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Herzog
20-11-2011, 02:26 PM
Hi there,
I dont know if this article has been featured on this site before. The article covers the history of FPS from Wolf3d to todays tactical shooters. Hope you enjoy the lenghty read.

http://www.the-ghetto.org/content/the-history-of-why-im-tired-of-your-tactical-shooters-part-one

hamster
20-11-2011, 02:39 PM
Jesus T f'ing L; DR

Ok I skimmed up to page 3.

edit:

great there's a conclusion section on the last page.

Yeah um...I concur!

R-F
20-11-2011, 04:20 PM
Shame this will never get read by it's intended audience, since if there's one thing Halotards hate more than learning, it's reading.

Fumarole
20-11-2011, 04:35 PM
Most tactical shooters aren't.

Oak
20-11-2011, 04:52 PM
Is "Halotards" a thing people say now?

vinraith
20-11-2011, 04:56 PM
Most tactical shooters aren't.

I'm a little horrified at this use of the term, honestly. Raven Shield, SWAT 4, Brothers in Arms, the ARMA games, these are tactical shooters.

BillButNotBen
21-11-2011, 02:04 PM
I'm a little horrified at this use of the term, honestly. Raven Shield, SWAT 4, Brothers in Arms, the ARMA games, these are tactical shooters.

Brothers in Arms tactics seemed to consist of: it's like a corridor shooter, but there's another corridor to the left of the bad guys so you can flank them. EVERY DAMN TIME.

It was an interesting attempt to make a corridor shooter even more boring and repetitive by making killing the respawning guys in cover even slower.

Herzog
21-11-2011, 02:44 PM
'm a little horrified at this use of the term, honestly. Raven Shield, SWAT 4, Brothers in Arms, the ARMA games, these are tactical shooters.

Most of my friends who play fps on consoles like CoD and Killzone refer to them as tactical shooters. Bf3 is even *more* tactical for them. I havent played any of the games you mentioned, but maybe I would put them in the category of *war simulation* (especially ARMA) if compared to Cod.

DaftPunk
21-11-2011, 02:49 PM
Change the title,because there was no talk about tactical shooters in that article.

baboonanza
21-11-2011, 02:51 PM
Most of my friends who play fps on consoles like CoD and Killzone refer to them as tactical shooters. Bf3 is even *more* tactical for them. I havent played any of the games you mentioned, but maybe I would put them in the category of *war simulation* (especially ARMA) if compared to Cod.
That doesn't make it any less moronic.

What tactics are there in following the scripted sequence and then shooting the men who run at you until the next script sequence is triggered? Those games are tactical in the same way as DOOM was tactical and using that term to describe CoD-alikes just renders it meaningless.

Herzog
21-11-2011, 02:57 PM
I think many people treat *realistic setting* and *tactical* the same way. Myself I wouldnt call cod tactical :)

Heliocentric
21-11-2011, 03:14 PM
Tactical shooters... Doesn't even understand my guarded genre definition like wizardry would do to crpg.

gundrea
21-11-2011, 03:32 PM
I would class the Modern Warfare series as CRPGs myself. You level up the perks and the damage is calculated.

Heliocentric
21-11-2011, 04:04 PM
I would class the Modern Warfare series as CRPGs myself. You level up the perks and the damage is calculated.

You play with fire.

baboonanza
21-11-2011, 04:08 PM
Interactive Fiction surely?

sinister agent
21-11-2011, 04:14 PM
All games are essentially reboots of Toss the Rock.

c-Row
21-11-2011, 04:17 PM
Great read with some interesting things pointed out, like the main reason for Microsoft to release the XBox for example. Hope that article makes it into the Sunday Papers.

vinraith
21-11-2011, 04:40 PM
Tactical shooters... Doesn't even understand my guarded genre definition like wizardry would do to crpg.

