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vinnyvicious

Twists on the Generic FPS genre

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Every year we have the same batch of modern-military shooters, all of them with the same campaign mode and multiplayer mode with many modes to break boredom. However, they're still pretty much the same. As a thought exercise, how would you guys approach a twist, a spin, making those generic FPS's more appealing and innovative?

 

Old shooters like Unreal and Halo allowed some room for improvement and innovation, the same for TF2 for example, but it seems that the modern-military theme cripples every bit of creativity in designers. 

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@vinnyvicious

Just letting you know, this isn't the best way to start thinking about new ideas. But maybe my response will answer your question anyway.

 

You need a starting point, or the probability of wandering too far from it and focusing too much on what you have not changed is inevitable. Here you seem to have an issue with the similarities in the games you've seen. You'll need to describe the sameness that you wish to avoid for a proper starting point.  Also you should intentionally do a couple of things once you've found it.

 

After you have a place to begin thinking of ideas. you should intentionally research to make sure you didn't just think of something that's already been out there, and was just badly advertised to you.

 

When you think of a great new improvement, you probably broke other important parts of the game by doing so. Maybe the very reason you came up with this improvement was because it quickly removes the restriction of creativity, solving your original problem. But it's more important to remain objective than to spend hours figuring out where it went wrong.

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Do you mean a twist on the modern-military-pseudo-realistic-first-person-shooter genre, or just FPSs in general?

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The problem is there is a huge audience wannabee soldiers and the most in current time. Thus they are just delivering demand. Some like very unreal games to so there is market for that. But that no innovation that shifting theme and art style. Also gamers like most what is familiar and well known. That why sucses full innovation is so difficult.

The theme is strong choice to atrack lot of gamers like IP franchise to. Activision pull it of to release modern warfare theme FPS game each a year and great seller.

There is part of gamers who are sick of those kind of games. But then again there isn't a game who all gamers game at the same time. Gamers are different. But apparently popular gamers are made for the masses. What they like is deliverd.

 

Out of the box niche games and such is more indie scene goal. Where the budged are limited to aim at a much smaller audience. And for those who are not jsut claiming they want innovation but play those triple A games Tier1 and tier2 . But really seek out for innovative games in that very experimenting indie scene.

 

I am such wannabee soldier. So I play those CoD and BF and Farcry and ARMA etc.

 

I also like scifi. So a twist which could atrack me could be a.

 

Red dead redemption setting but in the Movie theme of

" cowboys and Aliens "

or the TV Series

" Firefly"

Or a modern day version based on " Stargate " IP

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The only way the modern-military setting really impacts play, in my experience, is by the restriction and proliferation of feasible props.  You can't have CTF without the "flag" being a suitcase nuke and you can't have king of the hill without there being an IED there to "defuse" and you can't have a map that doesn't look like a war-torn cityscape.  At the same time, you can't have a weapon called "assault rifle", because you have to have the FNH F2000 and the M4 and the M16 and the SCAR-L and the SCAR-H and the Mk12 SPR and the AK-74 and the AK-47 and the M14 EBR and the H&K G36 and the H&K G36K and the H&K G36C and the H&K MP5/10/7 with all the optional picatinny rail accessories until the whole thing looks like a gun show and then some nerd goes online and says, "dood if u slap the m249 cover shut with the double link off-center taht shit wil jam 4 sure" and your credibility goes out the window and the ghost of Tom Clancy haunts you all the way to the poorhouse.

 

The seasoning overpowers the ingredients, basically.  It's so bound up in thematic dogma that the design and even the basic rules are enslaved to the setting and props.  Billions of dollars have been made, of course, so it can undeniably be a successful strategy.  As far as videogames go, however, I tend to prefer less realistic settings like Halo or Unreal or Quake or Half-Life or Turok, since you can have an armory consisting of "Assault Rifle", "Sniper Rifle", "Rocket Launcher", "Pistol" and "Shotgun" and then throw in a Cerebral Bore or a Gravity Gun or a Needler.  You don't need a full orchestra with five different types of flute in it to play something I can dance to.

