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borysson

The State of Games

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I've been playing games since the early 90's, pc mostly and a few console/coin op. I missed out on the days of commodore but did get to experience Amiga.

Now I'm just wondering why the state of games is in such a commercial curmedgeon (purchase then subscribe or pay for extra content - items or expansions). I guess everything is this way - music, etc is all commercialised for profit.
What I can't understand is why we don't have more people developing games that are fun and doing well.
GTA is great, but I realise that takes a large team with a budget.
It is possible for many smaller games to be made though, World of Goo - and this allows players to compete online.
Back in the early 90's many players made games for fun then made a decent living out of it. Some might say platform, isometric, rpg, ..... have all had their day. And now the only games players want or will accept is 3D flashy graphics. However this is not what I hear from many players.

Perhaps it is difficult to make a game that is fun - I have found many of my ideas to be not so fun, or difficult to find the fun point.

Solution:
I'm sure players could make their own MMO, just start out with a small world and small multiplayer online until. Once people are desperate to join up - they could take preorder money which would fund extra server/programming in capacity. (UO was practically made this way)

Also games which are fun, the biggest deterrent to this is grind. Grinds purpose is to keep the player on/paying - it is also sign of a lack of content
Now with a small game the extra content/areas can be added as the subscriptions increase - or even make the game free to play (yes you would have to keep the world on the lower end of big flashing characters & spells).

Background:
I have been creating ideas for games for some time, only I wasn't focused enough, and now I have finally decide to dedicate my life to this.
Currently I am working on a very small simple isometric mmo (50 to 100 players) as a build up to test my skills for larger game ideas.
I'm currently working with C++ and Java, looking at basing my games exclusively on linux platform.

One of my favourite games is Ironman pc - it is simple with much skill and tactics. And some little points of realism which really get me stoked (when your car hits the corner with a flag the flag wobbles).

I really look forward to your responses.

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Well, what happened?
They just matured.
In the beginning it was just a few people hacking oscilloscopes. Then a few people in the garage. Those people would have probably been referred as "kids making games" or similar bullshit.
Then those "kids" turned out to be able to churn out just as much money as other IT-related jobs. They were stopped being called "kids" and promoted to "industry", and then this industry become really big $$.
Industry is about production. Regular production. An industry will naturally focus on stuff that is proven. A minority will manage keep innovating (Valve seems to have performed well in this regard).
The always-old rule applies: vote with your wallet.

I'd also quote Tom Sloper about GDC, I guess it gives a quick idea of what happened
[url="http://www.sloperama...ice/lesson6.htm"]Trade Shows and Conferences[/url]
GAME DEVELOPERS' CONFERENCE

I attended the first such conference -- way back in the mid-to-late 1980s when I worked at Atari Corporation. And I went to the next couple of yearly conferences too (and hosted a roundtable at one of them). Then... let's see, I went to one in '92, and another in '95 or '96.

Flash forward to the twenty-first century. IT HAS CHANGED!! Originally it was a handful of (mostly local) developers banding together in their love for computer games (especially the kind of games they themselves loved to play), bashing on "twitch games" (console videogames) and trying to start up a union so they could get higher development fees, and royalties, from Them Darn Stingy Publishers. Silly me -- thinking I ought to look the part of Atari Corporation's "Director of Product Development," I wore a tie. Boy, did I learn fast to take that thing off!

Back in the day, there were also a lot of tracks for wannabes. The whole thing took place on the 2nd floor (the meeting rooms floor) of a San Jose hotel. They served cookies and Jolt cola.

Well.
The twenty-first century has seen the industry grow into a giant that rivals the movie business, so, accordingly, this conference has changed and grown. It's much too big to take place in a hotel. Hell, it's too big to take place in one building.[/quote]

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I think this thread should be moved to a different category, no? This is not programming related...

I hear what you're saying - gaming has changed much over the years - and personally I am really not fond of this whole "DLC" model they've been pushing with games. I've no issue with paying full price for a good expansion, but DLC feels like throwing money out for scraps of content. Meh.

But really... is this a new argument? Remember the late 90's when everybody was trying to 1-up each other over graphics? The nature of the industry changes, and that's OK - there are both good and bad sides to this. Conversely, the indie scene has also exploded and more and more people can develop on more platforms - the success of minecraft, world of goo and the like says a lot, I think.

Although I have to say...
Currently I am working on a very small simple isometric mmo[/quote]

Makes it a little hard to take you seriously. Really, of all the genres... an MMO?

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Creating a game takes both skill and a lot of time. People who have skill can usually find a way to get paid for their time, so there's an "opportunity cost" discouraging them from donating that time. Consumers on the other hand are faced with a huge amount of options for games to play, and most of them would rather pay for a pretty and reliable game than get a free game with mediocre art or gameplay.

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I hear what you're saying - gaming has changed much over the years - and personally I am really not fond of this whole "DLC" model they've been pushing with games. I've no issue with paying full price for a good expansion, but DLC feels like throwing money out for scraps of content. Meh.


I remember seeing a study showing that only around 10% of the average games players complete the game and given the increasing cost of AAA game development it makes alot of sense to make shorter games and use DLC to extend it for the players who want more. (There is definitly alot of overpriced DLC out there, but that doesn't mean that the model itself is bad).

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I think this thread should be moved to a different category, no? This is not programming related...

Although I have to say...
Currently I am working on a very small simple isometric mmo


Makes it a little hard to take you seriously. Really, of all the genres... an MMO?
[/quote]

Yeah, thought this was the best category - But Creative Side->Game Design is a better category. If someone could move it there I think that would be better.
This more about "Why aren't there more little fun games being made" than commercialism. Also my isometric game, though requiring a bit of illustration and network programming, doesn't seen all that difficult to get from concept to the players (granted I have kept it very simple - for this exact purpose). While there is a fair amount of illustration and networking to do, perhaps I am underestimating the creation (programming) difficulty? I've heard many games never get finished.
I realise there are many games around that people consider fun, but it would be nice to see different things to "another platformer" or "new RTS" "amazing FPS", such as World of Goo which is a completely different concept, or voxel games or open world etc.

When I say mmo, this doesn't mean a subscription one with cartoon graphics and unrealistic flashes every time you swing your sword with accompanying points scrolling above - if that is your aversion to "mmo".

I chose mmo for sandbox with less AI to program and more social game play. My characters won't be huge on screen things.
My games have a real focus on interactivity, customisation, and fun gameplay, free of grind.

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It became profitable and mainstream and, as anything profitable and mainstream, it was soon swarmed with industry boys who see cash as the prime motivator. Not to say that's the full story, but summed up in one sentence of 'how did we get here' -- it's a pretty fair summary.

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Creating a game takes both skill and a lot of time. People who have skill can usually find a way to get paid for their time, so there's an "opportunity cost" discouraging them from donating that time. Consumers on the other hand are faced with a huge amount of options for games to play, and most of them would rather pay for a pretty and reliable game than get a free game with mediocre art or gameplay.


Minecraft started out in a dev community, he made a game he wanted to play that he thought was fun. Now he is a multimillionaire. But if a person could make a fraction of that from a single game then it would be worthwhile. They' would only have to work a part time job.
There are a few groups out there doing this zomboid, and voxatron come to mind. Little Rockets - Red Baron.

Surely if you have a great idea you would put stick figures on the screen - release your preview and ask for an illustrator. Alternately you could draw up everything, write a proposal and give a programmer $15-20 a week for "helping you" bring your design to reality. Perhaps I am nostalgic for the commodore days where every player made games - surely if players have a game they'd make it happen?

On graphics minecraft is very crude IMO, and while World of Goo is polished - I feel it would have been as big if it were very plain looking.

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Now I'm just wondering why the state of games is in such a commercial curmedgeon (purchase then subscribe or pay for extra content - items or expansions). I guess everything is this way - music, etc is all commercialised for profit.
What I can't understand is why we don't have more people developing games that are fun and doing well.
I don't see much has changed. Back in the 90s, it could be £30 for a new commercial game, and most commercial games were developed by companies, for money.

Did they have fun doing it? Perhaps - but the same could be said now, I'm sure many game developers still enjoy their work.

There are games today with much bigger budgets sure, but that's just the growth (similarly, the cost of making Amiga games was more than that for the Spectrum - I remember people saying then how you used to be able to buy games for £2.99, so why were they now ten times as much); and there are still games made today that have smaller budgets, AFAICT.

There are more games taken advantage of a subscription model, which is made possible due to the Internet, but there are still games you can buy once and play.

Also take a look at the growth in open source gaming - I'd argue there are far *more* people doing games just for fun these days. I could point to countless major games today being written for fun, given away for free. How many can you list from the early 1990s?

Back in the early 90's many players made games for fun then made a decent living out of it.[/quote]Did they? Who are you thinking of?

I mean sure, I don't dispute it was no doubt easier for indie programmers, start ups as well as people doing it purely in their spare time ("bedroom" programmers). But even back then, I suspect that the success stories (e.g., the guy who wrote Worms) were the exception rather than the rule.

Plus I suspect part of the reason why it's harder to make money writing something simple is because of the growth, not the lack of it - if you can download loads of games for free, why pay for something unless it's significantly better? I think you've got your supply and demand backwards - if people were once able to make money far more easily, it suggests either there was more demand (unlikely) or less supply. More supply today is what makes it harder for individuals to make money for fun, despite the (presumably) greater demand in games.

I'm unclear what you are saying here - that people don't write for fun, or that people can't make money easily? These are separate issues.

Some might say platform, isometric, rpg, ..... have all had their day. And now the only games players want or will accept is 3D flashy graphics. However this is not what I hear from many players.[/quote]Platform and RPG genres of games, which is separate to whether you use 2D or 3D as a technology. We still have RPGs, and AFAICT platform games too.

Also, I believe the reason why most games switched to using 3D technology was not always a belief that that was what players want, but because it's easier and cheaper - e.g., writing an isometric game means loads of frames, in multiple orientations, for every character, rather than a single 3D rigged model per character.

Perhaps it is difficult to make a game that is fun - I have found many of my ideas to be not so fun, or difficult to find the fun point.[/quote]I find games today far more in depth and playable, long lasting and addictive than the games of 20 years ago. I went through tonnes of games in my Spectrum and Amiga days, but now even just one game can absorb me for ages.

And an MMO is the last type of game you'd surely want to write simply for fun...

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[quote name='Rajaat' timestamp='1319430573' post='4876211']
Back in the early 90's many players made games for fun then made a decent living out of it.
Did they? Who are you thinking of?

Also, I believe the reason why most games switched to using 3D technology was not always a belief that that was what players want, but because it's easier and cheaper - e.g., writing an isometric game means loads of frames, in multiple orientations, for every character, rather than a single 3D rigged model per character.

And an MMO is the last type of game you'd surely want to write simply for fun...
[/quote]

I was thinking of the original sim city creator.

I thought it was more work to create 3d games - linear algebra, quaternions, etc?

I can't understand why you feel mmo would not be fun? Perhaps you only have bad comparisons to go on.
mmo is the best kind of game, unless someone creates some kind of AI which is indistiguishable - I mean another human is the ultimate opponent and team member, would you rather talk to a computer or other humans?

I guess, I'm just not finding any game that can really give me enough long lasting satisfaction these days. I played Diablo 2 for 10 years, but am beginning to want more (don't mention 3 please), the sand games are great - but feel they could have more. I can immagine a sand/elements game with multiplayers, not sure how it would work but with players interacting would be amazing.

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