If we water down the terminology enough, no one will notice how utterly brain-dead mainstream gaming is!

t0mme
21-11-2011, 05:08 PM
Putting aside this frankly useless discussion about 'tactical shooters' (seriously, you're missing the point of this piece), this is a nice little historical paper on the history of FPS and it has some lovely anecdotes. Doesn't tell too much new though; Modern games with AAA-level graphics are expensive to make; FPS'ses sell (wheter or not they are deemed 'tactical') so we make FPS'ses.

Companies should read this after the videogame-crash of 2012.

db1331
21-11-2011, 05:37 PM
I would class the Modern Warfare series as CRPGs myself. You level up the perks and the damage is calculated.

It's obvious that the Modern Warfare games were modeled after the original Ultima.

Juan Carlo
21-11-2011, 06:27 PM
I read up until it mentioned Doom WADS.

Then I got distracted reading about old doom WADS and didn't finish the article.

Does anyone remember that "Alien:TC" Doom conversion? I played it when it first came out and it blew my mind, but then kind of forgot about it. But looking at it now again on youtube it's kind of amazing what it did with the doom engine (more sophisticated stuff in terms of immersion and atmosphere than even ID was doing) and how many games since then have completely ripped it off (including every official AvP game ever):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPTaT7Ag3U8&feature=related

b0rsuk
21-11-2011, 07:07 PM
I have a proposal: let's call these games SPS, for Slow Person Shooters. Hits the nail on the head, doesn't it ?

It's a sad fact great majority of SPS games are not tactical. Single player games are almost by definition not tactical, because the AI is so dumb. And it mostly got worse with years, it just got replaced with scripted sequences.

I'll try to name a few First Person Shooters that are actually tactical:
- Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. In these games aiming is not necessarily the ultimate skill. You can be outplayed by a player with better use of tools or a weapon better suited to a situation.
- most Team Fortress style games (I don't necessarily mean the Valve one). You get a specific class and its inherently more suited to certain actions than other classes.

Basically any FPS game where the way you behave affects your success. This is something different from great aim and headshots.
In these games, when you can't beat the defense team, it pays of to try something different. By the way I think that semi-realistic (counterstrike) and ultra-realistic games are not necessarily more tactical. Damage model they use can mean that battles degenerate to who sees the other person first. If they do simultaneously, any kind of movement is out of question, because you won't be able to run for cover, you can't outrun bullets.

------------------

And I'm not kidding when I say that, in fact, some FPS games are in fact better RPG games than, say, Ultima III Exodus. In Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory classes are very similar in terms of loadout. Yet medics get xp points (and skills) for healing people, engineers - for constructing/blowing up costructions, field op - from successfully calling fire support and distributing ammo. All these classes can be played in a run&gun manner, but built-in incentives encourage you to behave differently. Then there's character progression, which only persists for up to 3 matches (one campaign) but still. Role playing at its core - messing with player behavior, rather than (just) giving him a different spellbook.

Wizardry
21-11-2011, 07:21 PM
And I'm not kidding when I say that, in fact, some FPS games are in fact better RPG games than, say, Ultima III Exodus. In Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory classes are very similar in terms of loadout. Yet medics get xp points (and skills) for healing people, engineers - for constructing/blowing up costructions, field op - from successfully calling fire support and distributing ammo. All these classes can be played in a run&gun manner, but built-in incentives encourage you to behave differently. Then there's character progression, which only persists for up to 3 matches (one campaign) but still. Role playing at its core - messing with player behavior, rather than (just) giving him a different spellbook.
Obvious troll is obvious or something like that.

Rii
21-11-2011, 07:25 PM
Companies should read this after the videogame-crash of 2012.

Why 2012?

OHFFS10CHAR

pakoito
21-11-2011, 07:46 PM
I'm still on the first page, but what's bothering me is that how are you supposed to top Q3/UT completeness? It's like Capcom did with Street Fighter: SF3 - Third Strike is a round complex deep fun complete game. It had all systems that were prooftested and it worked fine in the levels it was supposed to. How do you improve that?

Instead, they spent 10 years (!) without major SF releases, trying wacky stuff on crossover projects and ended up with a solution: SF IV. It is the same game, but stripping some part of the complexity to lower the barrier for newcomers to start playing fighting games. It plays easy like SF2 or deep like SF3 depending on which skill level you are. It's not as perfect as SF3 but rather a sidestep for everyone getting in the genre.