 

But to answer your question, I'd say that the character progression, unlocks and overall grind associated with many successful games is the culprit here.  Battlefield 2 was the first time I found myself thinking, "Well, I guess I'd better play another few matches and focus of a skill or role that I don't particularly enjoy so that I can finally get that medal/gun/ribbon for my profile."  Now that's everything.  You get guys in Gears of War throwing their whole team under the bus so they can get enough chainsaw kills to ring some imaginary bell.  GTA V has custom finishes for guns, and the first one--the very first of eight or more--becomes available (for purchase, no less) after you score 100 player kills with that weapon.  Do you see guys running around in deathmatches with their favorite pistol trying to get a shiny gold paintjob on it at the expense of their mates?  Yes, you do.  Do you see guys driving around in freeplay machinegunning total strangers in order to get the blue SAW?  Yes, you do.  Would these people behave that way if there was no in-game objective toward which sociopathy is the most direct path?  Maybe a few would, but I doubt that these guys, by and large, would hobble themselves if they weren't promised some kind of ear-scratching by the game designers.

 

But that's a crutch for weak or scanty content, isn't it?  Sure, the game is drab and unimaginative, but if you do it blindfolded and with one hand tied behind your back, you get a hilarious pot leaf to put on your profile icon!  And you can share that to Facebook so all your friends can see how awesome you are!

 

Am I rambling?  Yeah.

 

In a nutshell, there are two main things making all shooters feel the same, two big trends.  The first is the setting, because soldiers are hip and if you can make someone feel like they're a Force Recon Marine or a Navy SEAL, they'll write you a check.  The second is the format, and the granularity of unlocks and endless rankings are conducive to the setting, since you don't have to come up with 85 imaginary medals when there's a big list of them right here in the real world, and you don't have to dream up dozens of pretend guns when you can just take pictures of actual gear and accessories and turn it into a dress-up game for commandos.  Having that huge library of content allows you to trickle it out like some kind of satisfaction ration, which I have decided to call a satisfration, compelling players to replay and compete endlessly to earn your shiny, digital love.

 

Anyway, keep it fresh by thinking critically about how games are supposed to make people feel.  People will always respond to incremental rewards, which is why slot machines and heroin and paychecks will never really go out of style, but a game that knows its a game should have a crisp interface, intelligible rules and a rewarding pace.

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I think better AI could be one route. Then you could have more crowds and responsive environments. Or perhaps a squad for each player that follows them around on the battlefield, helping them out. 

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I'm discussing this because i've seen some new titles in the genre, but they failed to capture the audience taste like Tactical Intervention and others. But, there are some exciting new twists, like Payday.

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I think the larger titles just "have it all covered"

that is not to say you can't make something new, that is to say that if you do it will be a <fill in blanks> with FPS-elements.

 

Soldiers, btw, are the PvP-impersonation/emblem/mascot/ because that is what we have real soldiers do(at least, we get upset if they kill civilians)

Zombies are the mass-produced generic enemies.(so PvE)

And aliens are the PvE with style.

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Soldiers, btw, are the PvP-impersonation/emblem/mascot/ because that is what we have real soldiers do(at least, we get upset if they kill civilians)

Zombies are the mass-produced generic enemies.(so PvE)

And aliens are the PvE with style.

There are always other options. For example, the three playing styles you mention are a good fit for bands of cavemen with psychic or magical powers (thrown rocks, spears, arrows, axes, telekinesis, mind control rays, etc.) battling with each other (individual and team PvP), with somewhat dangerous beasts such as wolves (massive/grind PvE), with monsters like big dinosaurs (boss PvE). "Capture the flag" can be a serious battle to steal fire. 

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You could play around with the gameplay balance, and try to find something fun that you haven't seen before. To list some of the dimensions of this balance, there are range, mobility, firepower, armor, and verticality. You can adjust each of these across the entire game, but also individually for a team or class.

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