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Old 28 May 2003, 01:05   #1
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Game originality

www.slashdot.com has an article about game originality that is amusing.

http://games.slashdot.org/games/03/0...id=127&tid=186
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Old 28 May 2003, 02:17   #2
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Hi,

I dont think there is much originality in games these days. Game developers focus too much on Graphics. In the 'old 8bit days' programmers were very limited with what they could do with graphics. They spent most of the time working on gameplay.

Now its all about 3D graphics and surround sound Which also means you have to fork out for the likes of fancy speakers etc to really appreciate the game.

Maybe programmers are running out of ideas so now they are just going to focus on the current 3D 'engines' - adding more attention to detail etc etc.

To be honest - I've lost interest in games generally as they all seem too samey to me. I'm easily pleased! Tetris with its simple graphics keeps me occupied for hours on end.
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Old 28 May 2003, 20:17   #3
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I still believe games will come 'full circle' eventually.
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Old 28 May 2003, 21:15   #4
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I dont think so. The systems are too complex, and the games need too much work for small time developers.

The only systems that have old school type games are the handhelds because of the processing power, graphics and sound they have to work with. Thats also why you see direct ports of old games on those systems like GBA.
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Old 29 May 2003, 00:54   #5
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When I say full circle, I mean that more and more gamers will get fed up with cookie cutter games and stop buying the crap. I think when sales figures start to fall, even the suits will realise that drastic measures will be required to return gaming back to what made it successful in the first place. I dont think the technology will stop or go back but I think gameplay will one day become king again. Just my opinion.
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Old 29 May 2003, 02:02   #6
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Actually, that's what happened during the first video game crash. And the general public only returned when they were given something fresh and new. All of those Atari, Intellivision and Coleco carts (mostly US technology) tanked in one big crash, but the genre reinvented itself with non-US technology (the NES). With any kind of luck, history will repeat itself. After all, the flood of games on the market back then became just as bland as today's PC games because they became mere "products".
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Old 29 May 2003, 02:23   #7
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Well the music suits haven't been able to tell that the dropping sales of their cookie cutter music isn't because of lack of interest but instead they label it off as piracy. A good bit of it might be piracy but I'd say an equal good bit of the missing numbers between their estimates and the actual sales is done by lack of interest, or people prioritising to buy something other than cds with an ever rising price tag.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the game suits will follow suit and blame it all on piracy and not learn a thing from the signals the consumer market sends.

I'm still considering getting a PS2 or GC mainly because those 2 systems have the greatest support from asian game creators. For some reason for a long time that area has produced a lot of more or less innovative games. Games which at least don't conform to the traditional standards of the time. Chu chu rocket is an example of a game for the DreamCast back then. There were definately not many games like that around at that time. Monkey ball should be a quite entertaining game as well, and I heard good things about Kula world for the PSX.

If there was one console I wouldn't want it would be the X-box, and that's not solely because it's an MS product, but more because as far as I can tell all the games for the X-box are too much like the games for the PC. If I've already got a PC why should I buy a box which can play strikingly similar games but at a much higher price per game?

Or maybe I'm wrong. To me the defining games of the X-box is Halo (like any PC shooter) and Gotham racing (which is strangely enough just another racing game)
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Old 29 May 2003, 03:35   #8
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I remember the atari/coleco/intellivision crash. There were alot of companies coming out of nowhere releasing games that were total crap and unplayable. At the same time games for the C64 and other computers were taking off. I jumped from console back to home computers for gaming and didnt go back to consoles until the psx1 came out.

I think the people who got tired of paying $18 for a cd of crap music started pumping money into dvd's for the same price. The quality and value of movie dvd's far surpasses the value of music cd's. That and everybody has at least a few pirated audio cd's at this point in time plus mp3's are all over the place and kids think they are ok plus most of them play their mp3's on computers (something you cant do on newer music cd's). DVD sales are skyrocketing while cd sales are dropping.
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Old 29 May 2003, 04:04   #9
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Well, this is a bit OT, but here goes.