PS: Note that one year after SSF IV they remade and re-released SF3 for every platform with GGPO netcode. GGPO (ggpo.net)is the emulator-net emulator that has kept fighting games alive for the past 8 years with ponderated low ping online matches on PC, for free! They revived a 5-year-long dead community with new blood coming from people who learned StreetFighter via SF IV.

So what should the fast-paced do to best themselves? How can you improve Q3 twitchy precise gameplay to make it appeal to campers and rambokids?

b0rsuk
21-11-2011, 08:20 PM
Obvious troll is obvious or something like that.


No, I'm not trolling. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a game that does much more to influence character behavior that Ultima III: Exodus does. In Ultima, all classes try to do the same thing: kill stuff and get loot. One possible exception is the thief, which is not good at combat but can evade traps and steal. Ultima III is just an adventure game with character progression, some non-linearity and random elements. You don't have any impact on the world, the events always follow the same line. Gold chests refill if you re-enter. Guards and townsfolk will respawn if you re-enter. Not more RPG than, say, Little Big Adventure / Relentless.

For me a role-playing game is about playing roles. Behaving in a certain way, not "you get the shotgun and you get the sniper rifle", the way Ultima III does it. It's still one of my favorite games, but for other reasons.

One of recent examples of genuine (c)RPG would be the roguelike POWDER, I guess. It has a very fun religion system, where you have to deal with 5 gods at the same time... and they all demand different behavior from you. Many of their expectations conflict with those of other gods. You can never please everyone. One god wants you to kill as much as possible, another don't kill at all. A rogue god hates loud noises. A barbarian god considers the use of ranged weapons cowardly. You can still use all these options, but you may receive punishment.

Do you know what a LARP is ? I bring it up because, frankly, many pen&paper players don't give a damn about acting, they just want to hear a story and kill stuff. LARPs are perhaps even more about role-playing than actual "role playing" games.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ForTheEvulz

t0mme
21-11-2011, 08:25 PM
Why 2012?

OHFFS10CHAR

Mayans?

The global financial/economic/Greek/Italian crisis will hit the industry or the customers?

Some day (soon?) people will realize that the current game industry is lazy/monotone/boring?

But mainly wishful thinking.

CrinnyCow
21-11-2011, 08:28 PM
I just finished reading the whole thing. I think his perspective matches closely with mine in that some of these games that popularized the FPS genre are actually good games (Halo, Goldeneye/Perfect Dark, Call of Duty) But the marketing campaigns and the rehashing of content is completely bastardizing the material. A decent read but there was really no need for it to be as long as it was (I copied the last page into word... It was a shocking 5000 words...)

Nalano
21-11-2011, 08:59 PM
No, I'm not trolling. Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory is a game that does much more to influence character behavior that Ultima III: Exodus does. In Ultima, all classes try to do the same thing: kill stuff and get loot. One possible exception is the thief, which is not good at combat but can evade traps and steal. Ultima III is just an adventure game with character progression, some non-linearity and random elements. You don't have any impact on the world, the events always follow the same line. Gold chests refill if you re-enter. Guards and townsfolk will respawn if you re-enter. Not more RPG than, say, Little Big Adventure / Relentless.

For me a role-playing game is about playing roles. Behaving in a certain way, not "you get the shotgun and you get the sniper rifle", the way Ultima III does it. It's still one of my favorite games, but for other reasons.

One of recent examples of genuine (c)RPG would be the roguelike POWDER, I guess. It has a very fun religion system, where you have to deal with 5 gods at the same time... and they all demand different behavior from you. Many of their expectations conflict with those of other gods. You can never please everyone. One god wants you to kill as much as possible, another don't kill at all. A rogue god hates loud noises. A barbarian god considers the use of ranged weapons cowardly. You can still use all these options, but you may receive punishment.

