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Paladin

Next generation games

60 posts in this topic

I have been thinking about this question... what are the Next Generation games ? No, I don''t mean those freaky "super cool graphics" after getting new 3D-card, but what can we add to create next generation games ? What are RTS games and RPG games missing ? How about flight simulators and roleplaying games ? Tell me your fictions and facts about upcoming products and ideas The game that my group has been working on lately is suppose to create new way to play turnbased stradegy games... or yea, "new way", which has been actually invented maybe twenty years ago and never used for comp. games This system works with circular movement system, which doesn''t work like hexas, but it''s "free" area, where unit can move. Battles are always only small conflicts, like 10-40 unique units. Rules are basically similar to Warhammer 40k / Fantasy Battle, and it should be way different compared to other computer stradegy games.
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Actually, I have been thinking about this myself recently, but I haven't gotten around to post the question. I don't really have an exact answer for you, just ideas.

I would really like to see games become more involving. Man, that sounds vague. I just want games to evolve to a level where you quit "playing" games to a level where you "enter" the game. Take a RPG for example. As well designed as FFVIII was, it was still too linear to truly become encompassing. No matter how much you got into the game, you still new that you were at point A and you had to get to point B. A truly encompassing game would be a role playing game where these points didn't exist, much more like real life.

Also, I would like more control in games where you have an omni presense. Take Homeworld for example. I thought it would have been great if you could have taken control of a fighter and flew as a member of a formation.

Personally, I think simulations are going to become more of a cornerstone of gaming, once the internet can truly support the bandwidth needed. Virtual armadas of space ships could square off with other armadas, each ship being pioleted by a human instead of AI, where some people could design the tatical strikes while others fly the missions. Imagine the Star Wars saga playing out online, whether you are there or not with no set result.

Okay, it's not a specific answer like you were wanting, and these are more like next-next-next generation games, but isn't it nice to imagine?

Edited by - I-Shaolin on 1/25/00 7:45:24 AM
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Take that idea a step further, and have multiple human players controlling various aspects of a single capital ship. Pilots, turret gunners ect. Even more interesting would be to have a FPS / space sim hybrid. Imagine a boarding operation where one ship docks with a disabled craft, and a gun fight insuses _within_ the disabled ship.

The game could be played on multiple levels:

Strategic Level: manage resources, produce ships, diplomacy, long range planing. Decisions made at this level (by AI''s and humans) trickle down to...

Tactical Level: Give orders to squads of ships, such as ''destroy blockade'', ''lay mines'', ''bombard planet'' ect. These orders then trickle down to

Individual Level: Pilots and marines fight it out in an action type game, based on thier orders such as, ''secure the engine room'' or ''protect the convoy''

Human players would select the level of gameplay that best suited thier playing style. AI''s would fill in the empty positions.

- genovov
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Layers of abstraction are an excellent yet feasible idea to put into a RTS game right now.
Having the ability to control troops from a small skirmish to a the level of the whole theatre of war using a single system would require a f**k load of design but is certainly very possible.
Imagine being able to control a single platoon, advancing them by numbers at the begining of the game (or even better, being a member of that platoon) then advancing until you''re in charge of a company shouting orders to your lieutenants to "take that hill" watching them attack autonomously to your pre-set contraints and their own internal reasoning. Finally each mouse click orders an entire battalion of men into the fray with the computer calculating tactics which underly your overall strategy.
No longer are levels unconnected missions in an essentially linear story line (if they bother with such a thing) but different levels of control, as in-depth or as autonmous as you want.
We''re talking at least two years of designing and implementing the AI here but I think it would be worth it.

Mike
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Seems like your talking about multiple games in one. Multiple interfaces to a game would be a massive design undertaking. Think of the art and sound that would have to be developed and you quickly see what I am talking about. I would love to see something like this, but I am not sure the nature of the game market today or in the next 3 years would allow for something like this. With video memory rising in every new card, T&L hardware, faster processors, and more processor memory coming along everyday, this could be possible some time in the future but I am not sure it is possible today.

