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View Poll Results: Are todays Games just Retro Games with a Facelift?
Yes, todays Games are just Retro Games with a Facelift. 15 83.33%
No, todays games are unique and have _really_ evolved from yesterdays games. 3 16.67%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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Old 30 January 2002, 00:06   #1
Miggy2TheMax
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Are todays Games just Retro Games with a Facelift?

Hi,

I dunno, each time I look at a game today I've seem it done before, where is the innovation gone in the gaming industry? Maybe I haven't looked hard enough but I'm wondering what people have to say about todays games and if they feel they are unique or mainly just copies of yesterdays games with better graphics...
Thanks.
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Old 30 January 2002, 00:36   #2
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More importantly, what was the last game you saw that was truly unique in design? Peter Molyneux has a tendency to start with a clean slate. But Lemmings is the last one I remember doing anything really new. Maybe I'm just forgetting something that came out since then, so that's just off the top of my head.

I like 2D games, 60's/70's sitcoms, old movies, old music...I am a retro man. Not because I live in the past, but because modern games, modern TV, modern films, and (a lot of) modern music is utter tosh!
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Old 30 January 2002, 01:03   #3
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I like 2D games, 60's/70's sitcoms, old movies, old music...I am a retro man. Not because I live in the past, but because modern games, modern TV, modern films, and (a lot of) modern music is utter tosh!
Yeah that the way I feel but maybe things would be different if we were younger. Maybe today's kids will miss modern games of our time in the future. But things were different in the past. Computer gaming was not a major industry as it is now. Today a game becomes too popular and you see tons of sequels and clones of it quickly. There was a game named "icarus" with the following sentence on the cover:

"Diablo fans willl love this game"

If I were a diablo fan I would play diablo instead of a cheap imitation but games are there to be consumed, not to be played now! Quantity overcomes quality. It's capitalism and no matter how we hate it, we live in it.
 
Old 30 January 2002, 01:49   #4
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That's a good point. The marketing and hype play a major part in games and their success (or lack of). I tend to hate sequels and lookalikes, but there is no doubt big money to be had in both. I guess I can't blame someone for wanting to get rich. But it tends to make for bad entertainment, IMHO.
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Old 30 January 2002, 01:53   #5
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It's nice to see innovation even in it's smallest form. And it does still exist somewhere. Just seems to be darn hard finding because the games don't get that much publicity and thus not many stores get them.

Games like Oddworld Abe's oddysee and Battle zone for the PC both showed some odd twist to the dime a bucket games. They had different gameplay than the other games. Though they might be built on gameplay already known it's combined uniquely making them somewhat interesting.

Problem is if you want truly innovative you'd get a problem. There are only a limited number of control devices present. The keyboard/joystick can be used to move an object either with rules such as gravity, or without rules such as shoot em ups. Both in 2D and 3D. The mouse presents a mouse pointer, but there's also limits to what you can do with that thing. Lemmings was about assigning attributes. The incredible machine was about placing stuff. Oxyd and (I think it could be played with that) Marble madness was funny ways to move stuff. Now you're almost back to square one again. To get a truly innovative thing you have to think of some control method hitherto not thought of. Without more control devices and with some consumers and many producers going with the tried and true method it won't be easy to spot a truly innovative game since noone'd be talking about them.
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Old 30 January 2002, 02:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin' Ghost
More importantly, what was the last game you saw that was truly unique in design? Peter Molyneux has a tendency to start with a clean slate. But Lemmings is the last one I remember doing anything really new. Maybe I'm just forgetting something that came out since then, so that's just off the top of my head.

I like 2D games, 60's/70's sitcoms, old movies, old music...I am a retro man. Not because I live in the past, but because modern games, modern TV, modern films, and (a lot of) modern music is utter tosh!
You're correct about Peter Molyneux, I've played the demo of Black & White and it's pretty much an updated Populous. But I do get a kick out of playing 'GOD'

As for retro in general, if it trips your trigger then go for it. I like old stuff and new. Probably the two things I despise the most is Country Music and Broccoli :laugh
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Old 30 January 2002, 05:29   #7
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Question

Abe's Oddysee unique??
Well the latest version for Xbox might end up that way....I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it,I bought Abe after renting it for PSX. But it does remind me of Flashback which was good fun on Amiga.
I guess the real "stand-out" games in recent years for me had to be the Resident Evil games-the concept isn't exactly new,(Take X object use here etc.),but the execution of it with the "survival horror" aspect finally brought the feel of an "interactive movie" type experience.
And I enjoyed Final Fantasy VII.Granted, ineeded the play guides & hidden secrets etc., but building up the materia etc. was good fun. Problem is with such a big game you don't want to ever go back again-too daunting!!
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Old 30 January 2002, 10:25   #8
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Quote:
Abe's Oddysee unique??
Well not really unique, but though it had a very nice flashbacky feel it still had some differences. For one you could divide much of the game into smaller "levels" which were each a kind of puzzle. In flashback everything except your enemies and that one VIP was static. Here you need the others to help you do stuff, and abe's exoddus you had to have many more to follow you.

