Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Apropos of Nothing ...

... and without any applicability whatsoever to the kinds of discussions we usually have on this blog, I present you with an amusing graphic regarding the development of first-person shooter shooter video games. Thanks to Peter Byrne for pointing it out to me.

32 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. The map on the left is obviously Doom. But who can guess which level it is?

    (I remember the level, myself, but don't know the number or name off the top of my head...)

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  3. That is is part of the sacrifice that is made to the bleeding edge of graphics. You used to be able to throw a room together in a couple minutes, now the same room takes a team of people hours to design. It looks pretty but they remove any creativity or randomness they might want to add and any fun there was in making it is sucked out of it. How can you make a fun game if you can't have fun while designing it?

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  4. I blame Half-Life.

    There are two ways you can go. One of them is a dead end. The other advances the plot.

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  5. Although it is inaccurate in one regard. back in 1993 we called the genre "Doom clones". ;)

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  6. Suddenly I have an urge to play Doom...

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  7. Suddenly I have an urge to play Doom...

    Me too.

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  8. To be honest, I don't have as much problem with that as other people. To me, the linear model represents forward momentum, whereas the spread-out map represents exploration. Both are good for when you have a hankering for one over the other. Of course, it could be argued that there's a lot more "forward momentum" games these days, but I feel I can at least point to Bioshock as one good "exploration" based FPS.

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  9. I don't think the hallway shooter is going anywhere. It's the crystal meth of video games. Puzzle games being the heroine, of course.

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  10. And in 1993 the complaint was that "first person shooters" like doom were dumbed down RPGs (or to put it another way RPGs for dumb people). Lest we forget "first person shooter" was originally coined as a derogatory term. Now it's a legitimate classification for a game. And so it goes...

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  11. Its kinda like looking at B2 and DL1 side by side.

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  12. Content creation has become so outrageously expensive that it has left a deep mark on the industry, resulting in less branches in level structure and of course lower playing times (the other consequence is extreme risk-aversion that has killed a lot of the creativity which were once found even in high-budget games).

    But linearity has also warped expectations. There are a lot of gamers who consider choice threatening and paralysing. They prefer a game where they can collect their plot tokens without having to make too many choices - even supposedly easy ones like going left or right at a branch.

    Shifting expectations - a familiar subject. I saw even a very intelligent game theory blogger refer to Deus Ex and Thief, classics of the "immersive sim" FPS subgenre as "hardcore" or "masocore". In 2000, they were not considered hardcore nor extremely hard games. Rather, there has been a change in how a lot of people view their games, and what they want out of them.

    It is a fascinating thing to look at, and in a way, not at all irrelevant to us. It is applicable. In fact, it is very important.

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  13. Could be something else again if the 2010 was the 1993 in profile.

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  14. Video games have been in the creative shallows for quite some time but there are occasional moments of inspiration to be found. From Software’s Demon’s Souls was an amazingly deep work that was considered too hardcore for the American market. Sony passed on it, leaving the game to niche publisher Atlus. It went on to sell almost 500,000 copies, which isn’t much compared to Call of Duty Modern Warfare’s numbers, but still, a real affirmation that the “niche” is a little bigger than people realize.

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  15. I'm often catching myself asking..."so why are we waiting during this cut scene for the mutant bad-ass to crawl out of the pit instead of filling the mutant bad-ass with lead before he can shoot us?"

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  16. @ JDJarvis,

    Because the computer needs time to load game data for the next level.

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  17. I think the point may be an analogy with sandbox, or open-ended adventures, and the more modern adventure path style. The latter is certainly more linear, and it makes you feel as if you have to present the adventure in a specific order of cut scenes in order to get full enjoyment. It's as if you're playing out the writers story, rather than forging one of your own.

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  18. That diagram pretty much sums up my own feelings about so many of the big videgame releases of the past decade or so. I never enjoyed Half Life for instance. It just felt like I was tied to the narrative too strictly. And While I really liked the first COD game, every iteration since has been a big yawn as far as the single palyer experience goes. I think the last game I played that really had that DOOM feel was probably Metroid Prime on the Gamecube.

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  19. The coming decade will see a lot more procedural content in video games. In other words: RANDOM TABLES!

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  20. Your not that off asone of the things they're going to have is A ai programed on the particle scale. Here's a little taste of what's to come in the next ten years:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mySER0p9F64&feature=related

    Still doesn't beat a set of rule books, pencils, paper and your imagination..

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  21. This is quite possibly one of my favorite posts on Grognardia!

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  22. RE: Random Tables

    I'm kind of amazed that someone hasn't made a game with random dungeons (like Rogue or Nethack) with modern graphics. Ok, I've played a few games that did, but nothing that captured the amazing depth of Nethack.

    I should fire up the old Nethack and see if I can finally get further than Medusa's Isle.

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  23. This may be a bit off topic but I would be greatly interested in what James and this community thinks about a game like Demon's Souls.

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  24. I won't be interested in computer games until they reach the holodeck level of sophistication.

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  25. I think Fallout 3 is a counter example.

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  26. I've read that ID software were AD&D fans back in the day. In fact, Quake- one of their landmark games- was named after one of their characters.

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  27. This may be a bit off topic but I would be greatly interested in what James and this community thinks about a game like Demon's Souls.

    I'm afraid I've never even heard of this game.

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  28. Its kinda like looking at B2 and DL1 side by side.

    I had a similar thought, though, in fairness, I don't think DL1 is quite as bad on this front as later entries in the DL series.

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