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hpotter2

Modern games and plot

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I have a big grudge with most modern games - the plot. I don''t like the idea of a cut scene, shoot all the enemies, a cut scene, and so on. I would much rather games had their plots advanced by the actual gameplay. There are some exceptions to this - half-life as an example. I know it''s hard to implement this, but couldn''t more developers do it?

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Developers it seems mimic the kinds of games they are used to. Part of it I suppose is to hop on the band wagon and sell games that meet the current hot demographic. Certain cutting edge games with a unique approach may do well if they are lucky (Battlezone was a great game in my opinion, but it didn't sell well. Battlezone 2 didn't do too well either, but the community attached to it is devoted)

Companies are much less likely to try out new ideas. It would be nice to think that game companies put their designers in a think tank to come up with new concepts and try them out to see how well they are received. But from the sampling of games that comes out lately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of experiementing going on. Company A makes a game like Company B's because theirs sold well and the paradigm is popular right now.

I tend to think the games of old like those on the Nintendo 16 and 32-bit systems had more ingenuity and variety to them than the 3D systems of today. It's almost like moving to 3D made the concept of playing the game too complicated so they reduced the complexity of the game and turned it into a do-the-same-thing-over-and-over kind of design.

And that's my take for today. Tomorrow, it could be different

EDIT: I guess I could address your point. There are design challenges behind storylines driven by action. Non-linear storylines require a lot of design work that may never be seen in the game (maybe only 20% of what was designed may actually be seen by the player). It really depends on the kind of game, too. Mission-based games might not be so bad, where what you do in one mission alters the next mission in some way.


[edited by - Waverider on June 1, 2002 10:48:43 PM]

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Not even the collective decision making of thousands of players can generate interesting storylines in a non-linear environment (...beyond the barbaric) - take a look at MMORPGs.

If you want a game to be something that you enter into as a way of organizing your thoughts around a positive purpose, program day to day organizational software and apply it to self-distribution of the product or search for a religion that prevents you from thinking of it as religion.

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quote:
Original post by Waverider
I tend to think the games of old like those on the Nintendo 16 and 32-bit systems had more ingenuity and variety to them than the 3D systems of today. It''s almost like moving to 3D made the concept of playing the game too complicated so they reduced the complexity of the game and turned it into a do-the-same-thing-over-and-over kind of design.



I disagree. When i look back at nes etc. etc. etc i see only platformers. Good platformers and bad platformers. Still they''re all just platformers... Especially ninja-based platformers. We can say that the games available where 90% platformers and 10% "others".

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Only the first games (if /or VERY good ones) of a "FPS generation
will be remembered...

The average stuff will be forgotten soon

So when ppl think of old games ,they OFTEN think of classics.
Or nostalgia has its effects :D

Don''t think the companies can afford making expensive games that won''t sell good. Its about their jobs?

Luckily there will always come REALLY great games... like HL
Don''t think this will change

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Disclaimer: I am speaking in terms of roles within a company, not individuals who may be responsible for multiple roles. This is also just my opinion and understanding of roles and does not reflect the opinions of anyone else.*S*

Developers take a design and code to that design. They don''t care about the plot or pacing, they just care about getting the application or in this case, game, to work as the spec details.

Writers are the ones who create/write the plot. With the writing complete, the designer/Architect would look at it and say, "Why do we do a cut scene here, then get back into gameplay." And yes, a developer may throw in thier 2 cents, but ultimately, the developers will code what the spec says.

Just my two cents.

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What i mean is this:
Why have the gameplay driven by story(cut-scenes) when you can have the gameplay drive the gameplay?
ie: Half-Life had no cut-scenes.

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Half-Life was great, but you are limited to a fairly simplistic plot I think. Half-Life did not have a deep story line with interesting characters. But I do believe in using scripted sequenses over cut-scene when ever it won''t suck.

As for the lack of plot: from a financial standpoint, why hire a experienced writer when you can use the money to get a another programer to work on the graphics engine. No one cares if you write "Intruiging plot" as one of the features but people do care if you bombard them with incredible screenshots. Im not trying to be judgmental of the evil developers. We all gotta eat.

Also I think it is partly the fault of the game publications. While there are some intellegent movie reviews/previews the game magazines and web sites also tend to concentrate on the graphics. So developers will not put large recources towards stories until the those games start selling consistantley.

Please don''t take this as whining. I am not part of the group that hates all modern games because they are [insert random adgative here]. Remeber, gaming is young. Music was once beating on rocks and screaming, painting was one wiping berry juice on a rock wall to potray crude stick figures, and movies were once a bunch of corny acting bad special effects zero plot at all.

Anyway, speaking of Half-Life. I am curious as to what you peoples'' opinions are of the story telling technuiqe of HL. Gordon Freemon was only an empty shell for the player to control. He didn''t speak, he had no personality, and you never saw him. Is that better than a character with an observable personality? Personaly I think the strength of HL was that the place seemed very alive. Not just static cooridors like previous FPS. Anything could happen. You would run accros marines battling aliens, or scientists getting eaten.

PHRICTION

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