I think people still buy CD's, in fact sales figures are higher than anticipated (in the post-mp3 realm). DVD's are hot because of several things - one of which is the transition from godawful VHS quality. DVD's are more compact, more attractively packaged (and marketed), feature tons of bonus garbage that compels people to buy (even if most people aren't fans of trailers, unfunny bloopers, rightly deleted scenes, and over-zealous commentary tracks). During the laserdisc revolution, this treatment was reserved for films which really have something special going on, but I suspect even "Chainsaw Hooker Trash From Mars, Part III: The Manifest" (or whatever) will stroke itself with just any junk lying around the studio that might be considered "collectors rarities". See how many of these extras you can stomach consecutively. Even on my fav films, most of that stuff belongs in the trash bins. I am, however, a seriously hardcore trailer collector. Go figure...

I don't see the DVD revolution as having anything to do with any of this, though.
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Old 29 May 2003, 04:39   #10
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Well most of the people I know who purchased a ton of cd's before have pretty much slowed down on them, but they have 100's of dvd's. Thats what I am referencing.

Personally the cd's I used to buy were from clubs or from the few used cd store I liked to go to (mostly older titles I liked). Now I download complete audio cd images that I burn to cd and havnt purchased an audio cd in many years. I do have over a dozen dvd's even though i have only 1 movie set on VHS and thats the star wars trilogy.
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Old 29 May 2003, 11:26   #11
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I've got a lot of MP3s lying around. Some of them remakes from remakes.kwed.org, some of them ripped from my own CDs because I prefer having the music easily at hand (such as at my mouse), and a bit of them something which isn't to be found in stores anywhere around here. In total I have about 7 songs which I might actually find in a store but haven't bought. 7 songs from 7 different artists. But no matter that I'd probably still be labelled as one of the horrible people who'se fault it is some executive can't have a 3rd bottle of wine with his dinner.

What was said about DVDs has been said nicely.

As for DVDs and games. I see a trend in PC games on DVD which was seen last when the CD was new. You can get a sort of movie where you click or press a button some times (I've got Dragon's lair DVD for example), you can get your normal games on DVD so you don't have to change disc (like Baldur's gate, and I see Metal Gear Solid has been released on DVD too), and then there are a precious few games which are released solely on DVD, on the PC there was MegaRace, a fairly fun race/shooting game which used movies a dang lot. I can't remember the title but I saw a game in a store which was produced by Kryo (like Megarace was). Eventually hopefully the manufacturers will learn to utilise the ideas of DVD to bring a better game experience with new features... who am I kidding? They didn't really do that with the CD. Only make them prettier to look at because there was more space for graphics and sound.
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Old 29 May 2003, 12:45   #12
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I have to agree with Drake on the music analogy. I don't think companies will learn from people not buying their crap anymore, but they'll use the easy way out: being pissed and whining.
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Old 29 May 2003, 13:09   #13
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Guys, I don't think DVDs, music and all this stuff have anything to do with originality. Even a game on a floppy disk can be original enough. The question is: Can a game in 2003 be original?

At the moment, it can't be. There are three main desktop consoles, 2 hand-helds and 1 major PC platform to play games with (wintel). For me, the only revolution and innovation can come from GP32. Wireless multiplaying game? F*ck YES!!! The fact that it comes with development tools, allows everyone to implements his/her ideas on this little beauty.

Today, as Jim Collas said in WOA99, most things are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Revolution cannot come with hardware alone but with the software that can take full advantage of that hardware. Today, most games are 3D remakes of old classics, RTS, FPS, 3D RPGs and Flight Sims. I don't give a shit if the next FPS (doomIII, halflife 2 etc) will be looking awesome and let you shoot even the flies and the birds! All I want is a game that is new, i.e. never done before.

Recently, we were discussing originality with some friends. It was difficult to find ideas. Everytime someone was saying x, the other was saying "y covered this back in 9X). WTF!!!
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Old 29 May 2003, 13:23   #14
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The last truly original game that I can think of was Parappa the Rappa for the Sony Playstation.

Here's a question for you: How many Amiga games were truly original games? Off the top of my head I can think of Populous by Bullfrog and maybe Worms by Team 17. Syndicate was quite original as was the excellent forerunner to C&C, the classic Dune 2: Battle for Arrakis.
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Old 29 May 2003, 17:13   #15
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Lemmings was an original type game, along with the incredible machine.
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Old 29 May 2003, 20:01   #16
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Worms? That had been done many times before (Artillery might have been the first one). You are of course right that true originality is difficult to achieve, but I'd already be satisfied if there were more than two or three different games - because right now, everything could be put into such a low number of 'clone categories'.
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Old 29 May 2003, 20:24   #17
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It depends on how original you want it to be. Innovation builds on ideas from the past (the past in term tries to limit the future and innnovation with tighter and tighter copyright laws, but that's another story.)

