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Simon
04-06-2011, 05:51 AM
When do you think it was?


For me the golden age was about 96-01, Technology moved so fast back then with the advent of 3d accelerator cards,there were stellar games released often. The PC was really pushing 3d graphics every month.

Now its all changed and were dragged behind to keep the console kids happy and development costs are insanely high i doubt we will see many truly innovate games again

thegooseking
04-06-2011, 05:57 AM
I think there's ever been a better time than now. This is the first time pretty much ever that gaming has had a chance to take a breather from boring technical advancement and focus on other aspects of the experience. And gaming is better for it.

Of course, that's going to be a contentious answer because people need something to whine about.

Simon
04-06-2011, 05:58 AM
I think there's ever been a better time than now. This is the first time pretty much ever that gaming has had a chance to take a breather from boring technical advancement and focus on other aspects of the experience. And gaming is better for it.

Of course, that's going to be a contentious answer because people need something to whine about.

Umm not really. Innovation in games has slowed right the hell down. Its the same thing rehashed over and over. It was better when they were pushing the boundaries of technology and before games became to expensive to make

Dr. Nick
04-06-2011, 06:32 AM
As far as I'm concerned. Gaming is in a perpetual golden mode.
There are always amazing, original and innovative games coming out all the time.

The only difference between now and back in the mid to late '90s is that bad games are easier to find out about.

LittleLizard
04-06-2011, 06:37 AM
I agree with Simon's period but i will extend it till 02. At that time, many iconic games were released. Some examples are Morrowind, NWN, WIII and Dungeon Siege.

Simon
04-06-2011, 06:41 AM
I agree with Simon's period but i will extend it till 02. At that time, many iconic games were released. Some examples are Morrowind, NWN, WIII and Dungeon Siege.


wow progrock.... what are you into? I like pink floyd, yes, dream theater, rush, mike oldfield, wow loads. what sort of prog do you like?

i never played morrowind on release but your right its good, i played dungeon siege on a lan as instead of diablo 2. it felt fresh and good.

BobsLawnService
04-06-2011, 06:51 AM
I think we are going through a bit of a golden period right now with the current glut of interesting indie titles being released and digital distribution channels making them viable from a sales perspective. To me it feels like the early 90's again. It may seem a bit strange but I think RPS has also played a role in the resurgence of PC gaming. While I don't always agree with the chaps such a high quality publication covering such diverse genres and titles is vital for the health of a platform.

2003-2009 felt a bit lean with the industries obsession with low risk AAA titles.

Make no mistake, it's a good time to be a PC gamer and I think it is going to get better.

winterwolves
04-06-2011, 07:06 AM
I agree, and also because of indies who can give real innovation (minecraft, GSB, terraria, frozen synapse, etc). There is definitely no better time to be a PC gamer :)

Batolemaeus
04-06-2011, 07:46 AM
Terraria has innovation?

Tbh., I'm with the perpetual golden age, if only for the fact that the good games available now include all previous ones, so the more time passes the more potentially great games there are.
Also, games don't age so fast anymore. I can still play Red Alert without constantly cursing the controls, but some even older games are very tedious to control and are very obviously limited by the technology of their time. I'd say (and probably burned at the stake for saying it), that the real golden age began when the availability of development tools and processing power meant that games could be made relatively easily while looking well enough and without being extremely limited by memory and cpu limitations.
That golden age began somewhere around Dune II's release and has been going on.

Bad Sector
04-06-2011, 08:08 AM
Umm not really. Innovation in games has slowed right the hell down. Its the same thing rehashed over and over. It was better when they were pushing the boundaries of technology and before games became to expensive to make

Actually i think that it is exactly because of the constant tech push that things are rehashed over and over: better tech means more detailed assets to take advantage of it and more detailed assets means more time, more resources, more artists, etc to make them. This means more expensive development and as such publishers want to take less risks with new games - so you have rehashed games.

I would think that consoles became more important for publishers and AAA developers (in the west) around 2003-2004. At least until around then, you would see PC-oriented games which were later ported to consoles (Doom 3, FEAR, etc) not the other way around. But even after 2000 you would see the trend to rehash games with WW2 themed shooters.

Flint
04-06-2011, 08:39 AM
Mid-90s to mid-00s. Whether that's because it was my growing up years and I have a fond memory towards all the new wonders it presented while most new things struggle to crack through my rose-tinted glasses, or because back then games were full of unexplored frontiers filled with interesting standout design ideas instead of today's trend of the copycat-filled swarms that all try to attract the lowest common denominator in order to score a big hit with the masses while pushing PC gaming on the fringes, is of course a matter of debate.

