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Gaming Why Aren't Games Better?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 17 May 2010.

  1. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    I almost feel like I had a comment aimed at me, about stepping back from technology to storytelling...

    As a designer (wow, I've become legitimate) I chose to go with 16-bit for a few reasons, one was of course ease of production-if I can easily work in the tools, the tools aren't a hindrance to storytelling. Another was the fact that I could control things such as art assets, which are growing ever more wild with each game published. But, I didn't want a person to look and say, "ooh, shiny!"-I want them to look at it and say this is a story in a graphic medium. A story they get involved in, that they want to invest time in. I would rather spend my effort and time creating characters that you give a rip about than making them pretty.

    Technology is my friend in the Core i7 that I use to make the game. I like it in my shoes, or my knee brace, but I can see where we could stand to gain a lot from a 16-bit renaissance.
     
  2. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound New Member

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    Relevant to this discussion: the leading article in the NY Times's Arts section is a review of Red Dead Redemption. It's a great review, which takes its time to highlight the game's cultural relevance. A treatment like that is perhaps a step in the right direction.

    http://www.nytimes.com/pages/arts/index.html
     
  3. kornedbeefy

    kornedbeefy New Member

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    Two much more of the same (sequels). Devs seem to be in a rutt an bring nothing new to the table Not enough thinking out of the box. To many game based on this world when they can create any world they want. Last but not least to much catering or locked down to a gamepad for consoles these days and not the multitude of options a PC provides whether mouse, keyboard, joystick, etc offer.

    I play games to experience something different whether fantasy, historical, futuristic. I'm not interesed in another modern war, driving or sports game......unless its truely an AAA title and not because the sheep gamers think it is.
     
  4. sotu1

    sotu1 Ex-Modder

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    Are people reading too much into this and forgetting the fact that some of us plain like to f* s* up? ;)

    Sorry, silly comment :)
     
  5. technogiant

    technogiant New Member

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    You could also apply your argument about consoles to game engines, take the source engine for example, it has been around for along while and is still being used, although it is tweaked and improved it is not going to produce technology "WOOOW'S" anymore but neither has it produced any games that are culturally significant in the way the article is searching for even though it has had plenty of time to mature and for designers to be familiar with it.

    Games just have to be more interactive and deeper. Also I think that removing the player from the central role and driving the story would be better. I mean as most games are player driven and everything just stops if you remain exploring an area until you hit the next trigger point.
    How much better would it be if you take a world war 2 scenario for instance, imagine that you weren't a one man (or squad) army winning the war for the allies but infact were on the side lines, say in the role of a resistance fighter, the war could continue around you but not in a scripted fashion but rather the allies and axis fighting against each other would both be AI controlled in a manner similar to a stratergy game, you however could interact with this in a similar manner to a action/ adventure first person shooter gathering information rescources and alliegences and participatiing in and organsing counter attacks and disruptive actions all of which would impact on the AI controlled war between the allies and axis as it would also impact on you. Of course this would require a far greater amount of interactivity than we see in current games, but how much more fullfilling would that be?
     
  6. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound New Member

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    Are you saying that games would receive wider cultural appreciation if developers dared to be more original with their environments and means of control - that is, providing people with an experience far beyond anything they've imagined based on their experience with film? Or have you just read the headline and responded without reading the article?
     
  7. wafflesomd

    wafflesomd New Member

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    When I first played Deus Ex myself in 2006, only then did I understand how crappy games are today.
     
  8. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    The best part is that the engine has just been updated to support DirectX 11 and Eyefinity = ANOTHER REASON TO REPLAY!
     
  9. technogiant

    technogiant New Member

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    Sorry to quote myself but I just remembered something that explained more clearly what I was talking about.....they are in the process of doing this with EVE online mmo and Dust 514....Dust 514 is going to be FPS style game that directly interacts with the worlds created by EVE online...the dust soldiers carring out missions on planets of the EVE universe both on their own volition and at the behest of EVE online players...the outcome of which will directly affect the EVE universe.....sounds friggin awesome.
     
  10. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    What, of Deus Ex? Where? How?
     
