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Gaming Critical Hit: Why Don't We Reuse Game Worlds?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 14 Jul 2011.

  1. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Street of Sim City also let you drive around in it with battle ready cars. There was a box set that included Sim City 2000 and both games. Might need to go reinstall those...
     
  2. stoff3r

    stoff3r New Member

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    There is a Zombiemod for GTA IV. I'm not sure if it's out yet. But there seems to be multiplayer etc. Just youtube it..

    Great article btw, we have had these thoughts many times, playing with what game mecanics we want from other games into gta or other openworldy games.
     
  3. rogerrabbits

    rogerrabbits New Member

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    Bit of a noob article tbh. The worlds themselves are not that big of a deal to make. What is difficult and time consuming, is creating the development tools to create these worlds. You can't buy this stuff off the shelf, besides a couple of little middleware things like speedtree etc. The companies make very complex world creation tools that work within a specified framework and uphold certain rules. Once that is made, the world and level designers can then go to town just slapping down assets that the art department has made and all follows the guidelines set out by designers.

    If anything, it's these development tools which are most important to be re-used, but they already are. The tools they used to make GTA4 will be modified versions of what they used to create GTA3. These tools alone can cost millions to make, and they become like the crown jewels of that particular company. Whether it's Rockstar's 3ps / driving world creation tools, or it's gamebyro or the Two Worlds engine or whatever, these development tools are held close to the chest as they are the key to making new games quickly and easily. The development of the tools is more significant than the development of games themselves, so selling your precious tools to competitors? Not likely! Why give your competitors an enormous helping hand when you can just sit back and mass produce yourself a whole new game every couple of years using your swanky set of tools.

    The exception is with things like gamebyro, cryengine and ue3 where they have purposely made these tools as cheaply as possible and to be very general purpose, and they make a couple of crappy half arsed games out of it (sometimes just to showcase the engine), but make the majority of their money by (hopefully) selling on the engines to other companies. When you see games like Gears of War etc.. using the UE3 engine, this is exactly what is already happening. In other words, nobody is interested in making a new game out of Vice City, but getting their engine would allow them to make a whole new game of their own, far easier, quicker, and cheaper. But that's after the cost of the engine.

    Every time a game development house decides to make a new game, they will have to make an important decision on whether to buy in an engine, often that is very expensive and yet starting to look a bit dated and has lots of annoying quirks and limitations that you will have to deal with, or whether you just make your own engine. The latter being very expensive too, but at least it will then be brand new, cutting edge, custom built to your specification, and you can then use it over and over to make lots of new games.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2011
  4. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    but each Elder Scrolls' new world is a new world, newly done on the new engine. there are no actual world re-use as far as i can tell.

    i think people here are confusing technical world re-use and universe re-use? i thought we are talking about former, stuff like texture, models and scenes.
     
  5. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    You run from room to room, I wouldn't call that "The same world":D
     
  6. NetSphere

    NetSphere New Member

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    Are we talking about game world or game setting?

    I understand game world to be a bit like the STALKER Series, where many of the areas are very similar between the different games. You have a corridor, you reuse it between games, changing it slightly between games. Notable, Spiderman Web of Shadows Manhattan Island and the same used in Prototype?

    I understand game setting to be the world in which the game is set. For example, Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale all fall under 'Forgotten realms', which in turn falls under 'Dungeons & Dragons'. Star Wars setting. Mass effect Setting. Elder Scrolls. Almost any game series.

    Using the definitions above, for me, reuse of game world = fail. Reuse of game setting = higher chance of win.
     
  7. springbok82

    springbok82 New Member

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    This is gonna make me play GTA IV again! Good article.
     
  8. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    It's the same spirit, why develop a whole new background and setup a whole new world when you can just say it's in a neighboring country? Your lore is already taken care of and most of your visual themes are already setup, it's just a matter of making some new stuff to match.

    Strictly using the same textures and models is rarely feasible with graphical advances, wait a couple years and even two games from the same developer on the same engine will look different. Work will have to be done updating making the textures higher resolution and updating the geometry of the models, it ends up being more or less just as hard as creating all new textures and models. Take something like the Strike at Karkand map from BF2 being added to BF3, the striking graphical advances and engine differences such as the Destruction 3.0 system mean that everything will have to be remade, the only thing that gets carried over without any effort is the layout and look of the map. At that point you've put in just as much work as, say, Bethesda when making Oblivion, previous games outline what world is going to be like and all that's left is to make it.
     
