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Next generation innovation

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What kind of innovation and immersion techniques do you guys see happening soon (Besides better graphics and sound). For example: We have eyetoy and voice-recognition technology, touch screens Next Generation Eyetoy: 1)can be used to put the player's face into the game. 2)can be used to track player's movements and simulate effects within game a) boxing b) picking up and moving items 3) can be used to have online poker games and chat in lobby areas Voice Recognition: 1) can be used to actually speak to NPCs What else is on the horizon? and how can they be creatively implemented?

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Well other than Timmy's MMO that will be just like EQ only cooler, where you can do anything you like, I see the following things happenning:

I see the dissapearance of the keyboard as a main input for gaming. It will once again be relegated soley to text.

I see toe contols being used.

I see wrap around sets to get more peripheral vision involved.

And farther in the future:
Other senses will get involved like smell.

Chips will be implanted in people allowing them to play without needing hand controls.

Games will be a way of life as people slowly devolve into game playing blobs that have no function in society.

The first game related death due to skin grafting to the chair will occur.

World War 3 will be started when Pres Cheesegrater totally TK's Prime Minister ZeusGoddly at the beginning of a match.

The first online war will kill countless millions and the earth will be destroyed in the process.

...or not.
Of course how would I know?

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It depends on what type of game FPS, RPG, Racing, Fighting, ect what type of innovation's and immersion techniques are used.

In an RPG not only being able to see and hear the NPC but also feel a hand shake, smell the perfume they are wearing, and even taste that steak would increase immerion

However in a FPS, the same concepts would I hope be taken badly. With my luck there is going to be a string of Highly Populer FPS were you can smell the battle.




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I'm looking forward to the next control innovation. The miniature analog stick that was introduced with the N64 was the last really impressive development, in my opinion. Analog shoulder triggers (GameCube, XBox) and the PS2's two-stage buttons were good, but not brilliant. Anything that refines the amount of control that a player can exert will be welcome.

I'm also looking forward to the first under-the-hood RPG. GTA:SA does a good job of integrating a rudimentary levelling system into an action-style game, but I think it can be done better.

A truly successful, effective MMO would also be nice, one that manages to encourage cooperation and even roleplaying without depending on unanimous consent. Some kind of score system that effectively rewards role-playing can't be too far away.

Cross-genre games. That RTS/FPS hybrid we discussed elsewhere is a good example. ANything where multiple players can be participating in the same game and having totally different experiences would be super.

More dynamic worlds, with social and economic algorithms independent of, but not inaccessible by, the player. Wavinator has a lot of great ideas in this direction, and I'm sure more progress will be made.

Beyond that, persistent worlds. MMOs and games like Animal Crossing allow players to share a world even if they don't necessarily encounter one another in it. I think that will be a powerful tool for the future.

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Online is going to be a major focus of nex-gen platforms. I believe that the next 5 years will see the first really widely accessible MMO game and chances are it isn't going to be a fantasy game.

I can't wait for 50 vs 50 or 100 vs 100 online battles.

Next generation may also see the realization of "playable movies" where the NPCs are much more expressive and more "intelligent" than the halflife 2 ones.

Focusing purely on next-generation consoles and computers (next 6-7 years) what else do you guys see changing.

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I'd like to see GPS used as a feature in games more often.

Example, as part of an adventure game, the publisher buys up loads of random buildings across the country and sends people to them. Once they get there they find clues to a password or meet other players and combine diferent clues to unravel the story.

There's something gps enabled coming out for an obscure hand-held. links welcome.

That said, its completely pointless and probably less fun than toe piercings.

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Besides graphics and sound I see AI being the a big source of innovation. I can see NPC and enemy AI getting more and more complex. Someone will come up with some revolutionary technique(s) to more closely mimic behavior.

One day game makers will begin to boast that you can't tell the difference between human and AI controlled characters in their game.

Marcus

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GPS, yes that's a great one I didn't think about. The cellphone game market is on the verge of exploding as soon as they get some good controls.

Let's see gps can be used to

1) set up local treasure hunts as Dogcity suggests (find and disable a series of fake bombs within a set time like 4 hours or something).

2) Locating other people to challenge in a fighting game (although good online connections will make this pointless in the future)

3)Underground games can have city capture the flag games in cars and on foot. Players "tag" others by getting behind them and flashing the high beams(may be dangerous and would be illegal real quick).

4) A follow the bag game where one smaller team follows a member of the other team who has a gps monitor. The team with the gps reciever tries to pass it off in spy like ways and loose the chasers.

gps really opens up the interactive game thing.

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you know what i'd like to see?
more controllers with gyroscopes in em.
-wireless analog joysticks. Bluetooth for PDAs and cellphones and PCs (compatible! standarized!)
-wireless *STRAP* controllers. Think about it. =)
-accelerometers coupled with gyroscopes in wireless gaming nirvana. No more couch potatoes!

Oh and i'd like to talk to a game and have a no-fee persistant MMOG with surround vision and holodeck crap. And i want a girlfriend too. And an Aibo.
yeah.

Also, i'd like flavored DVD substrates.
*licks Far Cry*

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Guest Anonymous Poster
As far as hardware goes, I would like to see the final realization of VR goggles that have all 6 degrees of movement with built in 3D sound & microphone. I would like to see the keyboard/mouse controller setup then be replaced with a HOTAS style system.

On the code side of things, I'd like to see the complete blend of FPS, Flight/Space Sim, RPG, Tactical Shooter, RTS, etc. take place in a seamless MMO environment. I'd like to see integrated voice recognition & voice alteration so that we can not only voice game commands, but use our own voices to have our characters generate speech for other players to hear & communicate by.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Voice recognition for MMORPG (in place of typing messages to players) -- text output as a bubble and/or chat log mechanism.