Do you know what a LARP is ? I bring it up because, frankly, many pen&paper players don't give a damn about acting, they just want to hear a story and kill stuff. LARPs are perhaps even more about role-playing than actual "role playing" games.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ForTheEvulz

While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I fear this thread may be irrevocably hijacked.

And I just realized, I've already read this article. Yes, [insert genre staple]-alikes are all fads, of which our CoDs and BFs are mere iterations of the latest fad for pseudo-tactical military shooters.

There's a good name. Pseudo-tactical shooters. Tom Clancy shooters.

Rii
21-11-2011, 09:05 PM
But mainly wishful thinking.

Pfft, I can do that by myself.

vinraith
21-11-2011, 09:13 PM
While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I fear this thread may be irrevocably hijacked.

Oh I don't know, I'd like to think that if there's one thing gamers can all agree on it's that engaging a LARPer in conversation is a bad idea.


Tom Clancy shooters.

That one doesn't work, because early Tom Clancy shooters actually were squad based tactical shooters, rather than "cinematic" shooters like those being discussed.

b0rsuk
21-11-2011, 09:31 PM
Okay, I'll stop derailing the thread. Back to Slow Person Shooters.

The article is valuable as a history lesson as and a compilation of anecdotes. It fails to make interesting points and illustrate them, because it drowns them in a wall of text. Sometimes things are better explained with fewer words. I skimmed it once I understood it has whole pages of off-topic backstory. But I would still like to bring up some highlights:

1. (Too long to quote): a very well put explaination why Half-Life was special. Wizardry should read it. Things Half-Life has done have been done before, but never with such a good execution. Ultima Underworld may have had some of these elements, but it was not a thrilling game with fast action.

2. There are some very interesting bits about open vs closed system, and what horrendous things you can get away with if you're the gatekeeper.


Look at what Xbox Live did. It convinced millions upon millions of people to pay a monthly fee for a peer-to-peer networking model. That is, “a central server uses minimal bandwidth and upkeep to organize the creation of online matches”. That is, little actual hosting is done by the server. That is, what Blizzard has been offering customers for free through Battle.net since they released Diablo in 1996. They convinced people to pay for the privilege of using their internet connection to do the heavy lifting in online video games! Using a networking format that generated inferior latency in first-person shooters! I mean, holy crap! If you could do that, imagine what else you could bilk this audience out of! Developers would have been crazy to pass on this gold rush! To consider the inverse, look at what happened when Apple built their mobile phone game store. When the company allowed anybody to make a video game for the iPhone, the price point for portable video games collapsed and Nintendo is still scrambling to deal with it (http://www.the-ghetto.org/content/nintendo-and-their-3ds-dilemma-part-one). The opposite happens when an open system becomes closed. The closed system called Xbox Live created a market for maps, for clothes, for guns, whatever you could price! When Epic Games released the computer-exclusive Unreal Tournament 2004, it was packaged with nearly one-hundred maps for use across half-a-dozen game types. Thousands upon thousands of free, community-created maps followed. Two years later, Epic Games released Gears of War, a third-person shooter touted as (and would become) a cornerstone of the Xbox 360 game library. It was packaged with ten maps. Two downloadable map packs would up that number to sixteen. One of the map packs was released for free. The other one featured four maps. It could be downloaded for a price of 800 Microsoft Points™, a price point of approximately ten dollars. And they were able to set these prices by appealing to an audience that had never created a multiplayer map for Doom or downloaded free mods such as Counter-Strike.3. Some clarification on what really started the snowball effect for console SPS:


And contrary to popular opinion, Halo: Combat Evolved did not mark the death of first-person shooter development on the personal computer. Even as that game validated video game consoles as a legitimate platform for first-person shooters, the genre was doing quite well on personal computers.
He goes on to elaborate how Halo 2 was a quite flawed game from design and mechanic perspective, how it didn't really improve/fix upon Halo 1. And how it didn't matter, because:



Halo 2 was a marketing tool designed to legitimize Xbox Live. And much like GoldenEye 007 rode the novelty of four-player split-screen multiplayer to its place in video game history, Halo 2 would use online multiplayer to win an audience that had never enjoyed the thrills that come with corpsehumping a player-avatar being controlled by a fourteen-year-old boy. It wasn’t Halo: Combat Evolved that marked the current transition of first-person shooter development to video game consoles. It wasn’t Halo 2. It was Xbox Live. Remember that talk we had about closed systems earlier? Heheh. Now you know why we had it.
(...)
The moment that developers could sell virtual goods on Xbox Live for obscene prices (and also use that closed system to “prevent software piracy”) became the moment that computer gamers began getting the hand-me-down treatment.


And by the way, just because I know what a LARP is and regularly meet such people, doesn't mean I'm one.

pakoito
21-11-2011, 09:32 PM
Omg im still on page three. Kill me.

rsherhod
21-11-2011, 10:06 PM
Is "Halotards" a thing people say now?

Unfortunately people seem happy to use "tard" as a suffix for anything.

b0rsuk
21-11-2011, 10:12 PM
Unfortunately people seem happy to use "tard" as a suffix for anything.

Much like the word "scrub". And I'm actually happy about it. The articles are pompous walls of texts which don't make good points, and the author is a scrub by his own definition (check the complaining about World of Warcraft). The articles are falling into irrevelance, I think they deserve it.

From the article:


Are we forgetting the history of this industry? Pong clones dominated the seventies. They gave way to maze games, which dominated the early eighties. They ceded way to platformers, which dominated the mid-eighties into the late-nineties. They shared an overlap with Japanese Role-Playing Games, which were hugely popular in the late nineties. Tactical shooters are the latest video game fad. The genres that survived their fad phase evolved. Something will take their place, if cheap, disposable mobile phone video games have not already begun to do so. Evolution does not mean “Take the development model of John Madden football and transform your franchise into Call of Duty: Roster Update.” Evolution does not mean “Turn Tomb Raider into a tactical shooter and call it Uncharted.” Evolution does not mean “Turn computer-role-playing into a tactical shooter and call it Mass Effect.” That’s not how this industry works. I promise you: This industry will leave tactical shooters in the boneyard if somebody doesn’t stand up and do something interesting with it


I don't agree with it ! Call me a pessimist, but
1) The lowest common denominator, the most popular theme (reusable in games) is modern military theme.
2) The kind of game that is best suited to making a captivating experience is a first-person game.

So, I predict that while we will see some form of Renaissance in computer games... in terms of game mechanics, perspective, and theme/story - the mainstream will remain with modern warfare shooters. It's as generic as it gets, and there's almost infinite potential for cinematic moments. So what if you get fed up after a few games - new generation is ready to take your place. Games are stuck forever in "Hollywood mode", because most people are stupid (or just enjoy junk food type films).
Think Tribes: Ascend will start a new trend ? Think again. It's too alien to mainstream population, so what if it plays very well and looks amazing. Tribes: Ascend is for geeks.

Expecting game industry to revert back to where it was in 90's is like expecting Hollywood type films to stop making derivative films. The pandora box is open.

I don't really mind that much. I know where to find interesting games. My current favorite is Voxatron.

Heliocentric
21-11-2011, 10:16 PM
I like tard'tard best.

pakoito
21-11-2011, 10:17 PM
FINISHED! Stop the clock!


EDIT: One hour and a half, wow. This was intense. In the end the butler killed him.

Kodeen
21-11-2011, 11:07 PM
Unfortunately people seem happy to use "tard" as a suffix for anything.

In that case you are all a bunch of dratards, because I really enjoy palindromes for no apparent reason. Even my house number is a palindrome.

Oh crap, I've messed it up. Sdratards. SdratardS. SbratardS.

Nevermind.

Nalano
22-11-2011, 01:07 AM
That one doesn't work, because early Tom Clancy shooters actually were squad based tactical shooters, rather than "cinematic" shooters like those being discussed.

No, the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series have the name in the title, but aren't Tom Clancy shooters. Basically, it's like a Tom Clancy novel: Affectations of "this could really happen" but really too in love with military technology to give too much of a shit about realism.

