wasn't so original; ok, game concept is really simple, but sometimes simplicity is in price) or Sven Bømwøllen which is very... original is not good word; outstanding - now it's better ;-)
Other good, fun and innovative games: Bridge Builder (a.k.a. Pontifex), Elastomania, Icy Tower, Ropemania and Stunt Hamsters... want more? :-]

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I would have to say that even though I didn't own a dreamcast, I was at my friends house watching him play TXR2. I never saw anyting like it at the time. But I am also a big fan of Racing games, so I'll kinda stick to that genre. I think that alot of racing games were bland, untill they were able to start having a more dynamic vehicle. What I mean by that is the vehicle upgrades made it alot more fun. This was way back in some games like 4x4 OffRoad for SNES, even the 2D predisesor for that game had engine, tires, suspension, and such upgrades. I think the first NFS game that had any of that was Hot Persuit. TXR did a good job of beating EA to putting the visual mods onto cars. In HP2 you would get a cool racing stripe and different color rims for your car. I bought NFSU, played it beat it, and tryed playing it again. I didn't really get such a kick out of the bubblegum-trash talking opponents the 2nd time around. So I don't really think I am going to get NFSU2, becuase I really dont see anything new, except the songs and I guess the cars.

Ever since Q3, all FPS games have really perked no interest for me. They are all just the same to me now. I did get a kick out of Jedi Academy, I like the 3rd person hack-n-slash, and you get to go FPS with some guns if you want too. I did buy Call Of Duty because I was into Urban Terror Q3 mod, so I like it when you have to plan your moves and work in a team. I didnt even like CS for more than a month when it was new to me, because I was still heavy into Q3 CTF.

So I think a good game needs team stragety and an upgradeable weapon/team object. :)

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I tend to focus on the adventure/action-RPG genre of games. Things like Zelda, Metroid, and the later Castlevania games are my favorites. I think the biggest part of those series is "upgrading" the character (a bit like the upgrades that mozie mentioned). You would find new items or abilities, and they'd become useful (i.e. not just something that let you clear a roadblock somewhere else in the game). By the end of the game, you typically had a huge mass of new tricks you could do, which was great fun. And of course, when you start the game over you'd miss all those tricks you had before, and that longing for more power increases replay value (especially if you can skip some of the tricks and still beat the game). Basically it's an escalation of power thing, but it's done in a more creative way than the old RPG "Okay, you gained a level; have 8 extra MP and 14 HP, and a spell that makes one of your old spells pointless" method.

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