As for Resident evil. That was a fairly nice game too though it resembled Alone in the dark a whole bit.
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Old 30 January 2002, 11:51   #9
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I agree with Drake about controlling stuff. Me too, I have some nice ideas for games, that would need news kinds of controllers devices (I even have then in mind)... if I only had the money and the power........
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Old 30 January 2002, 13:29   #10
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Until I finally had a way of making games with graphics (Bought click & play for the PC) I had plenty of ideas for games, but somehow when I got it I was out of ideas and all that ever emerged from it was some stupid stuff like a pac-man platformer and a stupid kind of game where you had to move a thing with your mouse and avoid objects which every 5 seconds set their course directly for you. Had it been a little more powerful and had it been chosing random positions to move towards it would have made a nice screensaver though.

But now that I finally have means to make something half decent I've lost all creative thought. Really a pity.
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Old 30 January 2002, 23:16   #11
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Roll eyes (sarcastic) Tsk Tsk

Put's thread where it belongs

That's better

Sorry for breaking the flow of the current discussion, but I feel that we have seen are last truely original game now

Every game will be the same from this day forward (With maybe the odd exception), all we have to look forward to is playing the same games, but with different control methods/twist's/flavours, but nothing completely new.

Innovation won't happen to the actual games, but to how we play them.

Just my thoughts, god I hope I'm wrong
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Old 30 January 2002, 23:46   #12
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We used to see more creativity because it was the era of the bedroom programmer. Anyone with an idea could make a game. That's how the great ideas came about.

Nowadays it's more of a 'business' to make a game, so more people are involved and there is less creativity. Companies need to sell the games and weird and wonderful ideas don't sell.

Also, it's the age of more realistic gaming. There is less chance for abstract ideas.

However, I don't think that this change is necessarily a bad thing. We see a lot of modern games which are wonderful to play - it's just that today's gaming experience is somewhat different from yesteryear.

I personally like playing through first person shoot-'em-ups (if someone doesn't like Deus Ex or Half-Life, then it's likely that they've never played it). I also like the greater immersion into game worlds, for example - fighting battles on planets in the Battlezone remake. And huge RPGs (Ultima) and strategy games (Age Of Empires 2) are superb.

The online gaming scene is also without equal. And stuff like Counterstrike and Team Fortess Classic are free to play.

With the Amiga we've seen the equivalent of the 1930s and 1940s era of movies (in some ways). There were a hell of a lot of great movies and innovation (and rubbish ones too, but that's the same in every year). But today's movies are different - there is little that is new. It doesn't mean that I still can't enjoy a new movie, though.
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Old 30 January 2002, 23:58   #13
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Looking thru what has been said, some good points have been raised.

Drake: True, I guess their could be more innovative controllers to interact with games. Ultimately while our computers have evolved rapidly we see that our controllers are the same, so I guess I can see the bottleneck there.

Burseg: Ahhh.. yes good old marketing.. just as long you can sell ice to to the eskymos it must be a good product. Yeah .. we can thank marketing for pushing crap products on the market .. but that is the world we live in..

I guess that is why retro gaming will always have a following as todays fancy graphics offer little entertainment value compared with great original playability.
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Old 31 January 2002, 01:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by CodyJarrett
We used to see more creativity because it was the era of the bedroom programmer. Anyone with an idea could make a game. That's how the great ideas came about.

Nowadays it's more of a 'business' to make a game, so more people are involved and there is less creativity. Companies need to sell the games and weird and wonderful ideas don't sell.

Also, it's the age of more realistic gaming. There is less chance for abstract ideas.

However, I don't think that this change is necessarily a bad thing. We see a lot of modern games which are wonderful to play - it's just that today's gaming experience is somewhat different from yesteryear.

I personally like playing through first person shoot-'em-ups (if someone doesn't like Deus Ex or Half-Life, then it's likely that they've never played it). I also like the greater immersion into game worlds, for example - fighting battles on planets in the Battlezone remake. And huge RPGs (Ultima) and strategy games (Age Of Empires 2) are superb.

The online gaming scene is also without equal. And stuff like Counterstrike and Team Fortess Classic are free to play.

With the Amiga we've seen the equivalent of the 1930s and 1940s era of movies (in some ways). There were a hell of a lot of great movies and innovation (and rubbish ones too, but that's the same in every year). But today's movies are different - there is little that is new. It doesn't mean that I still can't enjoy a new movie, though.


"realistic" gaming .. that is a classic .. look at the crap the EA produces .. anyway I guess it works for some gamers out there .. I do agree that some of the new games are great, but none the less they are just the same old "RTS / RPG / Strategy / Shootem up / 3D / Platformer" remade to look something new... which sadly most of the time does not work for me.