Chorltonwheelie
22-11-2011, 01:23 AM
The Japanese don’t give a shit for shooters, but I’m sure somebody got word to Hiroshi Yamauchi that “Americans like shooting people! We swear!”

Worth the slog for that sentence.

vinraith
22-11-2011, 01:35 AM
No, the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series have the name in the title, but aren't Tom Clancy shooters. Basically, it's like a Tom Clancy novel: Affectations of "this could really happen" but really too in love with military technology to give too much of a shit about realism.

Wait, now I'm confused. Are we talking about Rogue Spear or Vegas 2 here? The fiction in both is as you describe, but there's a massive difference in the way the games play.

Nalano
22-11-2011, 03:59 AM
Wait, now I'm confused. Are we talking about Rogue Spear or Vegas 2 here? The fiction in both is as you describe, but there's a massive difference in the way the games play.

I haven't played any of the Rainbow Six series since the first one - the one where they modeled one of the wings of the Met. I remember it and its contemporary Delta Force to be far and away a tactical departure from regular FPSs at the time.

I'm talking about Tom Clancy's books and movies (and ghost writers) being synonymous with Cold War-era technophile gunwank.

vinraith
22-11-2011, 04:48 AM
I haven't played any of the Rainbow Six series since the first one - the one where they modeled one of the wings of the Met. I remember it and its contemporary Delta Force to be far and away a tactical departure from regular FPSs at the time.

I'm talking about Tom Clancy's books and movies (and ghost writers) being synonymous with Cold War-era technophile gunwank.

OK. Yes, The first one, Rogue Spear, and Raven Shield were all very much squad-based tactical shooters with planning phases and the like. Their plots were very much Tom Clancy plots, however. The latter Rainbow Six games (Vegas and Evgas 2) have been much more along the lines of the CoD and MoH games, and have little to no relation to the earlier titles from a mechanical perspective. The same is true of the difference between the original Ghost Recon (again, a truly tactical shooter) and the later titles in that series.

soldant
22-11-2011, 05:09 AM
I totally disagree with much of what the guy says about Doom and level design, particularly that "Doom was an extension of Wolf3D" in terms of the engine. Wolf3D was a tile-based engine, Doom was sector-based, not to mention that sectors could have differing ceiling and floor heights, not to mention the sector effects and linedef triggers and all that sort of stuff. Plus there's this line:


Good Doom level design was like good writing: Nobody agreed on the best means of getting the job done. Nobody gave a crap how you created a level. Just make sure it plays well and it looks good.
So good Doom level design is "make level play well and look good". Really? And that's different from most level design in what way, exactly? The guy goes on and on about how there were editing programs to make levels (there was for Wolf3D too) as if it's some kind of key to awesome level design.

I can't take the rest of it seriously. As someone who spent ages with Doom and Duke3D making maps, I just can't get over this sort section on Doom and level design. A lot of what he goes on with is ridiculous.

Nalano
22-11-2011, 08:22 AM
So good Doom level design is "make level play well and look good". Really? And that's different from most level design in what way, exactly?

Different concepts of what "play well" means.

b0rsuk
22-11-2011, 08:24 AM
So good Doom level design is "make level play well and look good". Really? And that's different from most level design in what way, exactly? The guy goes on and on about how there were editing programs to make levels (there was for Wolf3D too) as if it's some kind of key to awesome level design.


It's different in that levels in modern games only look good, they don't play well. And compared to most modern single-player games, DooM levels are damn non-linear. Back in the day DooM was criticized for switch hunting and getting lost in the level. Many levels have several paths that can be taken.

Then I guess you really don't get it. Ease of use of the editor is a major factor in level creation. Look how many people create levels for Minecraft. Voxatron is going to explode once it gets more stuff, scripting, and a monster editor. Compare this to the number of levels The Dark Mod has (the Thief mod for Doom 3). You can spend ages agonizing over details and making custom textures. Agonizing over appearance. DooM doesn't let you do that.