I mean yeah gaming is still fun and great and there's a lot of good things coming out, but personally there's fewer titles these days that really capture me in a way that I'd remember them for years. Many say right now is an amazing time for a PC gamer because of the indie scene but it's just not really enamouring me and the big indie titles of recent years have mostly left me cold. Plus, additionally, as a FPS fan it's sad to see that one of my favourite genres has gone on a rather major decline.

I sound like such a whinging old fart.

Plankton
04-06-2011, 09:11 AM
The 90s was a pioneering period. There was still a chance to create whole new genres. And that's what they did on the PC. And huge leaps forward were made in all of the existing genres too. Lot's of experimentation going on too.
However, it was generally also a tough period to be a PC gamer. Information wasn't as readily available, you had to rely on magazine. The need to keep upgrading for the latest games was a seriously expensive habit. That, paired with the compatibility issues and general instability and bugginess of the systems, drove MANY people towards the consoles.
It was a cool time, certainly, but let's not forget the crap you had to deal with. You wouldn't take it these days.

At the same time, we are seeing a little bit of pioneering work done again in recent PC gaming. It's gotten a lot better since those awful years of circa 2006, 2007. Indie developers are ready to try pretty much everything if the money allows, including new business models. Perhaps, we will soon have a name for new genre of Minecraft-like games. How about the experiments in story telling we see like Sleep is Death. How about artsy fartsy stuff like The Path, or The Void. And all the other mind bending surrealist and abstract stuff that's around. Pretty cool, I have to say.
Gaming is in a much more mature state these days, so naturally you are going to see less revolutionary things, but it also leaves more room for developers to concentrate on the details and refinement.

Berlin
04-06-2011, 09:26 AM
As far as I'm concerned. Gaming is in a perpetual golden mode.
There are always amazing, original and innovative games coming out all the time.

The only difference between now and back in the mid to late '90s is that bad games are easier to find out about.

And that's it. It's kinda hard to think about "golden ages" of anything that's not even 30 years old yet.

Renfield
04-06-2011, 09:59 AM
I'll echo the sentiment on now being 'the most golden of ages' so far, for gaming.

In terms of golden ages generally being times where accumulated prosperity and stability begin to pay off in culture and intellectual innovation, gaming has had at least a decade of mainstream acceptance; in the past few years, it has seen massive economic growth. And, as mentioned, the existence of today's strong indie scene, a second branch of gaming development, is also a sign of genre maturity.

So if there's been a true golden age, which I agree there probably hasn't (yet), it's now.

Tei
04-06-2011, 10:09 AM
Theres a undeniable golden age of Indies now, that is mostly a PC thing. About general PC games, is hard to say the era Doom1 to Quake 3 was a gold era. A gold era has the idea of a time where everything was stronger, more vital, and after that less stronger. So maybe "golden era" is not a appropiate term for how videogames are always moving forward and creating originality and pretty visuals.

Spacewalk
04-06-2011, 10:17 AM
I'd say it was from three-or-so years before Simon's suggestion, when the term "shareware" was still in use. Or at least I would like to think so.

thegooseking
04-06-2011, 10:18 AM
And that's it. It's kinda hard to think about "golden ages" of anything that's not even 30 years old yet.

I don't know. That's about when the Golden Age of Hollywood started, isn't it?

Though, to contradict my previous statement, perhaps a golden age can only be recognised as such retrospectively.

SwiftRanger
04-06-2011, 10:20 AM
Depends on the genre really. You can hardly say it's a good time for PC RTSs for example whereas those still shined in 2007 and pretty much ruled the PC market in '97 and '98. Staying with the strategy stuff; there are a lot of indie titles and that's good of course but in my opinion most of those titles never get any traction with the audience or they have an execution that doesn't completely suit the novel ideas they bring to the table.

I am awaiting a new age where the indies grow into medium-sized developers and where we can start seeing some more ambitious games again. Ambitious in the sense that the media actually picks up the newsstories of those projects. Right now in terms of strategy coverage it's a very poor show, even if you look at RPS, if the only RTS game that gets more than a few newsposts is StarCraft II then we might as well say RTS is dead. At least in the traditional sense, free2play games still live on but I expect that bubble to burst very soon.

Kadayi
04-06-2011, 11:32 AM
Umm not really. Innovation in games has slowed right the hell down. Its the same thing rehashed over and over. It was better when they were pushing the boundaries of technology and before games became to expensive to make

Well what exactly do you class as innovation? And in what respect? Because personally I look at games like LA Noire, Portal 2, Mass Effect, left4dead and a host of others and see plenty of innovation going on.

Gaming as a whole is a rich and ever evolving medium, so to claim one specific period was somehow a high point is foolhardy in the extreme.