Kressilac
ps I have been proven wrong before so take this as an opinion.

Whooo hooo I am a Zealot now



Edited by - kressilac on 1/26/00 7:48:43 AM
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What an interesting one. I think to truly answer this question might involve thinking about what future technologies games will make use of.

We have seen an amazing increase in the power of processors in home computers over the last ten years. Graphics cards seem to be going through quite an evolution over the last couple as well.

I think a next generation glasses/goggles/headset would be interesting. Something that really throws you into believing you are in the game (for a FPS at least). Play something like UT now and you are looking at a screen trying to imagine you are in the thick of the action. With a really decent headset you really would find yourself immersed, (and boy would you jump if you turned your head to find someone right behind you!).

In addition I would like better voice communication, both in multiplayer games and in ones where you are commanding forces. If your units responded to voice commands it would be much better. Imagine the potential. Think something like Command & Conquer (not my favourite but it will do). Let''s say one of your squads (let''s call them Alpha squad) are being attacked and they tell you so. Without having to scroll to that area of the map and highlight some units to give orders to wouldn''t it be superb to just say "Alpha squad retreat to ..." or "Beta squad support Alpha squad". I know it is not easy but I am trying to look forward a little.

I have recently enjoyed UT and Half-Life, but the likes of Diablo and Baldur''s Gate are probably my favourites. Where RPG''s will end up I do not know. Creating a rich enough realistic enough world to make them first person perspective games is the obvious step, but then party management becomes quite difficult (if as a single player you command a group). Maybe environment-rich persistent rirst person perspective unlimited human player worlds is where all RPG''s will be in a few years. Interesting.

I hope that in another ten years we will not recognise the games industry as it stands now. Hopefully we will be in a new era altogether.

(sorry if I went on - this is a topic I am quite keen on)
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Kressilac, who were you replying to?
Genovov or me or......

Actually, if you were part of a large company that had it''s unreal engine and it''s homeworld engine then could you use the tools developed for these systems to create a game which was a hybrid of the two and how easy would it be...


...ah, who am I kidding, have I ever seen readable, easily integratable legacy code?
Bollocks have I.

Mike
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Ok, I actually told the question wrong way... I was interested about technology too, but the main thing was about new ideas.

I have been ALWAYS waiting for online version of Apache, because when I saw those tiny soldiers with bazookas running around battlefield, I wanned to be one of those soldiers

So this idea is "old" for me, but I would like to hear something "way new" that is going to make gaming different forever (if not the whole scene, atleast some genre). I hope this clears my question

So WHAT ARE WE MISSING from C&C etc. ? People are complaining "its old and it''s not fun, because there is nothing new".
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I think that in general, we''ll be seeing a influx of massivly multiplayer games (RPG and otherwise) in the near future. Good voice communication will be essential for a really emersive experience, and will enhance the kind of ''game communities'' that make MUDs so interesting and fun. Voice technology exists, but the bandwith it needs is not really accesable to the average gamer.

Realistic physics will be a great step in making games more intuitive, emersive and open ended. No longer will the players be restricted to interactions anticipated by the game designer. Want to block that door? Move the crate in front of it, or even better, shoot the bottom crate in a stack and cause them to all fall over, pushing other objects out of the way and crushing your opponent. There''s no sane way a game designer could include all these posibilities in a game, and no need to do so, if each crate is modeled with it''s basic physical properties. I d/led a interesting demo of a physics engine called Ipion (don''t have the link) that shows that this kind of simulation is well within reach of current technology.

Hopefully, however, the next great advancment will be in AI. Wouldn''t it be great if, as some of you have said, you could play a wargame online with hundreds (thousands) of other human players in an persistant world. Where there are no scripted missions, but rather various teams of players involved in various levels of the grand theater. Those planing the overall strategy create the missions for those controlling the various armies/platoons/fleets/whathaveyou, who in turn create the missions for the individual pilots/soldiers. All in realtime. And you have AI which can assume control of any aspect of the game. No one wants to play the soldiers? The AI controls them. No good strategists online? You get you''re orders from one, and (hopefully) can''t tell the difference.