There could be plenty of original games if you don't say it's unoriginal because you've seen another game from the same perspective.

What would have to be different is the gameplay, the laws of the game, and then the levels. If I could do 3D graphics I would already be working on something a bit crossover between Marble madness and Bob's bad day.
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Old 29 May 2003, 21:42   #18
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I have to once again parallel all of this with music. Originality comes with a price, even if I don't think what we are really seeking here is originality. Completely new concepts are usually too erratic, too esoteric, and too...erm, new! At least some degree of familiarity is needed to hook you.

I think what we are really seeking is a fresh spin. Everything is derivative, after all, and we are just recycling. But all we are really asking for is some good old-fashioned imagination tossed into the mix. There is no human element left in games, as eeverything is a calculated formula that takes little or no risks. I simply find it perplexing trying to imagine gamers getting excited seeing FPS after FPS after FPS. And even spending good money on that kind of repitition. Just perplexed! And what do people see in all of that blurry, awkward 3D that is so common now?

No, what made the oldschool Amiga games great was not the fact that they were original. They just felt right. The combination of good hardware, creative teams with imagination and enthusiasm (as opposed to faceless, bloated teams of IT whiz kids doing a 9 to 5 day job), and the clever manipulation of old and new ideas.

Someone mentioned Worms...perfect example of imaginative transformation of old 8-bit game into something new. In today's modern gaming, it would be a simple, predictable decision: use * 3D engine on it, have jerky camera views, blurry textures, overcooked soundtrack, 3D explosions...wrap the whole game in the exact same things all modern games are wrapped in so that at the end of the day, it looks like everything else. Complacency has replaced individual human touches, and now this has pretty much become a requirement from most modern day publishing houses.

Turn on the radio and you will experience the same thing (at least in modern rock). Even hardcore bands like Mudvayne are churning out slick, embellished power ballads in total compliance with the Creed checklist of how to sell 10 million units. Instead of 3D, they use compressors that create a brickwall effect on the vox and guitars. Every new band either sounds like Creed, Nickelback or Pearl Jam. (sigh)

If it wasn't for retro everything, where would we ever find any innovation? How's that for a classic contradiction? The only place to find anything new is the past!
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Old 29 May 2003, 23:48   #19
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Worms is coming out in a 3D version, just FYI.

*cough*
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Old 30 May 2003, 19:20   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twistin'Ghost
Well, this is a bit OT, but here goes.

I think people still buy CD's, in fact sales figures are higher than anticipated (in the post-mp3 realm). DVD's are hot because of several things - one of which is the transition from godawful VHS quality. DVD's are more compact, more attractively packaged (and marketed), feature tons of bonus garbage that compels people to buy (even if most people aren't fans of trailers, unfunny bloopers, rightly deleted scenes, and over-zealous commentary tracks). During the laserdisc revolution, this treatment was reserved for films which really have something special going on, but I suspect even "Chainsaw Hooker Trash From Mars, Part III: The Manifest" (or whatever) will stroke itself with just any junk lying around the studio that might be considered "collectors rarities". See how many of these extras you can stomach consecutively. Even on my fav films, most of that stuff belongs in the trash bins. I am, however, a seriously hardcore trailer collector. Go figure...

I don't see the DVD revolution as having anything to do with any of this, though.
LOL!
C'mon Twist,you know you want that collector's box edition!!

Couldn't agree more with your endless FPS posting-as we've discussed personally before.
I think you touched on an even more brilliant point though twist,(as usual), the creative teams themselves.
"9-5 techno kiddies" being wined & dined by Nvidia/ATI to use their latest non-disclosure agreement whizz-bang card does not make for innovative PC gaming.

Now look at the diverse backgrounds back in the "cottage age" of the legendary creative teams/individuals from the 8-bit/16bit era of the C64/Amiga etc. Although they were successful, those teams/people made games they thought were fun/playable.
Nowdays, the bedroom coder inspired game seems a dead concept commercially-& those people that would having the creative ability to be involved in game development need's to have a programming, IT, or business degree to be involved in the "industry"

I wouldn't be certain if past legendary coders would've survived today's conformist requirements to get involved in the "industry".
I'm not saying they were inferior coders/artists,far from it-just that they mightn't have conformed/performed well in a games-designing degree at Uni/I.T. colleges.
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