It's extremely easy to get nostalgic and rosy eyed about the past and lose sight of the fact a large percentage of those games from yesteryear also comprised a lot of jank. Now that's not to say that in terms of gaming history there aren't significant and important titles, but one has to consider that games are also a reflection of the available technologies of their times (after all it's principally gaming that pushes computer technologies to a large degree) and that were the technologies of today available then, those titles would undoubtedly of been altogether different affairs.

There's a presumption to the original post that demonstrates a degree of close mindedness imho akin to the musical clichÚ of 'I was into them before they sold out' which is a fairly tragic perspective given this is a gaming enthusiasts site.

Bilbo1981
04-06-2011, 11:44 AM
I have to agree with the original poster, gaming as a whole has become very stagnant for a long time. The only real innovation has come from indie teams. the 90s were like a revolution with 3d cards coming out and online play taking its first steps. I mean Ultima Online a MMORPG without any real questing system and world controlled by the players has never been bettered, they all went down the everquest route which as we know is dull as hell.
Now certainly isn't a bad time for pc gaming but youre not going to find it the mainsteam so much. My fave games of all time are from that golden era by quite a long way. Deus Ex, Plansescape, balders Gate, Sacrifice, Ultima Online, Fallout, Quake (what happened to the arena shooter?), I'm sure many others could add to the list.

pakoito
04-06-2011, 11:47 AM
Umm not really. Innovation in games has slowed right the hell down. Its the same thing rehashed over and over. It was better when they were pushing the boundaries of technology and before games became to expensive to make

Have you tried avoiding big publisher games? Indies are what are making a difference in improvements of gaming. Meanwhile the big ones are sizing their dicks on ad campaigns and "reinventing" class-based shooters.

Serenegoose
04-06-2011, 11:55 AM
Well what exactly do you class as innovation? And in what respect? Because personally I look at games like LA Noire, Portal 2, Mass Effect, left4dead and a host of others and see plenty of innovation going on.

Gaming as a whole is a rich and ever evolving medium, so to claim one specific period was somehow a high point is foolhardy in the extreme.

It's extremely easy to get nostalgic and rosy eyed about the past and lose sight of the fact a large percentage of those games from yesteryear also comprised a lot of jank. Now that's not to say that in terms of gaming history there aren't significant and important titles, but one has to consider that games are also a reflection of the available technologies of their times (after all it's principally gaming that pushes computer technologies to a large degree) and that were the technologies of today available then, those titles would undoubtedly of been altogether different affairs.

There's a presumption to the original post that demonstrates a degree of close mindedness imho akin to the musical clichÚ of 'I was into them before they sold out' which is a fairly tragic perspective given this is a gaming enthusiasts site.


Yep. This is pretty much my opinion on the matter.

Where Is My Halftime Pie?
04-06-2011, 12:11 PM
I'd personally say it's now. Thanks to GoG, (most of) the classics of yesteryear are easy to find, and the games coming out now aren't half bad either. It was more difficult to get hold of older games before, and at times even more difficult to get them working. GoG's ever expanding catalogue is lovely and you can be sure it'll work. At least, I've never had a problem.

EDIT: This is kind of a cop out answer, isn't it?

Imbecile
04-06-2011, 01:51 PM
When do you think it was?


For me the golden age was about 96-01, Technology moved so fast back then with the advent of 3d accelerator cards,there were stellar games released often. The PC was really pushing 3d graphics every month.

Now its all changed and were dragged behind to keep the console kids happy and development costs are insanely high i doubt we will see many truly innovate games again

I agree that there were a lot of great games released towards the end of the 90's, but actually think that has nothing to do with technology. Too large a focus on graphics tends to result in less innovation and not more. Generally you'll see a lot of shovelware produced at the start of a consoles life for exactly this reason. As time passes, and developers get more comfortable with the the system, and there is less pressure on producing games with bleeding edge graphics, you tend to find that developers find the slack to push in new directions. Better AI, better design, new genres.

When the PC market moves too quickly, it risks focus on graphics over innovation but whereas consoles might only be exosed to this in their initial year, PCs can be exposed constantly.

Thats why I believe that having technology held back by consoles is (controversially?) a good thing. The focus can move onto making better designed, and better programmed games instead of just rushing to produce the best eye candy.

Kadayi
04-06-2011, 02:55 PM
Thats why I believe that having technology held back by consoles is (controversially?) a good thing. The focus can move onto making better designed, and better programmed games instead of just rushing to produce the best eye candy.