This is my idea of an ideal game. Unscripted, totaly non-linear. Where the story is defined by the people playing, not a writer. Game designers become almost obsolete... ; )

Is this type of thing possible today? Probably not. But game programmers and designers seem to be moving in this direction, and that can only be a good thing.

- genovov

P.S. Anyone interested in trying to CREATE something like this? If so, send me an email @ chris@newpublishing.com. I''m working on some a rigid body dynamics engine for a space sim, hoping to eventually create something like the old Elite games, but multiplayer. Let''s see if I can put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. ; )
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Ahhh genovov. I''m happy that you mentionned the AI. This is, in my opinion, the next major improvement in the next generation of games. I would put it in the category of "dynamics". Take a rpg. Everything is static. The storyline is static. The quests are static (or, improved a little, generic). The world is static (plants don''t grow, houses are stuck on the ground, no way to destroy a wall or to build something). The NPCs are static (or, improved a little, they have a life cycle, but it''s still static). If you want some specials events to happen, they have to be designed by the developpers (ie, the events are static). See my point ? Everything is static in nowaday''s games. At the beginning, you may not notice it. But after some time, you will become bored. Why ? One word: "static". I''m sure most of EQ''s fans know it (camp,level,camp,level..).
Now.. imagine in the future (not that far) a game where everything is dynamic (ie, a meta-system). NPCs don''t spawn, since they''re unique. They have their own motivations, behave as any player, can talk maybe ? The "objects" of the world are not static..you can move them, break them, put them on other objects. Laws of physics applys to everything. Same for laws of nature. Anything can happen. Quests are not designed, they are indirectly created by the rumors/motivations of NPCs.. THIS is, in my opinion, the future of online gaming. A world where surprize is a dominant factor...

Y.
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I''ve been really thinking about this one. What could set my games apart from everything else? The first thing I can think of is plot. Maybe some game someday will have a plot worth repeating (actually, Battlezone came close). But, really, if you made your games completely modular, you could just ''plug in'' each genre and play in the same universe. Bear with me, I''m going to throw some buzzwords around...but everybody likes those anyway, right?

Now, let''s say you had a ''world'' program that would manage your maps, your physics, and other ''physical'' things. This would interact with different ''AI'' programs; some of them would be computer-controlled, others would be player-controlled. The more you extend this model, the more exciting it gets. For example, the ''AI'' program for the player could interface with another program, the ''UI'' (User Interface) program, which would be resposible for drawing to the screen.

Here come the buzzwords: if you used something like COM (or maybe ActiveX--same thing but different), you could really expand your game. You could give all your ''AI'' programs the same interface to the ''world'' program and bingo--instant multiplayer. Also, you could update just your world or just one AI by replacing the program and keeping the same interface. It''s hard to explain; maybe I''ll write something up about it... Also, I know I''m not the most experienced or intelligent developer out there, but this system is my dream. If this system could actually be made, I''d give almost anything to see it done. Ah well...such sweet dreams...

Just e-mail me if you want to hear more on this. I''ve got this whole, complex system being worked out...

2mikes.com

FEE
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Ok , now I''m going to tell you about my wildest dreams about 3D-worlds.

Putting many genres for one game is so mad / crazy idea that it''s not going to become standard just yet. Later on, when competition goes REALLY HARD with comp.games, and the internet bandwith is high quality, I believe, that there will rise company over every other company, that is going to have almost monopoly posission, as Microsoft. Then this company is going to start most of the engine creating, like ID did, and start to sell lisence for other creators. This engine becomes standard, that can be expanded with external libraries, and it''s compatible with new versions of engine.

The reason why I believe that this is going to happen, is that it''s the only way to create COMPLICATED engine, and world. Even if programmers would have whole technology to create whatever kind of game they want to create, they don''t have time to model everything ultrarealistic way. Just for example, wind: wind blows and causes trees to tilt. This is way too complicated to create everytime when new engine is going to be developed, because there simply is no time to do it as "extra".

