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Wavinator

Stealth features to change the market

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Wavinator    2017
Completely out there (and potentially dumb) idea that came to me in the middle of a shower... It seems that preference for flash over substance is a huge problem in the industry. Because budgets and processor power is limited, designers have to make a decision: visuals, or gameplay. Even most players who say they want deeper gameplay seem loathe to trade lower quality graphics for it. The press knocks games for dated engines, and the first thing many gamers seem to comment on are screenshots. So here's the (weird, probably dumb) idea: What if players could choose game depth the same way they choose graphics quality? For instance, imagine a game with great graphics that uses natural language processing for NPC interactions. From what little I know, NLP is exhorbitantly expensive, and I doubt you could mix it with great graphics. So what if the player could trade lower quality graphics for more involving NPC interaction. From a marketing standpoint, you'd be able to show great graphics in your screenshots. You'd need to note that this was the "Shallow Gameplay" mode, to keep things honest. But I wonder if you told players the issues, and why there was a tradeoff, if they'd accept... or are we doomed to wait for graphics technology to top out before we start getting better gameeplay...? (BTW, I know I've left out the not insignificant problem of technology here, but I'm just wondering about the overall idea itself) -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... Edited by - Wavinator on 10/31/00 2:30:34 PM

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acraig    471
quote:
Original post by Wavinator

It seems that preference for flash over substance is a huge problem in the industry. Because budgets and processor power is limited, designers have to make a decision: visuals, or gameplay.



I would guess that it is easier to design better graphics then it is to design better gameplay. Everybody can be impressed by visuals but gameplay is harder to design. Harder = delayed release date = no money.


quote:

Even most players who say they want deeper gameplay seem loathe to trade lower quality graphics for it. The press knocks games for dated engines, and the first thing many gamers seem to comment on are screenshots.



That''s the type of society that we live in. First impressions (ie looks) are a pretty heavy factor in things like. However, there are many gameplayers who will take gameplay over graphics. Take a look at Monarchy. There are no graphics and not very many things to do but thousands are playing it. Why? Because it''s fun. You are battling thousands of other people to be in that #1 King spot. Fun should be the driving selling point for a game but how do you say that on the side of a box?


--------
Andrew

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
in the vast majority of games gameplay does not take a significant amount of processor time, nor would gameplay be improved much by taking power away from the graphics. The problem is that most game designers aren''t that good. I heard the latest westwood product (Red Alert II) doesn''t have fog of war. Now isn''t that silly? I think it was warcraft I that first introduced it and yet they still refuse to put a mandatory feature it. Well I guess they have their audience but I''m not in it. So it has nothing to do with procession power, it has to do with the quality of people making the game. Some teams are amazing, others really don''t know anything.

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kseh    3840
IMHO players know the issues. They just don''t care. Quite a while back I thought about CDs and the incredible amount of storage they have (from a text perspective). I was thinking, "Why not try and make a text adventure that spans a few CDs? It''d be really in depth." I told my friend this idea and he came back with, "If you''re going go through all that trouble anyway, why not add some cheesy graphics? And if you''re going to add cheesy graphics, why not make them good?"

So, what you''d likely get from reviewers is, "If the graphics are good, and the NPC interaction is good, why not keep them together and just up the hardware specs?"

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Nazrix    307
Wav, are you suggesting that the game would have 2 modes...

1) good graphics/limited gameplay

2) not-so-good graphics/good gameplay?

I wanted to make sure that I understood

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by Nazrix

Wav, are you suggesting that the game would have 2 modes...

1) good graphics/limited gameplay

2) not-so-good graphics/good gameplay?

I wanted to make sure that I understood


The idea is mainly that some features (like REALLY good AI) are incompatible with really great graphics (esp. 3D). So what if you could give the player the choice:

1) Awesome graphics / okay AI

2) Okay graphics / awesome AI



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Nazrix    307
It is not a bad idea at all, but wouldn''t it be hard for the development team? It would almost be like they''d have to make 2 seperate games, wouldn''t it?

It does bring about interesting points. The AI in Thief was better than most games, but I have heard people say that the graphics were lacking (I thought they were perfectly fine but I have a crappy vid card so I dont get to see the really great graphical games). Were the graphics lacking because they paid more attention to the AI, or because the AI took more CPU time so they had to tone down the graphics to compensate? I suppose it''s a combination.




"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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sEntiEnt    103
but what if you have a pwerful PC? That is a bit unfair on these people isn''t it? How about a slider bar for stuff like AI, I mean all you have to do I guess is run less lines of AI code don''t you?

perception -> Consciousness -> life

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by Nazrix

It is not a bad idea at all, but wouldn''t it be hard for the development team? It would almost be like they''d have to make 2 seperate games, wouldn''t it?




I think they''d develop on their super-duper expensive target systems and build in some kind of scalability in the same vein as graphics are done now. So on their 1Gigahertz pentiums, the game runs fine at 100%/100%. But for the systems of mere mortals, they put in the switch.

Just a thought. I don''t really have particulars.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by sEntiEnt

but what if you have a pwerful PC? That is a bit unfair on these people isn''t it? How about a slider bar for stuff like AI, I mean all you have to do I guess is run less lines of AI code don''t you?




Ahhhh... you''re right. I was thinking mid-level systems only, but you''re right. So rather than a trade-off, it would simply be a slider bar.

Hmmm.... Not so revolutionary sounding now...



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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