The problem right now is that the aged hardware limitations of the 360 (no HD-DVD format & no guaranteed hard drive) coupled with Microsoft prohibitive and dissuasive multi-disc 360 licencing policy means that AAA developers are constantly running up against asset management issues with regard to their games. A lot of the complaints against recent titles such as DA2 and Mafia 2 have far less to do with lazy developers as people like to claim, and far more to do with the games having to be trimmed down to fit comfortably on a single 360 DVD in order to maximize profitability.

Microsoft are acutely aware of how they've screwed the pooch by not adopting HD-DVD when they had the chance. However their attempts to add some longevity to the 360 are unlikely to win them any real favours with 3rd party developers in the long run (an extra 1GB isn't that significant a gain): -

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/30/microsofts-updated-xbox-360-disc-format-to-add-an-extra-gigab/

Developers talking about PC being the primary focus these days (Battlefield 3) has less to do with saying that's where the action is, and more to do with forcing MS to bring forward their next console because the 360 is past it's sell by date.

The Prince Of Love
04-06-2011, 03:15 PM
1997-2004 was a pretty nice period; it wasn't quite as daring as the period before it, but the quality of the average games was higher while still not sacrificing too much originality. Some of the games that I liked:


Diablo II
Starcraft
The Curse of Monkey Island
Devil May Cry
Deus Ex
Metal Gear Solid 1-3
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Soulcalibur 2
Hitman 1-3
Silent Hill 1-4
Final Fantasy 7-10
Fallout 1&2
Armored Core 2&3
Total Annihilation
Dungeon Keeper 1&2
Seven Kingdoms 2
Aliens versus Predator 1&2
Beyond Good & Evil
Sid Meiers Pirates!
Splinter Cell 1&2
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
TrackMania
Resident Evil 2
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Half-Life 1&2
Populous: The Beginning
Caesar III
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Heart of Darkness
System Shock 2
Planescape: Torment
Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri
Freelancer
Worms Armageddon
GTA 1-San Andreas
Dominions II
Sacrifice
The Sims
Total War: Rome & Medieval
Nox
Majesty
Max Payne 1&2
Black & White
Civilization 3&4
Wolfenstein: ET
Shattered Galaxy
Serious Sam
Arcanum
Bushido Blade 1&2
Warcraft III
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Tropico
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Neverwinter Nights
TrackMania
Stronghold 1&Crusader
Ring of Red
Homeworld 1-2
Aliens vs. Predator 1&2

I like plenty of games before that period, and I like plenty of games after it as well.

Imbecile
04-06-2011, 05:38 PM
A lot of the complaints against recent titles such as DA2 and Mafia 2 have far less to do with lazy developers as people like to claim, and far more to do with the games having to be trimmed down to fit comfortably on a single 360 DVD in order to maximize profitability.
.

I can see what you mean, but how many dedicated games on the PC require more than one DVD? I think we are reaching the stage where more than one dvd may be required (LA Noire needs 3 for example), but even if games do start to be held back due to their size, I doubt the cost of an extra dvd or two will be prohibitive. After all, plenty of games in the past have come on more than one disc.

I still remember playing Beneath a Steel sky on my Amiga...all 15 discs of it! ;)

TillEulenspiegel
04-06-2011, 06:33 PM
LA Noire, Portal 2, Mass Effect, left4dead

Frankly, none of those games are remotely interesting to me, particularly not from an innovation perspective.

For sheer volume and quality of the kinds of games I like, it's undoubtedly the 90s. The RPGs, Quest for Glory, TIE Fighter, X-COM, etc etc. Tons of stuff that has no real 21st century equivalent, and more (eg, MOO2, Master of Magic, Privateer) that are still the peak of their respective genres.

Wizardry
04-06-2011, 06:50 PM
The Golden Age for CRPGs, at least, was probably from around 1988 to 1993. This was perhaps the only period where we had a huge number of quality CRPGs coming out year after year. We had another good period from around 1997 to 2000, but the problem with that period is that the quality titles were shared between just two companies (Black Isle and BioWare), with most using the same engine (Infinity Engine).

There were lots of great games before 1988, but 1988 seems to be the year in which the genre came to life. Before 1988 the Might & Magic series consisted of a single game, Wizardry had yet to reach VI, and no proper D&D CRPG had been released. There were lots of revolutionary CRPGs before 1988, but the previous key year would have to be 1985, which would stretch the range to encapsulate an extra 3 years just to capture the likes of Ultima IV, The Bard's Tale, Wizard's Crown and Phantasie from 1985. Arguably worth it, but I think I'll stick to 1988 for reasons that may become clear.