There needs to be standard, that can be easily Lisenced for commercial use, and it''s going to be something like Quake 5 -engine, or so

Heh, just my visions.

Another thing that I believe, is new coming of old style adventure games. When public realizes that shooting becomes boring, they start to look for games like "clue", detective games, adventure games and so on. This games probaply are not like old ones, but maybe more like Outcast. Still, this is coming... I think... I hope... I really hope
One reason why I believe this, is that developers probaply are looking ALL THE TIME way to create "intelligent" AI, and one step is the time, when computer starts to "act". If I''m right, we have good example which is Erasmator 2.0, but I cannot confirm this because the creator COULDN''T EXPLAIN enought what this program is !

I just believe, that this program can create computer actors, that can act to different happenings in real time, and "communicate" with player... If someone knows more about this, tell me, I''m really interested !
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I like Quake3. Jumping around, falling, blasting people into mists of blood and gibs can be good, (clean?) fun. But...

I had a look at the link MikeD posted, and the technology they''re developing. I also had a look at another company''s web site about a week ago, who are developing a computer peripheral that emits smells. Unfortunatly, I don''t have the link, and don''t remember the name of the company. They appearently have a database of several 1000 smells that they plan to licence to developers, to include in thier games/simulations.

Then I read what Paladin wrote about wishing for the rebirth of the adventure games, and asked myself a question:

Would I enjoy Quake3 if everytime I fell into the void I FELT the vertigo? If every time I wasted someone with the plasma gun I could SMELL the melting, searing flesh? The answer is no. I think games whose primary (or only) form of interaction is violence will disappear as technologies to increase emersiveness become more accessable and refined.

So what then? What kind of ''games'' are going to take advantage of these new technologies? Adventure games would be a great candidate.

So maybe you''ll get your wish afterall.

To comment on what Ysaneya said. I can only agree. Static is boring. The trick is to create a simulation of life and intelligence in such a way that intersting ''plots'' and situations will emerge.

For instance: In the elite type game I''ve started, I want to create an economic model based on supply and demand. Various planets, space stations, factories ect. create and consume different resources. Without trade between the stations, they''d all eventually die out. I''m going to have various trade corporations that ferry goods between stations, and thereby make a profit. Pirate bands will feed off the merchants. All of these group''s behaviour will be controled through AI, not scripts. Now enter the player. The ''missions'' the player is offered will be determined by the current situation. Perhaps a factory will post an ad requesting a shipment of food, as they are running low. Merchants may ask for escort if they are losing ships to the pirates. The player could take these missions, or create his/her own. Why not stockpile a resource, to drive prices up?

Then you make it massivly multiplayer, with a persistant world . Groups of humans building bases, conducting trade, forming alliances, and waging war.

But you have to create the simulation is such a way that your world doesn''t die. It''s quite possible that, if the pirates destroy the majority of the merchant ships, and they can''t produce new ones, that the planets, factories and bases would all burn out. Then you''ve got a pretty crappy game. I think that''s going to the be the trickiest part of all.

- genovov

P.S. No one interested in working on this project with me, eh? ; )
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That really sounds like during the beginning of Project DUST. When we were creating the engine (which is again at starting point... dang), we were going to do this kind of dynamic system, that causes that town / cities can die if there is no supply ways, but I have to say that it''s pretty big job

I would recommend that you are going to do that project with 2D, because it''s much less math, and games like Star Control 2 have proved, that 2D games can be much fun and complicated, because it''s faster to produce (even by a single user).

I wish best luck for your project, and I hope that you are going to finish it someday.

-Paladin
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I have to agree with Paladin''s post (the one before last). I think internet bandwidth will be highly responsible for a leap in gaming. Persistant universes (worlds, whatever) will become attainable with leaps in technology, and they will be able to be broadcast across the globe in amazing detail once we all enjoy the bandwidth we would like to.

Furthermore I also agree that there will become a supreme power at this stage of gaming. Someone who has not neccessarily the best idea, but the desire and the money to set up a very large, very ambitious project and actually puts out a product that entices the biggest range of gamers ever.

