Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 90
  1. #1
    Network Hub Mihkel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    247

    Stagnation or lack of imagination and a skewed mentality in the gaming industry

    I do not really know how to properly name the thread here because I believe that this subject encompasses a lot in the gaming industry. So I do apologize if anybody is confused here.

    Today a lot of games are recycled. I don't really mean in the sense of a single gameplay mechanic but in a sense that there is a certain pattern. 5-7 hour single player campaign, shoehorned multiplayer, short and rushed development times, mediocre gameplay, shoddy ports, day1 DLC, needless DRM and so forth. You can argue that there are good, properly made games released but it's too few in my opinion to matter in the grand scheme of the game industry. In other words a lot of games lack soul. Games made with the ambition and heart will live on, either they fail or succeed. They will always be remembered because the developers tried to do something significant and something that matters.

    You see a few developers try and advance some major aspect of their games either developing for a single platform first and then try to branch out on other gaming platforms (CD Projekt RED, Remedy Entertainment, From Software) or try and make a unique and interesting gameplay mechanic (Frictional Games, Quantic Dream, Remedy Entertainment, Team Bondi). But most just try to cash in and people will buy those mediocre products.

    I think the problem lies with the heads of the gaming industry and old and the new customer generation. Former's standards have lowered and latter doesn't have any standards whatsoever, at least that theory makes sense to me. The thing with the gaming industry is that they don't realize that they do not sell products that are 10-20 dollars a piece when actually the product costs 3-4 times as much. The thing with the movie industry is that you can make a technically bad movie but it will sell if it has lets say good action scenes or CGI because a movie ticket costs around 4-5 dollars. So the customer doesn't really lose that much and is more lenient considering the film sold to him/her. Main problem here is that the major publishers of the gaming industry seem to apply the same logic to games when it doesn't apply considering the cost of an average game. It's very much a luxury and a sensible customer might shun the company, have distrust towards them whenever their latest model fails on being a genuinely good and instead just pirating it to try it out and not buying it. On the other side of that coin are the newcomers to gaming, doesn't matter if console or pc but they will probably buy anything because they don't have a relevant point of reference considering the quality. I know this sounds really elitist but I do believe it to be the truth. I apologize if I have insulted anybody with that but that's my opinion on the matter.

    So in the end you have a big supply of clients who will fund your average products and on a business aspect that's good. But on the creative aspect that's bad. You have a lot of game series that are massively simplified and made shorter for the sake of so to speak awesomeness and streamlining (Splinter Cell: Conviction, Rainbow Six: Vegas 1/2, Battlefield 3, Fable 3). Even the smallest hint of complexity and challenge is more or less lost in games. Most recent game on PC that tries to be interesting and imaginative is Alan Wake and that is technically a 2 year old game. Remedy brought that thing to PC with porting it right and pricing it only 20 euros. In 2 days they made a profit on it. I mean the math is not hard on that one, imagination + solid gameplay + right pricing = profit. Appealing to everyone is the grave the industry is digging for itself.

    I love all forms of entertainment, films and video games especially. What happened to the the developers to go to the way of greediness? What happened with the rights of a regular customer? What happened with the imagination and soul of the games we play? It saddens me to see less and less of imagination used in game development for the sake of appealing to everyone. I hope I didn't forget anything.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    1,702
    Developing AAA games is expensive and high-risk buisness.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    936
    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Developing AAA games is expensive and high-risk buisness.
    This, pretty much. Due to the focus on graphics, games are more expensive to make (this is why good graphics means crappy gameplay, guys :D) and so they tend to go with tried and tested methodology in terms of gameplay, as long as they know it sells.

    Which, of course, leads to a massive crash and burn when people catch on, but people seem happy enough to buy the same game over and over again as long as it has a new name plastered onto it, so whatever.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Gaming isn't that. The top five companies are that. Gaming is a lot more diverse than you think.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  5. #5
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    409
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Gaming isn't that. The top five companies are that. Gaming is a lot more diverse than you think.
    This. Just look at some of the successful indie games of late (for example Minecraft, Bastion, Terraria), which often sold more than AAA games. The gap left by the big publishers is filled by more innovative, flexible developers who can afford to take a lot more risks (and who don't need sales in excess of a million copies just to break even).

  6. #6
    Activated Node
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    36
    I think that indie games have to be innovative and different simply to get noticed. Gaming isn't stagnating as such, more like AAA gaming. Indie gaming is flourishing and more interesting.

    I think what the OP is describing happens in all industries. In movies, the mainstream is Transformers and rom-coms. In books, thrillers and romance. On TV, reality shows. In music, X-Factor and pop-R'N'B. It's the way all entertainment goes eventually- the mainstream becomes repetition and inoffensiveness. The interesting stuff is always beyond that.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    4,494
    Indie game fails, at large it doesn't make a difference.
    AAA title fails, studios close. That's where part of the difference lies.