So how about after 1993? Well, it's well documented that the mid-1990s was a barren period for CRPGs, but 1993 was, on the whole, a pretty good year. 1993 saw the release of the final Ultima VII engine game, the last true turn-based Might & Magic game, one of the best turn-based D&D games and Betrayal at Krondor. After that? Well, before Fallout was released in 1997 there was a period with few quality titles. Those that were released were either of questionable quality or low popularity. I'm talking about games such as World of Aden: Thunderscape, Albion, Stonekeep and both Ravenloft games.

1988 to 1993 was a significant time in the genre's development. For example, Ultima V introduced decent NPC scheduling to the genre in 1988, and Ultima VII perfected NPC scheduling in 1992. Pool of Radiance brought AD&D to computers in 1988, while Dark Sun: Shattered Lands revelled in it in 1993.

Here's a list I've quickly put together of some of the RPGs of the time period:

1988
Pool of Radiance
Wasteland
Star Command
The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception
Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom
Demon's Winter
Mars Saga/Mines of Titan
Might and Magic II: Gates to Another World
Questron II
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny

1989
The Dark Heart of Uukrul
Space Rogue
Knights of Legend
Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero
Curse of the Azure Bonds
The Magic Candle
Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic
Dragon Wars
Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula

1990
Champions of Krynn
Crystals of Arborea
Ultima VI: The False Prophet
Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Centauri Alliance
Secret of the Silver Blades
Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge
Countdown to Doomsday
Legend of Faerghail
Hard Nova
Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire

1991
Eye of the Beholder
Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra
Gateway to the Savage Frontier
Fate: Gates of Dawn
The Magic Candle II: The Four and Forty
Death Knights of Krynn
Planet's Edge: The Point of No Return
Spirit of Adventure
Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams
Pools of Darkness
Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon

1992
Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen
Ultima VII: The Black Gate
Quest for Glory III: Wages of War
Treasures of the Savage Frontier
Amberstar
The Magic Candle III
Ishar: Legend of the Fortress
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Matrix Cubed
Darklands
Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant
The Dark Queen of Krynn
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny

1993
Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle
Ambermoon
Might and Magic V: Darkside of Xeen
Dark Sun: Shattered Lands
Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom
Bloodstone: An Epic Dwarven Tale
Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness
Betrayal at Krondor
Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos

Kadayi
04-06-2011, 07:37 PM
I can see what you mean, but how many dedicated games on the PC require more than one DVD? I think we are reaching the stage where more than one dvd may be required (LA Noire needs 3 for example), but even if games do start to be held back due to their size, I doubt the cost of an extra dvd or two will be prohibitive. After all, plenty of games in the past have come on more than one disc.

More and more increasingly TBH (when the 360 was launched some games were already pushing DVD limits). The hike up in the licencing charge is supposed to be 30% per disc, which is a considerable chunk of change coming straight out of your (the publishers) pockets. After all it's not like you can pass that extra charge to the customer on top of the standard licence fee, without increasing the retailer cut into the bargain (and thus reducing initial sales). Someone like Rockstar with LA Noire can eat the loss because they are know they are going to sell a comfortable 3-4m units just on reputation sales, but that's not obviously the case for most publisher/developers.


Frankly, none of those games are remotely interesting to me, particularly not from an innovation perspective.

That they don't interest you doesn't mean that they aren't innovative.

Might I suggest that if you think the past was best: -

http://www.retrogamer.net/forum/

TillEulenspiegel
04-06-2011, 07:47 PM
And here I thought we were having an interesting, perfectly civil discussion. Sigh. Ignored.

Oh, and if anyone wants a longer list of games from the 90s that have yet to be exceeded, I'm terribly bored and waiting for someone, so I'm working on a list...

Kadayi
04-06-2011, 08:05 PM
And here I thought we were having an interesting, perfectly civil discussion. Sigh. Ignored.

A discussion would imply that you were making some kind of case for. All I saw was a blanket statement relating to personal preference. That (retrogamer's forum) is an honest suggestion for anyone interested in retro gaming.

Stardog
04-06-2011, 09:16 PM
When do you think it was?


For me the golden age was about 96-01, Technology moved so fast back then with the advent of 3d accelerator cards,there were stellar games released often. The PC was really pushing 3d graphics every month.

Now its all changed and were dragged behind to keep the console kids happy and development costs are insanely high i doubt we will see many truly innovate games again
I agree with your dates, except maybe it would be 95-2002. 2002 was when things started switching to from PC-only to PC+Xbox, and then consoles only after that.

I think it's in a decent age now with Minecraft/Dwarf Fortress/Cortex Command and games like Project Zomboid. Though it's not so fun for those who are into games with high production values.

And it's so easy to release a game and sell it. Stick a Paypal/Google Checkout button on your site and get paid. And tablets are PC-like devices, so we'll see some good stuff there.

bookworm8at
05-06-2011, 10:05 AM
I also think there has never been a better time for playing PC games than now.