I think by the time this happens though display technologies will have moved on somewhat and the idea of playing via keyboard and monitor will have long since passed.

Try voice/thought activation and direct cerebral stimulation.
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I wish games would start supporting VR glasses. I don''t mean interactive glasses (looking around by turning your head) I just mean those cheap ones that you send it two different views to to get the 3D look. Programming wise it''d be easy, just redraw the screen from two different positions, one about 4-5 inches from the other.

E:cb woof!
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...and halve the frame rate....

Though supporters of the idea might be willing to trade off one for the other.

Wait until DirectX supports it though, eh.

Edited by - MikeD on 2/2/00 8:38:25 AM
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Hmm... personally I''m little skeptic (uh... spelling) about VR-glasses, because I have been hearing that those are giving BAD headech (argh !!! spelling !!!)... uh... Bad crack into head or something cool

Hmm.. english... Ok, anyway, I have been wondering about this too:
Lets think about comment "Monitors are not 3D". Lets ignore the idea that our eyes are show image actually so called "Fake 3D", because eye, after all, is "flat" (actually I cannot even think what being REAL 3D CREATURE would be, we should be able to see "everything", I think ... Maybe Albert Einstein would understand this stuff . We see a monitor that shows us whats happening on the screen, but actually it''s just putting layer over layer.

Now, is there some way to produce hi-tech next generation monitor ? First I thought, OF COURSE ! Let''s create hologram monitor... but darn, actually with hologram, you cannot see further than the area where the hologram is showing... You will understand when you see the StarWars movie, where Chewie and R2D2 are playing futuristic hologram chess. So would anyone have idea how to produce something that is emulating 3D world some other way ? Just fun idea
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I don't think they have anything out yet that has much depth as far as "hologram monitors" is conserned. I did see one on TV that's being used in the medical field that's similar to the chess board on Star Wars but it's VERY expensive.

Oh, wait, I just remembered one. They have one where you put on a pair of polorized glasses to see a different image from the monitor in each eye. It's not as good quality as VR glasses but a group of people can see the same thing from one monitor. (I think the monitor's a bit big too. I think they have two monitors hooked up with a polorized screen, then they combine the images with mirrors.)

VR glasses can cause headaches if they're not adjusted for the user's eyes (width and focus). For the most part, they're just like looking at any other monitor. Or like looking at the eye piece of a video camera. Also, if it's used with "Doom" type games, you can get headaches from motion sickness. I don't see the frame rate being a problem, most games could be drawn with fewer special effects and get full animation speed. Also, if you used two graphics accelerators, a lot of the processing time would be split up on different CPU's. Some of the VR equipment I've seen before uses two standard computers networked together (or a motherboard and a daughter board) to split up the processing time that way. Many new computers come with multiple processors.

E:cb woof!

Edited by - dog135 on 2/2/00 1:32:16 PM
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Concerning the multilevel hybrid games, I had this idea a long time ago, and I thought a lot about the design of that type of games. Let''s take strategy games for example, how about a hybrid of starcraft and quake, where certain people are fighting, other people are commanding. Why don''t we take the idea a step further. U start as a private, and play in a first person shooter. Then u move up, up, up, up, and then hopefully u become a general.
The design... Yeah, that''s would be hard. But what if Blizzard and ID had a strategic alignment. Each company would hire a designer, then they would select a lead designer, and two companies together would design and implement a game.

Some other ideas... I wouldn''t mind seeing the computer get a lot smarter. Even neural networks, fuzzy logic, etc. don''t give the PC enough brains. I wouldn''t mind seeing the PC talking to me, and understanding me... I am actually working on something like that right now. It''s not as complex as I would want it to be, but who knows...
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An idea that I would like to see would be a game where you have, let''s say 3-4 people on each side giving orders to the "grunts", and the grunts would be fighting the battles (kinda like c&c, but on a larger scale, and perhaps with a limited amount of raw materials to build vehicles and weapons of)

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