When things get busy, players have little opportunity to type in msgs to coordinate a group players. (and for people who cant type one handed, they constantly have to keep moving hand back and forth to the mouse as well)

They could fo this today if they wanted to (you can do a decent VR with ~200Mhz
(a small portion of todays CPUs).

I relly wonder why games havent adopted it yet.


Of course voice activated modes/commands/etc could be activated as well, but keyboard/mouse is more precise.

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Freedom.

Second Life

I don't think they quite "hit the nail on the head" with this one but I think a similar concept within an actual game would be brilliant.

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I think touch-screen techniques will reach a point where they are considered part of the gaming furniture. I've had a play on one of those Nintendo DS devices, and it's quite the most brilliant thing. Maybe not next-gen, but certainly next-next-gen.

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As cool as the 3d virtual headset would be I don't see it as being feasible for at least 10 years or more. Its a shame though, it would be awesome to play a game with a helmet that senses your head and body movement and surrounds your field of vision with the game. It would make FPS' much more appealing.

Hey Madster, what kind of things could you do with a gyroscope controller? Would the character and/or his weapon move in sync with the player?

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Replacing Mouse and Keyboard with HOTAS confoirmat controls:
That's just replacing a generalized system with a specialized system.

Touchscreens (and touchpads) :
Definately a good idea to push in the console market as there is a serious lack of fine control. They can also be integrated into gamepads more easily than a trackball. Still, they will add a cost to the controllers, but I think the march of console FPS games just might be the killer apps for them.

Voice Control / Command / Communication:
Voice communication is still a bit too infantile. Nuisances may be dealt with, but the inconvenice is high.
Speech-to-text is still is a bit rocky, imo.
Voice commands tend to work well, I've noticed. Coupled with text-to-speech, it allows for a fairly clear method of communication that is relatively easy to use. The downside is that players will undoubtedly want to creat their own commands, a semi-burden and an opening for nusisences. However, this method also uses a very small ammount of bandwidth, making it dial-up friendly. The depersonaliation factor can be a positive or a negative.

VR helms:
Ugh.... no, please. People get zoned out enough with headphones and digital audio players. I've noticed that my own GBA can be about as bad, at times. A total immersion is just asking for a plethora of problems.

Camera Control:
This seems like a good route, even though it is plagued with recognition problems in the typical "bad actor lighting" of many living rooms. I'm glad to see the player being taken off of the screen and merely put in control. It relieves a lot of the awkwardness of looking at a "video mirror" as well as allowing for much more immersive games. Hopefully this technology isn't just a fad, as it seems to be a lot more intuitive, if less precise, than the usual gamepad.

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Quote:
Original post by stevelat
Hey Madster, what kind of things could you do with a gyroscope controller? Would the character and/or his weapon move in sync with the player?


I was thinking something more earthly, like baseless analog joysticks.
But i guess that could work too, since gyroscopes don't have a turning limit. I don't know about their response speed, or if they oscillate. seen it done and it felt a bit hard to control (MS gamepad), but then again there was nothing pointing upwards, so it was difficult to orient. With a strap to your wrist and a gyroscope you could wield a sword or such, but only angle is read, not position. An accelerometer can gauge 'yanks' but again, not position.

Which is okay i guess =D

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PC Hardware:

I don't think that a new type of controller would work. Seriously, the joystick we know is there since a long time, yet not that useful. I don't see any game developers aiming for a unique controller either, because the game would cost more for them as well as for the customers.

The keyboard is here to stay. Multiplayer games are really popular and came with a chat system. You need to access your keyboard really often. The mouse is something everyone can use easily too.

In fact, if there will be any real changes with game devices, it will first start with a new console idea. Making games on PC depends on what hardware you are aiming for first. If you can't reach a lot of people, you die. On a console it is far more easy as you know which devices gamers already possess.

PC Software:

Something that may appear is more than one client for the same game. Wouldn't it be cool if in the Sim Online you could do stuff while surfing the web (Sim Online site)? Or using the auction of World of WarCraft directly on their site?

--

Well that's enough for now. You've got great ideas guys BTW.

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I agree that controllers will probably not change much except for wireless connection as the standard controller, but I think (and hope) that peripherals will take the innovation to the next level, implementing 3d movement by the player. The Onimusha sword controller was a brave attempt.

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Quote:
stevelat:
I can't wait for 50 vs 50 or 100 vs 100 online battles.


A game already exists with upto 500 people in one local area going all out in realtime, its called Planetside.

Wireless keyboards, VR headsets, HOTAS systems, touch screens. These are nice conventional input systems, but for innovative technologies, i'd have to go with Brainwave input controllers. Compared to VR headsets and bodysuits, using brainwaves gives a greater level of mobility with alot less hassle, provided such a system is worked out properly to work like conventional control systems.

Open Source EEG for Experimentation
Interactive Brainwave Visual Analyzer (IBVA) input controller

[Edited by - Gyrthok on January 18, 2005 1:25:21 PM]

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and provided you shaved your head and have plenty of conductive.... goo.
if it could be done without the hassle of attaching electrodes directly on your skin, it could work.

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The IBVA headset doesn't need a shaved head nor conductive lubricant, it fits on like a regular VR headset would.

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you're absolutely right. I had misplaced that link, IBVA is hard to find by mere googling for brainwaves et al.

Suddenly it all looks promising again (in the Open EEG site all they talk about is electrodes with conductive paste and such)

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just when you're talking about some weird dream, BAM, nintendo goes and does it.
It is rumored that Revolution will feature gamepads with gyroscopes, thus bringing it to the masses.

yay! it will be interesting to see them design games around the gyroscope idea and not the other way around.

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