As "PC", I understand a hardware for general purpose computing without a gatekeeper.
As "PC Game", I understand all games that I can run on a PC.


- We now have the technology to make & sell great games in small teams, on a low budget. There seems to be development on every niche market I can think of. We also have many big budget productions coming out every year, and a lot of middle budget productions.

- All the old games run just great today, including those made for other platforms. Super Mario Brothers used to be a console game a century ago, now I can run it on my notebook on Ubuntu. Many of the monster budget games are either cross-platform, or at some point ported to Windows. The PC makes a great console these days, if it sits in front of you couch.

- We have much more variety in distribution methods, and as a result there are a lot of games that could not exist in earlier times. The digital distribution model for example, which allows me to subscribe to 10 games for $5 bucks and play each for two hours, instead of thinking all year which game I'm going to purchase for $50.

Or ad driven games. Or free to play + microtransactions stuff like league of legends. I even like "social games", because they I can now casually play with friends I would normally not play any games with.

- We have much more Software platforms and hardware form factors. There used to be only Windows desktops, and now we have the web, we have Android, and there are a lot of great ideas that only work on a PC if it fits into you jeans pocket, or on a big touch device. There are lot of great ideas for these new devices.

TheCentralGovernment
05-06-2011, 05:25 PM
The golden age in the history of gaming actually comprised of certain intermittent periods, spread across one week, some time in 2009 (yeah, I got it late) when I played Half Life. Everything else pales in comparison. Now that we have arrived at the above stated consensus, this thread may be locked.

Synchrony
05-06-2011, 06:06 PM
I can see what you mean, but how many dedicated games on the PC require more than one DVD?

Wait... PC games still come on DVDs? Don't they just magic their way to your PC from the internet?

Personally I think the golden age of PC gaming is now. Between the good AAA titles like Portal 2 and The Witcher and hopefully the upcoming Deux Ex and Skyrim among others and innovate indie developers producing games like Magicka, Minecraft and Frozen Synapse now is a brilliant time for PC gaming.

Also if Introversion get it released this year as planned I'm tipping Subversion for game of the year

Lewie Procter
05-06-2011, 06:13 PM
The best is yet to come.

Tikey
05-06-2011, 06:19 PM
I somewhat agree with the OP time frame. But that's because it's when most of my all time favs were released. AND also is the time when I was actually able to play all day.
Now it's probably a great time for pc gaming, just not a great time for me to play.
(sometimes I miss being a kid)

winterwolves
05-06-2011, 06:52 PM
I somewhat agree with the OP time frame. But that's because it's when most of my all time favs were released. AND also is the time when I was actually able to play all day.
Now it's probably a great time for pc gaming, just not a great time for me to play.
(sometimes I miss being a kid)
Yes, same here... I remember the period of Diablo 1-2, Daggerfall, Master Of Magic, Civ1-2, Baldur's Gate, Warcraft 2...! but in those years I could play 10h a day!!

cairbre
06-06-2011, 12:47 PM
I think the pc is coming back strong and I cant remember things being so good for a long time

cairbre
06-06-2011, 12:50 PM
I agree but I never really go back and play old games I guess I can be a bit of a graphics whore. I like to see my new rig work. That said I did by worms again recently.

Sidorovich
06-06-2011, 12:55 PM
The only AAA PC only titles I see on the distant horizon are Diablo 3 and Stalker 2. Although I fear (perhaps unreasonably) that the later will have a control scheme and combat mechanics to suit a console audience, just like Witcher 2. I just don't feel its a good time to be a PC gamer at all. As much as I'm looking forward to Skyrim and Deus Ex 3, these games are going to be designed with UI's built for consoles (although I hope DE3 will deliver on its promise of a proper PC interface) - I'm fed up of playing games that feel 'strange' cos they were designed for a gamepad.

I've tried Magicka, couldn't get the demo to work. Minecraft doesn't do anything for me. I keep on hearing about this golden age of Indie PC games, but I don't get it - someone please educate me.

baboonanza
06-06-2011, 01:27 PM
IMO PC gaming has been pretty consistently awesome since I started in the early nineties, with a bit of a crap stage in the mid 00s when there were few games that weren't corridor shooters or derivative RTSs.

But such a thing is always going to be subjective, because it depends primarily on what types of games you like. I tend to like a large variety, but having been a PC gamer for so long I need a game to offer me something new and interesting to grab me. Being the flashiest shooter or the best Dune-alike ever is rarely enough, and hence I find myself dis-interested in many AAA releases.

Fortunately the last few years have seen the rise of the Eastern European, indie and smaller studios who easily fill the void left by the AAA studios lack of interest in anything but man-shooters. I'm still waiting for someone to make an awesome squad-based TBS game in the Jagged Alliance / Silent Storm mold and a remake of Tie-Fighter but otherwise everything is pretty damn golden right now. Certainly by volume there are more great games I want to play now than there ever were in the late 90s, and most of them far surpass the quality of games from that era.

icupnimpn2
06-06-2011, 01:36 PM
I can legally download, access, and play nearly any game I would care to within just minutes. The time is now, and it's only going to get better (so long as PC users don't all get bludgeoned to death by the forces of the touch-based tablet).

˛scar.
06-06-2011, 05:03 PM
Today videogames (not only PC ones) are an actual industry, unlike 15-20 years ago. Back then, even AAA games weren't played by as much people as they are today. Now, every bastard who called us nerds for playing our computer entertainment software in 1997 is getting what he deserves by paying vast amounts of money to play CoD or even WoW. Therefore, much more people is devoting their careers to videogames and we've got lots of games to judge. While the innovation that there was 15 years ago existed due to the market not being fully developed and we can think that nowadays developers aren't pushing too hard, I think that we're currently living the golden age of distribution, and this will lead to indie (usually more imaginative) developers making more and better games.

vinraith
06-06-2011, 05:53 PM
Personally, I think we lack the necessary distance and perspective to be able to say. The industry hasn't existed long enough to start declaring golden ages, ask me again in 20 years and I'll let you know. For what it's worth, the early days were great, the 2000's were pretty good too, and while it's undeniable that the volume of AAA games coming out that I find interesting has dropped off sharply of late, I'm virtually drowning in interesting indie fare, so I can't exactly complain about the present either. I don't know where all this is going, it's entirely possible the best is ahead of us, it's entirely possible that the best has already been, we won't know til we get further down the road.

icupnimpn2
06-06-2011, 06:47 PM
Personally, I think we lack the necessary distance and perspective to be able to say. The industry hasn't existed long enough to start declaring golden ages, ask me again in 20 years and I'll let you know. For what it's worth, the early days were great, the 2000's were pretty good too, and while it's undeniable that the volume of AAA games coming out that I find interesting has dropped off sharply of late, I'm virtually drowning in interesting indie fare, so I can't exactly complain about the present either. I don't know where all this is going, it's entirely possible the best is ahead of us, it's entirely possible that the best has already been, we won't know til we get further down the road.

Oh come off it. We can't do everything in hindsight. What's the point of having a golden age if it's already over?

Declare the golden age. Live it and love it now.

Wizardry
06-06-2011, 06:50 PM
I can legally download, access, and play nearly any game I would care to within just minutes. The time is now, and it's only going to get better (so long as PC users don't all get bludgeoned to death by the forces of the touch-based tablet).
So you're classing abandonware as legal, right? Good on you!

˛scar.
06-06-2011, 07:30 PM
So you're classing abandonware as legal, right? Good on you!

he hasn't said without paying!

mbp
06-06-2011, 07:55 PM
There appears to be two distinct views here

1. The Golden age was the turn of the millenium.
2. The Golden age is now.

I agree with both views. The late 90's early 00's was a classic golden age when a whole bunch of really creative people were exploring the limits of new technology and making up the rules as they went along. Many of the great games of that period invented the conventions which games still follow today and then you had games that were so unique that no one would be allowed to make them today (Sacrifice comes to mind and possibly Homeworld).

Today we are blessed to live in another golden age. This time game playing technology is irrelevant and it is all about the distribution mechanism. Digital technology has mode it possible for anyone with a PC to experience an incredible amount of high quality gaming for peanuts. Perhaps even more importantly it has provided small independent developers a mechanism to distribute weird and wacky works of genius that could never find a place on the shelves of a high street game store.

SMiD
06-06-2011, 08:16 PM
Today we are blessed to live in another golden age. This time game playing technology is irrelevant and it is all about the distribution mechanism. Digital technology has mode it possible for anyone with a PC to experience an incredible amount of high quality gaming for peanuts. Perhaps even more importantly it has provided small independent developers a mechanism to distribute weird and wacky works of genius that could never find a place on the shelves of a high street game store.

Dare I say... the Silver Age?

icupnimpn2
06-06-2011, 08:34 PM
he hasn't said without paying!

Good lookin' out, bro!



Dare I say... the Silver Age?

Silver implies less value than gold.

SMiD
06-06-2011, 09:16 PM
Silver implies less value than gold.

I was going for more AAA/Big name studio vs Indie. Not necessarily value.

