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What ever happened to originality?

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I miss the good old days of games like Pacman where you have a pizza shaped wedge trying to eat pellets while avoiding ghosts... Characters like Mario who are attempting to avoid walking mushrooms and geese with wings in an attempt to save a princess from a spikey-shelled reptile... Crazy aliens like Toe Jam & Earl attempting to gather pieces of their spaceship shattered over the earth while avoiding crazy people and mice in those rolling balls... Walking, talking, shooting earthworms named Jim. It seems like all games nowadays are trying to be life-like, full of realism. Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations. Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?

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Its the cold harsh reality :)
I guess its easier to create a game with cool graphics than creating a game which is fun and original.And it takes less time so less money.
Thats why some of the amatuer games are more fun than commercial games.
Thats what i think.

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Unless you're specifically talking about the originality of game _stories_ this post belongs in the design forum, not the writing forum.

My personal opinion is that there is no shortage of original ideas, only a shortage of people with money who want to finance the production of an original game.

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Quote:
Original post by Mattman
It seems like all games nowadays are trying to be life-like, full of realism. Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.

Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?
Right, just like Psychonauts. Or maybe that's the perfect example of why people are afraid to fund original games. [smile]

But yeah, the design forum does seem like a better place for such generic design questions. Maybe just move it?

Quote:
Its the cold harsh reality :)
I guess its easier to create a game with cool graphics than creating a game which is fun and original.And it takes less time so less money.
Thats why some of the amatuer games are more fun than commercial games.
Thats what i think.
Well, that isn't the reason. It takes more time to create the highly realistic graphics than it would to come up with a simple, fun piece of gamplay. Unless the amatuers actually spend more time on their games than the dozens of people working eighty hour weeks for nine months in a studio somewhere. Apparently, realism just sells better.

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it's possible that today's game designers are too busy looking at other companies' work and saying "Cool! Why didn't I think of that?" and then going off to make something that looks vaguely like the game they saw but just as cool.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Mattman
I miss the good old days of games like Pacman where you have a pizza shaped wedge trying to eat pellets while avoiding ghosts... Characters like Mario who are attempting to avoid walking mushrooms and geese with wings in an attempt to save a princess from a spikey-shelled reptile... Crazy aliens like Toe Jam & Earl attempting to gather pieces of their spaceship shattered over the earth while avoiding crazy people and mice in those rolling balls... Walking, talking, shooting earthworms named Jim.

It seems like all games nowadays are trying to be life-like, full of realism. Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.

Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?




Funny, people back then were saying the same think about checkers and tiddley winks, jacks, skittleball, etc....

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Original post by Mattman
It seems like all games nowadays are trying to be life-like, full of realism. Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.

Gish
Loco Roco
Katamari Damacy
Okami
Geometry Wars
[Super] Monkey Ball
Feel the Magic: XY/XX
Strange Adventures in Infinite Space

On the other hand, we have gems like:
E.T.
All the crap in the market in 1983

Quote:
Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?

It's not just you, but you're all wrong. More specifically, you're all suffering from selective memories seen through the hazy glow of nostalgia.

Worse, none of you have actual suggestions.

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I think some game companies are just scared to change the formula that already sells well for them.

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Quote:
Original post by Mattman
I miss the good old days of games like Pacman where you have a pizza shaped wedge trying to eat pellets while avoiding ghosts... Characters like Mario who are attempting to avoid walking mushrooms and geese with wings in an attempt to save a princess from a spikey-shelled reptile... Crazy aliens like Toe Jam & Earl attempting to gather pieces of their spaceship shattered over the earth while avoiding crazy people and mice in those rolling balls... Walking, talking, shooting earthworms named Jim.
One thing you might want to notice is that all the ideas you mentioned were about game characters and settings, not actual gameplay. In terms of gameplay, I think Pac-Man was one of the first to use the collect-all-the-stuff mechanic, but it really isn't that different from any other games. It is about spatial-temporal patterns and collecting stuff. The earlier game Space Invaders is also about spatial-temporal patterns and collecting empty spaces on the screen by bringing bullets and aliens into the same space-time coordinates. If someone were to make a game using a wacky, original setting like Pac-Man, but using the same game mechanics, that would not be original. It would be yet another clone.

And just for the record, Katamari is a lot like Pac-Man.

Also, while Mario was the first side-scrolling platform game, Earthworm Jim was an innovation on the same genre, not a completely original game.

I'm not trying to say that these games are bad. What I'm trying to show is that even "original" games like these are usually closely based off other games.

I do agree that realism is not the end. Now that games are becoming capable of very realistic graphics, I think that they will be forced to use new styles in order to differentiate themselves.

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Original post by Oluseyi
It's not just you, but you're all wrong. More specifically, you're all suffering from selective memories seen through the hazy glow of nostalgia.


So true. :)

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I miss the good old days of threads where people discussed the pros/cons of permadeath... topics where newbies want to make a MMORPG... Crazy stuff like a horny squirrel who can't keep his nuts to himself... Learning, growing weapons named by the players that love them.

It seems like all threads nowadays are trying to get back to the "good ole days". Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.

Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?

[wink]

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Original post by Oluseyi...


I totally agree that there is plenty of originality. There will always be sequels and copycats and there always have been. It's no different that any other type of media. Sometimes there are revolutionary products and sometimes products only have small evolutions, but I think there is plenty of innovation to be found.

tj963
- waiting for Wii

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Mattman
I miss the good old days of games like Pacman where you have a pizza shaped wedge trying to eat pellets while avoiding ghosts... Characters like Mario who are attempting to avoid walking mushrooms and geese with wings in an attempt to save a princess from a spikey-shelled reptile... Crazy aliens like Toe Jam & Earl attempting to gather pieces of their spaceship shattered over the earth while avoiding crazy people and mice in those rolling balls... Walking, talking, shooting earthworms named Jim.

It seems like all games nowadays are trying to be life-like, full of realism. Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.

Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?


Maybe game designers have had enough of rehab and have finally stop taking drugs?

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Quote:
Original post by Way Walker
I miss the good old days of threads where people discussed the pros/cons of permadeath... topics where newbies want to make a MMORPG... Crazy stuff like a horny squirrel who can't keep his nuts to himself... Learning, growing weapons named by the players that love them.
It seems like all threads nowadays are trying to get back to the "good ole days". Nothing seems original to me, but instead just a copy off existing concepts or previous creations.
Is it just me? Does anyone else feel this way?
[wink]
ahaha! Thanks Way Walker. That one made me laugh ;)

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I'm going to back up Oluseyi here.

Did you actually play the other games from the era of Pac-Man, Mario, etc? Did you notice that they were just as "unoriginal"?
I can't think of any era where there were more original or inspired games than any other era. The Super Nintendo *might* have surpassed somewhat, but the sheer volume of games helped that.
There were tons of uninspired games for the Atari, NES, Sega, Super Nintendo, Playstation, PS2, etc. Just as there have been quite a few gems, some of which Oluseyi mentioned.

Further, does more original necessarily equate to better? Is there nothing to be said for games that take an existing idea and work toward expanding/perfecting that? Take the FPS genre, for instance. Sure, there are a lot of them. But don't try to say for a second that Half-Life 2 is only a copy of Doom. Moreover, Half-Life and Battlefield 1942 and F.E.A.R are completely different games, despite working off of largely similar mechanics. Twisting around the formula often results in better games than trying to create something entirely different.

Cheers,
--Brian

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Everything -> to a certain point. That's where you reach the 'Singularity' which Ray Kurzweil rants quite a bit about, but he does it well.

I can't wait until gameplay becomes something similar to what you see in the movie "Avalon".

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Original post by badbrain
Everything -> to a certain point. That's where you reach the 'Singularity' which Ray Kurzweil rants quite a bit about, but he does it well.

I can't wait until gameplay becomes something similar to what you see in the movie "Avalon".


Haven't seen. Care to elaborate?

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Sure I care, but it would be off-topic.

*sniff* *fart*
Basically - mid 20th century, virtual reality, players immersed in simulated combat(the game "Avalon").

The game technology is so advanced that a whole new world/dimension is really opened up. Gameplay has actually become deadly wherein players come back to reality either 'brain dead' or in complete shock and die. Something Pac-Man surely couldn't do.

Its not the dreaded world that interests me. It is the technology.

Oh, and Singularity: the event horizon in the predictability of human technological development.

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Original post by Way Walker
Quote:
Original post by badbrain
Everything -> to a certain point. That's where you reach the 'Singularity' which Ray Kurzweil rants quite a bit about, but he does it well.

I can't wait until gameplay becomes something similar to what you see in the movie "Avalon".


Haven't seen. Care to elaborate?


Seconded! I've never seen the movie, but my interest is piqued.

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Original post by badbrain
Sure I care, but it would be off-topic.

*sniff* *fart*
Basically - mid 20th century, virtual reality, players immersed in simulated combat(the game "Avalon").

The game technology is so advanced that a whole new world/dimension is really opened up. Gameplay has actually become deadly wherein players come back to reality either 'brain dead' or in complete shock and die. Something Pac-Man surely couldn't do.

Its not the dreaded world that interests me. It is the technology.

Oh, and Singularity: the event horizon in the predictability of human technological development.

So it's originality in the human/computer interface that you're looking for? I have heard from people here and there that they think the keyboard/mouse/gamepad/joystick interfaces have mostly been fully exploited, and new interfaces will help revolutionize games. Nintendo certainly seems to be thinking along those lines, what with the Revolution and their wandish TV remote device.

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That's right. I am more interested in the human/computer interface than I am the PC game. So, it's difficult for me to respond to the guy who started the topic.

I think he is simply reliving a chapter in his life. This cognitive feature is common in old folks and also those who lack the funds to explore the new world of gaming.

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Original post by badbrain
That's right. I am more interested in the human/computer interface than I am the PC game.


Not me, to me the interface is almost irrelevant. Then again, I don't think I enjoy games in the same way you do. Realism and even physical immersion have little to do with how immersed I get in a game. I'm here for the game.

Or, put another way:

Quote:

The game technology is so advanced that a whole new world/dimension is really opened up. Gameplay has actually become deadly wherein players come back to reality either 'brain dead' or in complete shock and die. Something Pac-Man surely couldn't do.


I don't see anything revolutionary in that. I can think of a couple games wherein players may come back to reality either 'brain dead' or in complete shock and die, only you don't need a computer to play them. Basically, it's been done.

Quote:

I think he is simply reliving a chapter in his life. This feature is common in old folks and also those who lack the funds to purchase and explore the new world of gaming.


You snipped it, but I respectfully disagree with your assessment of The Never Ending Story.

And you needn't be so cynical about why he feels that way. Old games are good for the same reason classical music is good: the bad ones have been forgotten. I've explored "the new world of gaming". It's a stretch to say there's no innovation, but it's equally a stretch to say it's any better than the old.

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I know. My post was just off-topic.
I also wanted to be mean to him.
I disagree with the topic starter. There is plenty of originality in today's games.

Please explain what game(s) you were talking about when you said: "I don't see anything revolutionary in that. I can think of a couple games wherein players may come back to reality either 'brain dead' or in complete shock and die, only you don't need a computer to play them. Basically, it's been done."

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Following up on your last paragraph: I bring up Ray Kurzweil again and his prediction of a 'Technological Singularity'.

I believe there will soon be things out in this "new world" that we can't imagine from where we are now.

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