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## Next generation games

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### #41Hans  Members

Posted 07 February 2000 - 04:40 AM

True, Wings is better (that''s what I''ve played the most also.. OK the most after AUTS and my own game...) but V-wing had more orginal ideas.

-Hans

### #42minaya  Members

Posted 07 February 2000 - 05:14 AM

Just a thought.
It''s not only technology that allows a player to immerse him/herself into a game, it''s the story, the plot, the characters, the envioronment. You think the original three Star Wars (stretching it a bit with Jedi) would have been as succesful if it were only special effects, and no story (as cheesy as it might have been.) There are still very low-tech devices around giving people hours of enjoyment and inmersion, they''re called books.

Part of the future of gaming will include better (real?) writers working with designers. Hopefully...

### #43dog135  Members

Posted 07 February 2000 - 10:53 AM

True games need more plot, but graphics are good as well. You can add more to the game if the engine is capable of handling more. If all computers still used EGA screens would Q3 be as much fun? And isn''t it nicer seeing a new video then an older one because the image is crisper. That''s why people like CDs so much, the sound is nicer then tapes.

I think once we get faster computers and better programs, games will have voice synthesizers that sound human. Your computer could talk to you and give you info on new monsters/areas/whatever that you encounter. With better AI you could tell the computer how to rig objects together to do something else. That would be expecialy interesting in strategy games like turn based space battles. (ie:"set the torpedo to detinate after 500km with a wide spread" or "put torpedo in a portable status field set to deactivate when a ship approaches within 1km")

I still like the point A to point B games. But I like trying to find where point B is. I see this in TombRaider. Often you need to back track in order to do things in the right order. It''d be nice if there was a little more plot inserted into the game itself instead of between scenes or at the start and end of the game. I''m not to sure how you could to this however.

E:cb woof!

### #44Hans  Members

Posted 07 February 2000 - 09:32 PM

dog135: I think Q3A would be as enjoyable as it is now even with ega graphics. The action is that makes Quakes alive. And people use CD also because they''re cheaper than tapes and as easy to make/use.

Technology means nothing actually: I''m just playing Star Control 2 (with my pentium mmx) and because of it''s witty dialog and clever+dynamic plot, it is just as enjoyable as Half-Life.

Game makers design better engines because that''s what they can do and what they really like doing. Typical programmers really don''t care what kind of a plot game has, if the game can draw millon polys/sec with their new advanced technology that _they_ invented. That''s why every game group should have a talented organizer that thinks what the game is going to be, not just how fast his own code-line is or how good his own music piece sounds.

With a bunch of gfx, music and programming the game is going to be nothing. Just a clone: Doom. Arcanoid. Tetris. Command & Conquer.

-Hans

### #45dog135  Members

Posted 08 February 2000 - 05:44 AM

Where I live (Seattle, WA) CDs are more expensive then tapes. You can get a CD for about $12-$15 but a tape for $7-$10. But the CDs still sell better here. People like the high quality. People also buy expensive monitors because they have more colors, sharper picture, and bigger screen area.

That''s why so many people buy color TVs instead of just buying a cheap black & white TV. The story''s the same on both TVs but people like things to look nice. That''s also why high definition TVs are selling so well, nice picture.

Besides, if you were to play Q3 on an ega screen, you wouldn''t be able to tell the bad guys apart from the walls. Not enough colors. Not to mention, everything would be red instead of brown. Most people don''t like that.

As far as processors go, if you were to try to play a good game on an old 386, it''d be so choppy, you''d die before you saw the guy. And it''s not just the high res. graphics that do that. There''s also a lot of AI involved that needs the faster processor.

E:cb woof!

### #46Lubb  Members

Posted 08 February 2000 - 09:20 AM

The point that I am trying to make is that there are games that you could put on a 386, that would still be challenging. What the game actually is, where the challenge lies, has not much to do with amazing graphics or a multitude of online players. There''s a lot of board and table games that could be programmed on a 386. Board games that have been around for decades, centuries even- and have changes precious little in appearance, because the way the game looks actually is relevant to how the game is played. Many new 3-D, multiplayer games come out each year and wind up in the bagain bins six months later. What does it mean when the average time to complete a game takes ~2 years, but the game is considered outdated in 6 months? To me, it seems that the game was basically a trend, and had little to offer in the way of continuing challenge or interest. - Lubb

### #47dog135  Members

Posted 08 February 2000 - 01:58 PM

True, but what sells the game? When you go to the store and see a bunch of boxes on the shelf, what''s the first one you pick up? The one with the pretty pictures. Sure you could write the game to work on slower computers. I think they should at least have the option to switch to a faster, simpler engine, but they''ll always be trying to make their game the most visualy enticing.