˛scar.
06-06-2011, 09:42 PM
There appears to be two distinct views here

1. The Golden age was the turn of the millenium.
2. The Golden age is now.

I agree with both views, words.

Exactly what I meant: 2 golden ages with 2 totally different starting points: the first one being that the videogame industry wasn't explored at all and that left place to develop excellent games that were milestones on their day, and the second and current one being that nowadays everyone can make and sell their own dream game, and succeed if they make it properly.

15 years ago there were a bunch of developers with a world to explore and genres to define: barely nothing had been created.

nowaways there are thousands of developers and "almost everything has already been created", but that leaves devs zillions of games to inspire them to create perfect gaming experiences, which they can sell directly to us without having to be a huge company.

Wizardry
06-06-2011, 09:46 PM
Why miss out the late 80s and early 90s? That was by far the most innovative period.

Maykael
06-06-2011, 09:53 PM
I do think that we're in a constant Golden Age. I've got Jagged Alliance 2, Baldur's Gate 2, Half-Life 2, Bad Company 2, The Witcher 2 and Shogun 2 installed on my computer now and I love them all, despite the various time periods they're from.

... Now that's a lot of 2s... :))

vinraith
06-06-2011, 09:58 PM
Why miss out the late 80s and early 90s? That was by far the most innovative period.

1. Because many of the posters on RPS are young enough that they don't recall that era of gaming with the clarity and nostalgia they assign to the mid-90's to early 2000's period.

2. Because the graphical limitations of the era (which are part of what made it so innovative, actually, as those kinds of limitations mean the gameplay has to be that much more engrossing) make those games harder to go back and experience than the games of the "golden age" period many people are describing here.

Let's face it, this is mostly a thread about nostalgia, not objective evaluation of the quality of a given era of gaming. :)

mbp
06-06-2011, 10:22 PM
Why miss out the late 80s and early 90s? That was by far the most innovative period.

I am sadly old enough to remember the 1980's well and I have to agree with Vinraith on this one. The technology was just too crude back then. Even mid 90's classics like DOOM are virtually unplayable by today's standards. However at the end of the 90's PC gaming hardware made a massive leap forward with the advent of gpus, 32 bit operating systems (meaning lots of memory) and big hard disks.

Wizardry
06-06-2011, 10:27 PM
Sorry, I don't buy it. Only graphics sucked back then. There were some highly innovative games back then for systems like the Amiga.

vinraith
06-06-2011, 10:31 PM
I have to agree with Vinraith on this one. The technology was just too crude back then.

That's not really what I said. Graphical tech, perhaps, but my main point was that objective innovation, and objective game quality in general (if there even is such a thing) has no bearing on the popularity of an era in what is really an "I fondly remember the games I played in my youth" thread.

Wizardry
06-06-2011, 10:35 PM
That's not remotely what I said.
Don't worry. I know what you said and I agree with you. The graphics and interfaces of these older games may indeed be quite dated but if their graphics and interfaces were to be upgraded to modern day standards without touching the gameplay at all then I believe you would end up with some truly great games that are leagues apart from what we get nowadays.

winterwolves
06-06-2011, 10:44 PM
I'm fed up of playing games that feel 'strange' cos they were designed for a gamepad.

Well personally I like it. I now actually PREFER if a game also support gamepad, is more relaxing playing games with it (in particular action/FPS games)

imirk
06-06-2011, 11:03 PM
Well personally I like it. I now actually PREFER if a game also support gamepad, is more relaxing playing games with it (in particular action/FPS games)
Wait WHAT? Are you high? FPS with a game pad? I know I cerainly don't find it more relaxing when my character cannot do what I want him to do. Analog movement based games maybe but why would inputing a direction when you need a position be preferable?

icupnimpn2
06-06-2011, 11:04 PM
Well personally I like it. I now actually PREFER if a game also support gamepad, is more relaxing playing games with it (in particular action/FPS games)

Oh, I prefer if a game also supports gamepads. But it sucks when games are designed around Xbox360 pads. I've run into several games that will function with my Logitech gamepad - sorta. They don't let me reassign buttons in game, but I can nab a configuration text file and a driver from somewhere and dump them in the directory of the game to get it playing ok.

That's a pretty big step backward, considering most games in the early 90s let me choose from a number of supported peripherals and reassign buttons at will.

Kadayi
06-06-2011, 11:55 PM
Don't worry. I know what you said and I agree with you. The graphics and interfaces of these older games may indeed be quite dated but if their graphics and interfaces were to be upgraded to modern day standards without touching the gameplay at all then I believe you would end up with some truly great games that are leagues apart from what we get nowadays.

Games are a reflection of their time and that includes the possibilities of game play. It's not simply a case of updating graphics and UI.