  11. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    I haven't played your game (with a big fat "yet!" :D) but your posts seems to be spot on for my own thoughts. If a game can manage to tie in a great story with cutting edge graphics then sure, let it (Crysis?) but try to remember what the priority is! If graphics are to be the main goal then lets all go play Render Masters 3: Return of the Photorealistic :duh:

    But your mention of a 16-bit renaissance also got me wondering about the actual gameplay mechanics of newer games and if they will ever really be helped. Thinking about older 16-bit games... some of them were pretty dire from a gameplay perspective. Look at the Final Fantasy franchise, they've hardly gone anywhere even if people love their games to bits (myself included). Over the course of 12 games (not counting FFXI) they're still quite similar, especially the first 9 (Add active time battle and some new jobs, maybe a little materia). The stories have been radically different and critically acclaimed, along with the games being visually on par with current technology, so at what point do we expect more from the game in terms of the game itself, the actual stuff you do?
     
  12. Saivert

    Saivert Member

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    I disagree. Games is an art form, and it already has cultural importance. Sure it doesn't affect every single person on this planet. but so what? those who care about gaming feel that is is part of their culture and reference it all the time. How about all the memes, and fanmade stuff that revolves around gaming. Just the same as with movies, music, etc.

    There is no way you can't say it has a cultural importance.

    Funny that Half-Life was not mentioned here because it was in fact ground breaking with putting the gamer first and keeping he/she immersed in a world without ever breaking the 4th wall. Half-Life 2 took this further with more believable characters. But I do see that is just mimicking what movies can already do with real actors. Also there are different types of games. The old platform games of the 8-bit/16-bit era wasn't immersive the slightest but they did convey a story sometimes too if not for just providing the fun factor which games in fact is all about. I'm all for gritty games with darker or more adult themes but they are a source of entertainment nonetheless. Sometimes you seek different emotions than joy and you might get more out of a sad story depending on the mood you are in.
    There is just too much psychological here to even cover it all.
     
  13. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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  14. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    M'eh. There were loads of games that stuck to a silent, first person perspective before Half-Life. HL just did it really well and combined it with a really bloody great shooter too. The second game was a damn good game too and had a lot of expectation around it which helped take it to a new audience, but by the time the second game was 1/4 of the way through the silence was already strained.
    ASK A DAMN QUESTION, GORDON!

    Don't get me wrong, HL and HL2 are both great games. I love them. It's just that there's an awful lot of people out there ready to follow suit and say "Yeah, they have the best storytelling" without ever realising that the story is actually impossible to follow without extra-curricular reading.

    For example, I challenge anyone who has only played HL1 (and expansions, if you want) and HL2 (but without reading forums and interviews) to explain why the Vortigaunts are suddenly on your side in HL2.

    It's a critical part of the story and it's never actually explained properly within the story unless you run through every single line of dialogue or read around the topic. I knew a games journalist once who had played every HL game and had then come away thinking TF2 was an official part of the storyline like Portal, though that the G-Man was the same person as Breen, thought that the combine bosses were the same as the Nihilanth, Barney was Gordon's brother and that Mossman was Alyx's mother. The mind boggles.
     
  15. s3v3n

    s3v3n MMO Cold Turkey -fail

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    Are you comparing the feeling you get playing current games to your feeling back when you were 8 playing the "old" games? I've tried playing some of the old games that I loved. For the most part, they suck.
    Sonic, Mario Bros, Ninja Gaiden? It would keep me and my friends playing for hours when we were little. Now? Well, if you value those memories, don't replay them.
    Games are better IMO. I've given my NES and SNES to one of my friends 7yr old and he thinks it's awesome. Breezing through Mario 2 with him was actually pretty fun because he finds everything I know about games to be new. We've merely lost our inner child. All the repeating elements in games we've played a thousand time over. A simple cartoon plumber jumping on turtles no longer entertain us.
     
  16. Farting Bob

    Farting Bob New Member

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    Films work well because they have to make every scene count in a few hours runtime, they can control what you see, what happens. Every minute of a great film is focused, and everyone sees the same thing, so we get a shared experience, which is something you can have again and again with different people, discuss and analyze. Repeat viewings can enhance your opinion of particular scenes.
    In games you get the occasional scripted scenes (like in COD), but everyone will has a slightly different experience in general gameplay, and every time you do the same level it will be slightly different. Its much more in the moment wheras films are timeless once they are made.
     
  17. Nature

    Nature Member

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    My nephew was angry at me for not letting him play Halo 3. I told him he could when he's older because it's too violent for a 9 year old. Then he said to me: "but people just don't enjoy things as much when they're older!".

    Wow. How true weather it's sex, food, or your hobbies he hit the nail on the head.

    Quote:

    "Immediately that distinguishes games from most other forms of culture; films, fine art, music, all of these generally aim for emotional impact first, fun later."

    This is a very interesting point. because like in music, movies, and art there are diferent genres and directors, actors, writers, artists, musicians, and so many other people envolved like the familys of these people. They are all expressing they're inner talent and creation from all the back grounds in all the cultures. Weather it's Schindlers List, Farewell my concubine, Das leben der anderen, the band's visit, Edvard munch or piccasso.

    Now, think about the best games out there and why most all of them are violent and bloody. Or why sci-fi, action, and rpg dominate. Is it because most people creating the games are technically proficient and favor these genres- or the public. What do old school super mario, sonic, tetris, or new school- world of goo, wii sports, and little big planet have in common?
     
  18. Cool_CR

    Cool_CR New Member

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    Honestly why would they give a count down of top 100 games its even more subjective than films. I liked ME more than ME2 still like VMTB more than DA:O even worse my fave game of the past is not Deus Ex its Star Craft they would have to go by a sales list or money made and we all know where that leads WoW and the SIMS sigh the less said the better.
     
  19. Joeymac

    Joeymac New Member

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    The reason why film was a fun gimmick for a few decades was because technology restricted innovation. Film could only capture so much light, so you had to film in very specific places in bright daylight. Also the frame-rate wasn't consistent so people looked funny, there was no sound so you had to cut in written text. The cameras were too large to move around etc etc. Things didn't change, and it didn't become art for a while, because those who foresaw an opportunity to create something, didn't have the money to invest in the tech. It had nothing to do with "merits" of the media in an artistic sense. People had ideas about how to create a "narrative" by cutting and doing special effects from day 1, it was the tech and cost that held them back.

    So to suggest the technology needs to be held back in order to some how make games into art is ludicrous. Over 100 years later, the advancement of film as a artistic media is still happening. The 5DMKII is still way too expensive for the man on the street to have a play with it but that has only just brought high quality lens technology (needed for depth of field effects which makes a film look like a film) to film makers on super low budgets. For film it wasn't a switch was flipped which made it art, it was a gradual climb.

    The reason why films can make an emotional impact is because you believe there is something at stake, you empathise with the character's journey. To instil empathy into a computer game it has to feel real. Game designers have to do two things to achieve this.

    The first is the visuals, physics and game design. They need to stop creating little cages where you can explore. All these do is remind you you are in a game. You have to be able to go anywhere, break down any door, kill anything you see, destroy any building or object and so on. Then there is something at stake. If you go crazy and shoot up a store in the middle of the afternoon, in a city with a living, intelligent, structured set of inhabitants, it's game over, you are thrown in jail and your entire character and everything you've earned is toast. Just like it would be in a film. That means no extra lives, no respawns, one life, and you have to look after it. Infinite lives and regenerating health remove all emotional investment entirely. I cared more about keeping lara croft alive in Tomb Raider 1 than any subsequent game of that series. It was hard to get her around half the level and not kill her. It built real tension. Note the main-stream recognition that game had...

    The second thing they have to do is improve acting and voice work. Heavy Rain is sighted as an example in the article. I played that and it has terrible acting, atrocious voice work, it's characters are extremely dull and twitch/move like they have serious mental defects.. If Heavy Rain was a film, would that get a pass? Hell no. Uwe Boll has better acting in his films. They need to get some people in there and not just record there voices, the actors need to be there working with animators on developing every movement, linking actions and moulding the entire performance. That's their job.

    Games have so far to go on a technical level it boggles the mind. Once there's sufficient room and ease of access for a Charlie Chaplin or W.C. Fields to come in and start something new, then we will see some amazing things. As it stands today, building a game requires an entire different art to be learned first, the coding. Chaplin and Fields were both stage vaudeville performers, not chemists or optical glass craftsman. They knew what he wanted to see, but it took the technology to catch up before he could use it easily.

    Maybe the first step would be for game companies to hire actors and directors from the film world to making complete games. Then they use the technical employee's, like CG artists are used on films, as they would be anywhere else. You want to make games into art, hirer some art students types and get some workshops into places like this...... http://www.csm.arts.ac.uk/courses/37585.htm I don't see computer games in there!
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2010
  20. mrbens

    mrbens New Member

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    Yeah, we all know gaming isn't very well represented on TV. GameFace on Bravo isn't bad tho.
     

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