I have that problem with TRIII, the engine they used generates realistic fire, swirls in the water when Lora walks through it, and even smoke out of her guns when she fires. Problem is, it slows down my 200Mhz computer. I do wish they had the option to use the same engine they had in TRII. It ran fine on my computer.

I think most game companies assume you are using a graphics accelerator card. I''m not into games enough to get one.

E:cb woof!

### #48Hans  Members

Posted 09 February 2000 - 10:21 PM

I didn''t mean that technology or cool gfx would be bad. I meant they aren''t necessary for any game. Some machine power is needed for 3d of course, but from q1 -> q3 I can''t see anything that has developed. CD''s are cheaper in computer media: try putting Baldur''s Gate (3 gigabytes) in disks (1.4 megs).

And yes, gfx and hype sell many poor and dumb games. But I thought we were talking about good games here, not about well selling games..

TR3 could have also been designed to run on 486/66 and people would''ve liked it as much as they do now. Playstation shows well how different games and ideas you can make with just the one machine that doesn''t get any faster. But Playstation games still get better and better.

-Hans

### #49dog135  Members

Posted 10 February 2000 - 04:13 AM

Actualy, we were talking about how 3D glasses would make a game funner to play. They''re not necesary to play the game, but it''s nice being able to see how far away a wall or enemy is. I have a Demo of the first TombRaider, and I like playing TRIII because it''s just nicer looking. Although I also like the story and levels better.

Anyways, back to the original topic, I think the area of games that could use the biggest boost would be the AI. I''ve never really seen any game that has really good AI.

E:cb woof!

### #50Lubb  Members

Posted 10 February 2000 - 08:47 AM

- What games have pretty good AI? I have heard Thief mentioned widely in this respect but I haven''t seen it myself. - Lubb

### #51dog135  Members

Posted 10 February 2000 - 11:47 AM

That''s my point. I thik that''s the future of Games, better AI. And there''s plenty of room for improvement.

A few years from now we''ll probably be talking about what AI engines are the best and what options you should use for what.

E:cb woof!

### #52guybrush  Members

Posted 10 February 2000 - 12:14 PM

the AI in thief is quite good, but what''s better is the environment...the ultimate game IMHO would be completely (well, near-completely) non-linear with a complex plot and environment, complete with VERY smart (NPCs).

in thief, the guards can see you if you''re not hidden well enough, hear you coming, and chase you. in return, you can hide from them (after outrunning them), block doors with chairs, barrels, and boxes, or pick them off one-by-one with your blackjack. all of these are the result of a good environment (=> engine).

BTW genovov, i''m interested in hearing more about your space sim (?) project; i''m also from Nova Scotia (currently in honours math/cs at Mount A in Sacville, NB).

aaron
-----------------------------
LeChuck! GRRRRRR.

### #53Moe  Members

Posted 10 February 2000 - 12:58 PM

I had an idea for a multiplayer game. there would be, say, 3 teams, and on each team there could be groups of people working together. One person could fly the helicopter and the other could shoot out of the side with a machine gun. Another person could drive a tank and the other control the turret. there could be communication between individual units, teams, or one of the three groups. the only problem i see with this idea is the usual lag, and fighting over who gets to shoot out of the helicopter.

(each team would have up to, say, 16 tanks/helicopters)

### #54Hans  Members

Posted 11 February 2000 - 05:07 AM

There is actually already a multiplayer game that lets you do that (3 persons in one tank for example): Infantry.
Try out at
http://www.infantryzone.com/

-Hans

Posted 11 February 2000 - 07:29 AM

Halo is another multiplayer coop game that''s incorporating multiperson vehicles. It has jeeps with machine guns, tanks, and helicopters, not to mention you can just run around in first person shooter style, and the transition is nothing more then jumping into a vacant vehicle and taking control of it. It''s a comercial game being developed by Bungie, and it has stunning graphics. It''s taking the multiplayer gaming of Q3 and UT to another level.

That''s the way games progress, in levels. Rarely we see games that take leaps and bounds in terms of innovation. They either take the next logical step, or do a great job of implementing an old idea that goes well beyond peoples expectations.

AI is improving. Half Life and Thief were good examples. The bots in Q3 and UT are good examples of blurring the distinction between players and NPCs, though they still have their flaws. I''d personally like to see a blend of Half Life, Thief, and UT AI in a realistic manner. Think of a futuristic base in which all of the computer controlled people had daily schedules, personal goals, and character traits. Guard shifts are changed in a realistic manner (perhaps providing a weak moment for an invasion strike, or stealthy intrusion) The AI people respond to you in a realistic manner based on your outward appearance and actions. Thump a guard over the head, take his uniform and ID, and go out acting like a guard, and most everyone will ignore you. Try to get into the science lab in that guard uniform, and the scientists will become suspicious, ask to see ID, and notice the ID is not yours, calling out for the other (real) guards. The NPCs should have friends and enemies amoung themselves too. Try passing yourself off as somebody you aren''t with the proper forged documents to that guard that doesn''t personally know the person you are impersonating, and you have a good chance of succeeding, but if that guard personally knows the person you''re trying to pass yourself off as, he''ll know immediately there is foul play at hand.

Basically the areas that AI can really expand on are providing NPCs with real personality and depth of existence, provide them with a memory and reactions or actions based on that memory (One of the problems with UT is that the bots don''t seem to learn from their mistakes. In assualt, you can find bottlenecks to pick off the invaders one by one, and this can go on until the time limit is up without them showing any sign of realizing they''re just walking into a slaughter EVERY time. It''s things like this that truly ruin the immersive feeling.), and cooperation between AI characters that is realistic and believable.

### #56Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*  Guests

Posted 15 February 2000 - 06:53 AM

I like theRaskell''s learning "AI" bots idea. With a certain amount of preknowledge or built in AI, one could turn the bots lose on each other for a number of rounds of a particular map and perhaps come out with a killer bot. But it all depends upon what AI criteria and their weights you choose. Example, health. When the bots health gets below a certain threshold, it should go get the nearest health. Simple? But, the way I play Q3, I''ll go "toe to toe" with someone and take the health hits until I frag ''em even though my health drops real low during the engagement. Threshold be dammed! With real learning AI, the bots choice, if he were me, would be to press the attack or retreat and find health. As his health goes down, the probabilty of him choosing retreat goes up and conversely, as his "victim"''s health decreases, the odds favor attack. How these weights are figured is the secret to AI.

As for my thoughts on next gen games I see a couple of areas that you guys haven''t discussed as much.

a) Physics. This also includes better "hit" zoning on shooters. See Soldier of Fortune Demo for a good attempt that this. (AI kinda sucks in this game thou). I''d also like to see more realism in FPS with respect to health, ammo, etc. i.e. You get tired in real life when you run and jump, therefore, you slow down and eventually you have to rest. Person slows down with too much inventory. Ability to drop and retrieve ammo anywhere. Put that in a game why don''t you?
b) I/O. Input/Output. Don''t we have enough CPU power yet so I can wear a true VR helmet? It''ll be here someday. How about more and better positional input devices. i.e. Tilt or move your head side to side instead of moving a mouse. I don''t know about "OdorRama" as written in previous thread. Smells kinda funny I''d prefer a "force feedback" jump suit or vest. Meaning an outfit that had multiple "miniactivators" so when I''m hit in a FPS, I know where I''m hit and from which direction. Technology for it is almost off-the-self, someone has to think about it and built it. Got any venture capitalists out there wanna invest?

### #57Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*  Guests

Posted 15 February 2000 - 07:39 AM

To add my two cents. I think closer visual reality is gonna be one of the defining features of "next-generation" games. But I think cooperative gameplay, free movement, AI and persistent evolving worlds are where the real advancement will be made. Imagine playing a game where players can link together to form Superstrucures like Voltron, or a space game where your friends can control the turrents or robotic satellites that defnd your ship while you pilot.
Free movement is a little far-fetched, but the idea is that the player is capable of controlling every aspect of the players body movement; essentially allowing the player to make new moves beyond the canned moves that are included in the game. This has been done before, but I never played the game(Die by the Sword). A martial arts game where you build your own techniques (no, not like fightermaker)?

Also, it would be great to see realistic AI in a game. I don''t mean challenging AI. I mean realistic, not necessariy smart. I find it annoying that almost all games operate in extremely impossible to beat mode or incredibly easy to defeat mode. In the future, I believe it will be(mostly) impossible to distinguish NPCs from human players. And Im not sure that the current science is geared toward this goal. I''ve been studying neural networks lately and I think that they ultimately are incapable of modelling human thought, primarily because of the lack of instinctual, and emotional factors in the established models. At any rate, this is an area to improve upon.
I know with UO and games like it out there the idea of a persistent evolving world seems slightly dated, but hear me out. I think the next step is to have the NPCs and the game engine itself create the world by following the storyline, and by reacting to events in the game. Also, the world/game could be built upon and evolve a cultral life of its won if the NPCs assimilated human players'' behavior and speech patterns or even remembered their techniques and strategies, keeping the best of what they learn and discarding the rest.
Isn''t this what we do?

### #58dog135  Members

Posted 16 February 2000 - 09:27 AM

Ok, I found a game Hans would like. Here''s the link:

http://webpages.mr.net/bobz/ttyquake/

For those of you who don''t feel like following the link, it''s a text mode quake. For those of you who don''t think graphics are important to a game.

E:cb woof!

### #59dog135  Members

Posted 16 February 2000 - 09:40 AM

What do you think about different types of engines? Who would like to play a game where the characters were cartoon characters? I would, but then again, I''m a cartoon freak.

E:cb woof!