    Indie gaming does produce an occasionally innovative title, but I think people are guilty of cherry-picking and overstating how innovative the indie scene really is. For every Minecraft there's a bunch of sub-par platformers or pointless "art" games. For every Xenonauts there's a legion of App Store titles doing nothing interesting. Not every indie game is gold but you wouldn't know it by the way some people act towards the indie sector. A lot of indie games wouldn't make it in the mainstream sector, because they're just not particularly interesting or entertaining. Minecraft and Bastion struck it big and are the exception to the rule.

    The AAA sector does lack innovation in some ways but I think the AAA titles inherently attract much, much more criticism because they come from a larger studio, so any flaws are picked to pieces. They're a bigger target. As for the elitist streak - it is elitist. In some cases you're right, older games did tend to experiment more, but the market was smaller and it wasn't mainstream. But if everyone was like that, we'd all be like Wizardry, and I'm sure we don't want to end up like that. A lot of the things that old games did "better" is seen through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. People hold up a Doom map as an example of non-linear level design, but seem to conveniently forget that most of that consisted of switch or key hunting along with a lot of backtracking, plus there was no story driving the game to bother to speak of (without any story, it'd still be the same game). That's not to say that the scripted sequences found in something like MW3 are always superior, but the older ages of gaming aren't the special, golden years where it was full of innovation and nothing was crap.

    [quote]
    You have a lot of game series that are massively simplified and made shorter for the sake of so to speak
    awesomeness and streamlining[/quote]
    "Streamlining" done correctly is a good thing. X3's interface for example hasn't changed much since the very first X game. It's a mess of submenus and places where a mouse-driven interface is expected yet doesn't function as you'd think. It needs to be overhauled desperately. Streamlining that interface is a good thing. Pointless complexity for the same of calling your game complex does not automatically make a good game. Minecraft isn't complex in its essential gameplay elements. It's incredibly simple. Bastion is simple. Terraria is simple. In fact the majority of indie games are very simple in their gameplay mechanics and execution. I don't buy into the "streamlining" argument for most games, because often people seem to just want complexity for the sake of it.

    Not every game needs to operate like KA-50, because gaming would be incredibly boring. Fact is we've been bitching about the same goddamn problems for ages now, yes even back in the 90s. We just hear about it more these days thanks to the Internet.

  8. #8
    Activated Node
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    75
    So this is a thread of innovation in AAA titles, not in indie or middle tier games (games from Paradox, Stardock, etc)?

    And Alan Wake is an example of an innovative AAA title?

    Btw - the profit for Alan Wake is only profit on the costs for the conversion. The game was in development for ages, and those costs were not recouped in two days.

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node Scumbag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lincoln
    Posts
    764
    Gaming is just bigger now then in the past. Big companies from the 80s and 90s are now colossal companies (or they just ate the competition) while middle sized A or AA companies are about the size of larger companies in the past. Sure the stuff the AAA guys are lacking innovation but that’s the same for most media that eventually becomes a large social norm.
    As for people just blindly lacking innovation? That’s always existed. Take the hundreds upon hundreds of PS1 games released and, off the top of your head, pick 10 titles you found to be bland and ultimately lacking in innovation. They were always there; people just tend to forget the utterly average.

  10. #10
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    People's Republic of Germany
    Posts
    2,585
    The year 14,000,000,000 BC - the super symmetry breaks down, the big bang occurs and the particles that would later become video games emerge from the quark-gluon plasma, thereby marking the decline of video games.
    Old hat! A Steam curator page focusing on Immersive Sims WIP
    Antique! The Fall of Infinite Games 2014 - A handy release schedule for the dark season.
    Recently updated! Thrust Issues: A Marvelous Guide to Fencing in Dark Souls 2

    to wound the autumnal city.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,930
    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Developing AAA games is expensive and high-risk buisness.
    This.

    But also I think the analysis of gamers standards having declined over the years is false. Games that sold well have never been all that complex, we may harp on about the days of Baldur's Gate and Deus Ex, but frankly back then games that sold through the roof were things like Tomb Raider sequels. The console market back then was still pretty dominant, I work for PlayStation and frankly nobody here has heard of Baldur's Gate or Fallout 1/2 or Thief, they grew up on the actual mass market of gaming which was PlayStation.