Ian: Why do I have a bad feeling you are right.
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Old 31 January 2002, 01:15   #15
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When I say that today is more about 'realistic' gaming I mean that people want to play games about controlling squads of soldiers or racing in F1 cars, rather than flying a spaceship against waves of enemies or bouncing round a multi-coloured platform world as it often was in the Amiga days.

To complain about modern games all being the same is to ignore two things:

1. Games need to sell and the suits will always pick something that's worked before over a new idea.

2. If you don't think that Amiga games were about copying ideas, then you haven't played enough Amiga games. If I had a dime for every identical Amiga shoot-'em-up or platform game, then I'd be rich!
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Old 31 January 2002, 01:38   #16
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Exactly cody! Realistic graphics kill the gameplay. Games we play are like interactive movies. They are not designed well but rather they seem to offer real life experiences to us. I saw Medal of Honor running a few days ago. It was like an interactive saving private ryan. then I attampted to play the game. It was boring like hell and the AI was stupid. PAC-MAN, on the other hand depends on a solid game design idea. The elements in it don't have real life references yet it works.
 
Old 31 January 2002, 01:47   #17
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I hope I didn't say Amiga games were purely original games. That would've been a big mistake.

I just thought of a good example of innovative gaming on the PC though. At least I can't recall ever having played anything like it.

It was a game called Quest for Fame (Not to be confused with Sierra's quest for glory). This game came with a simple piece of hardware to plug into your computer. The only thing it was supposed to do was register whenever you banged it against something.

The core object of the game was that you were some guy stuck in his bedroom playing your electric guitar and once in a while had a gig with a local band who practiced in a garage.

Except for clicking on songs and stuff all you had to do was keep a rythm to the songs played which could get pretty hard. It was fun to hear your weak little guitar (which sound could be customized) when you were off the beat and just thrashing random strokes.

Incredibly simple gameplay but dang addictive. I remember thinking how it would be fun to make a game thingie with somewhat the same game but with the ability to have you play after one of the channels in a MOD file or something like that. All you'd have to do was specify the channel, and then just keep up with when new samples were started.

If you wanted to take strange first person games into consideration I think you should consider Thief. Wow a first person game where you don't have to shoot everything in sight. At least not if you care to win the game. Better stay out of sight.

And how about Ultima underworld and System shock? At least UU was released before Doom offering total freedom of movement, something Doom didn't. An inventory to make use from (like games such as Arena and Deus ex) and spells to use. UU and SS were huge games with plenty of stuff packed into them. Sure there might not be that much dialog in them but there is some. I'm still sad I never got System shock CD edition to work properly. Would've been so nice to have voice logs.

And burseg. There are people who can't cope with creativity and want realism. Too bad for them. Take Alice for a run of the mill 3rd person like first person shoot em up game. That's far from realistic.
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Old 31 January 2002, 02:24   #18
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It's good you mentioned Thief! It's absolutely realistic yet it is also designed well in my opinion and these two rock when they come together. But my general attitude is skeptical against realism as you see for it's rarely used properly. :smileek <----I'm using this smiley at the first time in the history of eab.
 
Old 31 January 2002, 04:34   #19
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Cody: I cant argue with point 1.. but point 2.. Even though there were copies of games made in the retro days there was still a good supply of creative and innovate stuff to choose from unlike today.

btw, for "realistic" games to be considered fun their playability and AI will need to get a hell of a lot better..
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Old 01 February 2002, 18:22   #20
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Arrow Graphics revolution, gameplay evolution

Today's games are just Retro-games with a facelift? Basically any game (even an Amiga game) can be traced back to its bare bones in being it a Pacman, Space Invaders or any pre-1985 game.

I think the major point is that games don't progress anymore gameplay-wise. The last PC game I ever played was the mighty MDK1 in 1997. At least this game runned fine on my Pentium 90 -just.
Now I have my new supa-dupa PC I can finally play the latest games. Apart from improved graphics and sonics I cannot say the gamesindustry has progressed far in the past five years.
Here is my experience with some games I have played the past few days:
- New York Race: Pole Position revisited with floating cars;
- Voyager Elite Force: Quake in space;
- DS9 The fallen: Rick Dangerous 2 revisited;
- Clive Barker's Undying: Quake in a horror-mansion;
- Tomb Raider Chronicles: Rick Dangerous mutated into a busty woman.
Games which really grabbed me are American Mc Gee's Alice with its weird and wonderful ideas and Evil Twin (just bought it this morning for only 9 Euro . Both are platformgames and being a fan of this genre I really like them.

But generally I have to say that I am disappointed about the quality of games I have played. They all feature fantastic sonix and gorgeous eyecandy but gameplaywise they are not better than their far-related predecessors in the Eighties.
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