  9. pendragon

    pendragon I pickle they

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    ^^^THIS. I'd love the idea personally, but I think jouranlists et al wouldn't stand for it, and that's a shame.
     
  10. wuyanxu

    wuyanxu still wants Homeworld 3

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    reusing map layout or the art style is fine, i don't see anything wrong with that. in fact, if it's set in the same universe or series, i'd expect it to have the same feel as previous games.

    but re-using the exact same world (like re-using the same film set for other films, just from different angle) should not be accepted in most games, especially linear shooters, like Halo 1, every map gets walked through twice.

    having said that, GTA 4 did a fantastic job of reusing the world. i remember in one of Gay Tony mission. i had to intercept the diamond from the museum, used exact same scene as main game. but the story was lead so well, it felt like a completely different experience. That's how to re-use game world (as in game models, textures, animations) anything else should not be tolerated.
     
  11. NeilJM

    NeilJM New Member

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    Going back to Gothic 1 lands in Gothic 2. I loved it. Didn't feel cheap or reused, felt "oh wow, that's a great idea and gives me more area to run around in." So maybe it's not about re-using worlds, but if you're making a new game in a new world but in the same engine as its predecessor, why not keep the last one around too and work in a few quests/maps/missions?
     
  12. tad2008

    tad2008 New Member

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    One pet grieve I have with games at the moment is the static environment, cities and towns which remain the same and do not grow or evolve, limited and repetitive dialogue.

    The developers of Guildwars 2 are at least doing something about this as they create the next iteration and being able to go back to old familiar places and see the changes that have gone on since the original Guildwars as well as being able to explore new places afresh.

    People who come to really enjoy a game tent to build their own nostalgia for people and places and have those things continue to grow and further enhance the game as a whole can only be good for everyone in the long term.
     
  13. thehippoz

    thehippoz New Member

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    yeah can't wait for guildwars 2.. sad thing is I know all about the lore in guildwars 1 and where the dragons are buried, ect.. the second one looks like some of those structures will be underwater

    should be fun
     
  14. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    meh, as mentioned art asset creation is usually not the most expensive or hardest thing. I liked just cause 2, but most of the towns where copy pastas and a lot of the assets were reused. I'm willing to be a lot of it was procedurally generated. I think it's nice to have multiple games in the same universe (until it gets repetitive or boring) but I think most people prefer more new stuff.
     
  15. jake9891

    jake9891 Loves Internet Shopping

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    I would say re-use the game worlds but make small changes to them, so it doesn't feel entirely like playing the same game again.
     
  16. anotherusername

    anotherusername New Member

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    I don't think anyone has mentioned Dragon Age 2 yet. That surely should be held up as the example of how not to do it (if it was that bad re-using same areas in same game, just think how cheated you'd feel if they were re-used in a different game). Before I played it I thought the returning to areas at different times in life thing could work quite well, and I guess if were done better it could still work. There is a problem when dungeons are so similar you could swear you've been there before (which of course you've had, it just has a different name), or many years have apparently passed but there is still everything in exactly the same place as when you last saw it.

    Using the same general game setting/world/lore etc is fine - but re-using same locations, even towns/cities would be pretty hard to do well.
     
  17. AkIRA_22

    AkIRA_22 New Member

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    I read the title and instantly agreed at how wasteful games are. if they measured the carbon footprint it would be enormous. i think it would be ok to overtly reuse whole worlds. however i know for a devs do reuse game content , lots of it (Assassins Creed: Brotherhood) . there might be some that would disagree but they are consumers who do not understand just how much time and effort goes into creating a brand new game.
     
  18. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Grand Theft Auto did a brilliant number on re-using game worlds with Vice City and Liberty City Stories. The games were fully featured and had a cohesive story, the only difference was that you revsisted the world in the future (or in the past).

    The Expansion packs for GTA IV does the same thing with quite a great fanfare.
     
  19. 1st time modder

    1st time modder New Member

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    it shouldn't just involve just copying and pasting, rather a new iteration could be created using parts of the existing world, be it bitmaps, particle generation, models, or physical principals.
     
  20. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    Most games based on the same engine usually re-use resources.

    Crysis did it.
     
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