    So the games we cherish were only ever really mid level sellers back in the day as they could only appeal to a smaller market base. With games costing a lot more, relatively, to produce the only way to justify that cost is to cut back complexity or to make your complexity far more accessible to a wider audience. Or you could cut back on graphics or voice actors.... imagine how that would go down.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    645
    I honestly think that games are better now than they ever where, and they're getting better. Never had such a wide and diverse range of different quality games as we do today.

    It's human nature to think that "things where better X years ago"; it's nostalgia, melancholia. It's natural, but it doesn't make it true. That new Woody Allen movie, "Midnight in Paris", makes a great point of this.
    steam

    http://dailycelluloid.blogspot.com/- where I write about movies.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ado View Post
    I honestly think that games are better now than they ever where, and they're getting better. Never had such a wide and diverse range of different quality games as we do today.

    It's human nature to think that "things where better X years ago"; it's nostalgia, melancholia. It's natural, but it doesn't make it true. That new Woody Allen movie, "Midnight in Paris", makes a great point of this.
    the problem is when the general standard is raised, as I agree it is in general with games, then that standard becomes the new average, and games need to be even more spectacular to appear to stand out from the crowd. add in the cost/risk of AAA games and they play safe on gameplay and try to dazzle with graphics, as it's much easier to sell as a differentiator.
    My free online multiplayer PC ONLY 'world cup singles/singles/worldy/cuppy/wembley' game can be found here:
    http://thebeautifulgame-thegame.com
    Please try it out!

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1,386
    There are plenty of excellent, imaginative, tight and well designed games just now. They just aren't necessarily coming from the biggest names is all. It also depends where you look; some of the best recent games have been on the Iphone and have not been hurt by the format at all. I love my PC but I think that because they are capable of so much many games are guilty of over reach and trying to fulfill the platform's potential simultaneously, whereas some of the best art is made because it has to work within it's limitations. That said there have many games from big budget industries within the last five years which have been very good games as well, and there have been lots of indie or cheaper games which have been rubbish.

    It's best to play a game and react to it rather than go down the tribal route which is increasingly the case in pop culture, where people identify problems with an industry or genre and then try and work out how/whether it escapes or conforms to those confines.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Unaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,912
    I think it's a matter of perception and perspective, and we're actually going through one of the best periods for games we've ever had.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    I just have an opinion different to your own. Circle jerking is good for no one, be glad somebody isn't afraid to disagree with women on the internet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    No, you are literally the cancer that is killing gaming.
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Nobody's ever lost sleep over being called a cracker.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Jolly Ole England
    Posts
    3,269
    Gaming is still trying to find its identity. It became popular so suddenly, so the bigwigs are emulating the movie industry because they don't know what else to do.

  17. #17
    Activated Node
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    99
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Gaming is still trying to find its identity. It became popular so suddenly, so the bigwigs are emulating the movie industry because they don't know what else to do.
    This.
    I've read somewhere of a theory used in movie marketing - "quartering" the audience per sex and age. So you get males under 25, males over 25, females under 25 and females over 25. Obviously it's not 25% each - the first segment, males under 25, make by far the largest potential audience while females over 25 make the smallest, so the average AAA producer focuses on what he thinks will have the least risk of bombing - titles marketed at the largest potential audience. This is not a 100% blockbuster guarantee, obviously.
    Seems to me game industry is somewhat on the same boat, even if much less that the movie industry - probably that's what caused the ME3 writer drama recently, gaming has been dominated by younger males for decades, and in relatively recent times expanded to include both girls and older men.

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node ado's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    645
    Quote Originally Posted by Drake Sigar View Post
    Gaming is still trying to find its identity. It became popular so suddenly, so the bigwigs are emulating the movie industry because they don't know what else to do.
    Not sure if I'd agree with the "finding the identity" thing. In my opinion the games of yesterday/today are actually forming the identity of the artform. Same happened with movies some 100 years ago, when D.W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein and Charlie Chaplin etc. where doing their thing. These guys pretty much set up an unshakable paradigm for film making and film storytelling, setting up a standard for the audiences and teaching them the language of movie watching in certain ways.

    I think the same is happening with games right now and all the "genres" we have. Which doesn't mean it's done evolving, color and talkies are probably just around the corner.
    Last edited by ado; 24-02-2012 at 04:05 PM.
    steam

    http://dailycelluloid.blogspot.com/- where I write about movies.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,009
    *raises "Theodore Sturgeons laws"*

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,995
    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But if everyone was like that, we'd all be like Wizardry, and I'm sure we don't want to end up like that. A lot of the things that old games did "better" is seen through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia.
    Yeah yeah. People who genuinely like older games get branded as nostalgic, while people who like newer games are branded as reasonable and progressive. But have you ever considered that old games might actually be better and that rose-tinted glasses may not apply? Nah. Of course you haven't. Because that would defeat your point, right?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •