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Tutorial Doctor

This is why Modern Tomb Raider Games aren't good...

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Modern Tomb Raider games are not as good as the originals. 

 

I remember when my brother first started playing Tomb Raider on the Sony Playstation. He spent weeks at a time trying to solve the puzzles in that game. It took him a few months to get close to beating the game. Of course little brother had overwritten all of his data and he lost his progress. He almost lost his head too. 

 

Modern Tomb Raider games are more like interactive video tutorials. They hold your hand on everything:

 

"Press the 'X' button to jump." 

 

Duh? Or at least let me figure that out by myself.

 

They don't have challenging puzzles at all, and the game can be beaten in a day. There is no real sense of accomplishment in them anymore. My brother thought he was a real gamer, but when I told him to download the old Tomb Raider from PSN and play it, he couldn't get pass the first level. Complaints?"

 

1. Controls are bad

2. Graphics suck

3. Died 4 times back to back by a bear

4. Couldn't solve the puzzle

 

Is that why modern games are so dummified and give you achievement awards for doing simple tasks? 

Question? What type of game do you prefer? Good game or good graphics? 

 

Perhaps this is a societal issue. Perhaps people just want to be spoon fed and don't want to be challenged? Perhaps people just want to be told they are good, without having to actually be good? 

 

Perhaps games are just an escape from all sense of reality? Oh, don't worry, if you die you can just respawn from your last save point (which was just a few feet before this point). 

 

Somebody needs to play Sonic on the Sega Genesis. haha. 

 

In contrast:

 

My brother downloaded the indie game "Contrast" (how ironic) and after looking at him play that I was like THAT'S IT! This is what is what I miss about games! That game had awesome puzzles that reminded me of the old Tomb Raider. It even had glitches! Hooray for glitches! Now all we need are some easter eggs

 

The Tomb Raider devs can learn something from this game. A lot of followers. Few leaders. Smh. 

 

(rant finished). haha. 

 

 

 

 

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If you want discussion, it would be more effective to pose a question rather than posting an opinion piece like this with no obvious request for responses.

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I'd say its society. Just look we've had this massive decline in education over a number of decades. The people no longer are about what they can do for this country but what they can get out of it. So of course a game that requires any real thought or work isn't going to do as well on the market. Most people no longer have the aptitude for it or patients or perseverance to solve anything complex. I remember when I used to go on sites like flipcode.com back in the day and it was busy as heck till he shut the site down for that long period. More people were willing to put the work in and learn then. At least it seems that way.

People are more about flash rather than substance and value by far. Most couldn't do the work to tell if they are getting ripped off or not. Which is why so many of them are easily ripped off.

So yea games have became more about being pretty and less about substance and story telling. Quests and puzzles all have become simpler. That's what the people will buy.

I figure if you want to create a game with any real complexity to it these days you are going to have to sneak it in. Make it look good or different and start it out easy. As the game progresses you add in more so by the time the realize the complexity they already have a good amount of time invested in it and then make it competitive so they see it as a matter of trying to beat the other individual. If you look at games like Kingdoms of Camelot and others on the internet that do good they are about showing off how much you can horde. Or at least they became like that because the way people are and play.

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What type of game do you prefer? Good game or good graphics?

 

[attachment=19081:why_not_both.jpg]

 

I don't think we should ever have to choose between a good game or good graphics -- intentionally choosing to skimp on either one is really just lazy development.  Just to clarify, I of course don't mean that every game should have AAA quality graphics with all of the latest and greatest effects, but the graphics should be stylistically consistent and aesthetically pleasing.  Vector, retro, hand-drawn, cel-shaded, or any other style is absolutely fine as long as it's properly applied.

 

 

 

"Press the 'X' button to jump." 
 
Duh? Or at least let me figure that out by myself.
 
Really?  Personally, I don't want to have to figure out how to jump -- learning basic movement controls is hopefully not what the game is all about, it's just pointless busy-work that I'd like to have out of the way as soon as possible so I can get on with something more interesting.  It's an area that still needs improvement, but I think the basic idea of quickly and simply telling the player what the basic controls are is a good thing as long as it isn't overly boring or intrusive, and is either out of the way very quickly, or more ideally can be skipped by more experienced players.
 
 
 
As for puzzles themselves, I'd love to see some better and more complicated puzzles included in games, but if you set yourself the challenge of designing some you'll find it's not actually all that easy to do -- for a good puzzle you need to come up with something that isn't immediately obvious but can be logically deduced, and which isn't unfair and doesn't rely on the player simply trying random inputs till they succeed -- coming up with something that meets those criteria and which isn't simply an existing puzzle re-themed takes a lot of time and effort.  It's also a bit of a thankless task in that a solution will undoubtedly be posted online as soon as the first player solves your puzzle, and many subsequent players who find the puzzle difficult will simply look up the solution rather than spending lots of time and multiple attempts trying to reach the solution for themselves.

 

Edited by jbadams

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People are more about flash rather than substance and value by far

 

This is exactly what I have been seeing. Of course, games don't have to have substance and value. I mean, what substance does UNO really have? And I have indeed improved my hand-eye coordination by playing video games, which could amount to some value. 

 

But today, when gaming companies want to exchange making games for creating experiences they do it in such a cheap way. I don't mind a good interactive story.

 

One game that did catch my attention was this game my brother was playing called "The Last of Us." The beginning of that game really sucked you in to the story. 

 

I saw the same thing in Metal Gear Solid 2. When Emma died I almost cried! haha. 

 

It is okay to do story games but I really wont feel I have been a part of the story if the game designer is holding my hand the whole time making it easy for me. 

 

Also, a lot of these games miss out on a really good mechanic that could make the games so much better. RISK AND REWARD.

 

That was a feature in Tomb Raider and in Resident Evil on the Sony Playstation (Resident Evil isn't my choice of game, but I am talking about the mechanics of it). You had supplies in those games, and those supplies could run out. You had to use your supplies wisely. You had to take risks with the hope of being rewarded.

 

Now, say for instance they chose to add this mechanic to a game like COD or Battlefield. They would instantly become more like real war. But all you see today is "go kill these group of people and you win."

 

What about the moral issues behind killing another human being? That should be something that is stressed in a war game. When a person decides to kill someone, let them know there are repercussions for making that choice, be it consciously or legally. Then these games would have some real value. Then you can really tell the story of war. 

 

Even something as simple as that adds so much more depth to such a video game. 

 

Our lives are full of choices, so why restrict my ability to choose in a video game? Why hold my hand in a video game? If I win I win, if I loose I loose. GAME OVER! 90s style! No memory cards! haha. 

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What type of game do you prefer? Good game or good graphics?

 

I don't think we should ever have to choose between a good game or good graphics -- intentionally choosing to skimp on either one is really just lazy development.  Just to clarify, I of course don't mean that every game should have AAA quality graphics with all of the latest and greatest effects, but the graphics should be stylistically consistent and aesthetically pleasing.  Vector, retro, hand-drawn, cel-shaded, or any other style is absolutely fine as long as it's properly applied.

 

 

I don't think anyone does choose between the two, they try to do both.

 

I think what OP meant with "good graphics" are the cases where the graphics themselves are obviously one of the selling points of the game. The term "eye candy" should apply here. I remember thinking that way for some games like Far Cry and Crysis that were sort of pioneers (or at least were marketed that way ;) ) with some features like real-time reflection/refraction.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with OPs view especially on TR series but acknowledge that the problem is a bit wider and hard to fix.

 

One shred of the whole might be that graphics are easy selling point. When you go pitch your game idea to funders and you can say "we are the best looking game on the market" and show your videos with lvl 999 graphics the funders immeadiately see how they can make the game sell and profit. You can demonstrate your graphics in single image or a very short video and that's it.

 

But try pitching your idea about combining interesting gameplay features for example in adventure/platformer category and you're off to a much slower start. You need to do a lot of explaining and stand a barrage of questions about what makes this game better than something that's already on the market. You need charts and longer videos showing the interplay and relation of things. "Not interested".

 

As the funders buy the idea about the game with best graphics, they see that it gets completed as it was sold. Maybe you cheated/dodged around the problems a bit with your pitch video because the gfx features weren't fully optimized and debugged for real time *yet* and most of the dev resources go into making the game look as good as advertised if not even better.

 

A good game requires a good team which requires funding which requires a good game. So where do you enter the loop? :)

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And despite what people think about large companies that steal ideas, the VAST majority of employees get really depressed when we're told to copy other games.

 

The secret is out! haha. 

 

I think this same thing happened at Apple. After Steve Jobs left it was at least more obvious they were copying. I mean, so much of IOS 7 is jacked off of Android (and I like apple products). At the end of the day it seems to be more about making money than making a good game. 

 

Of course, some people do want to make money off of their games. But games shouldn't be presented like Hollywood fashion trends (never been a trend guy, only a "whatever is good" guy). If a game is good, I'll play it. No need to try to add all these features that don't make your game technically more attractive. 

 

Seems if you razzle and dazzle 'em with "good graphics" and explosions and lights and action, you got em hooked. Sounds like American Television (post Turner). 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor

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One shred of the whole might be that graphics are easy selling point.

Absolutely, it's relatively easy to show off your good graphics with images on a game box or with a thumbnail image on a website, but unless your game is already well known the closest you can come to "showing off" your great puzzle design is hoping people trust you when you write "great puzzles!" on the box; even if your game is well known you're still left with adding a review quote.

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the closest you can come to "showing off" your great puzzle design is hoping people trust you when you write "great puzzles!"

 

Hahaha. I think I see a good mesh between them. 

 

Keep the graphics but bring back the good gameplay/puzzles Tomb Raider! And stop holding my hand. 

 

(I am using Tomb Raider as a symbol for most modern games in the category Tomb Raider would fall into, so this doesn't just apply to Tomb Raider). 

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