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  1. #1
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    Golden age of pc gaming

    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

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thegooseking View Post
    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

  4. #4
    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.

  5. #5
    Obscure Node LittleLizard's Avatar
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    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.
    If you like prog rock, then you're with me. If you dont, you are against.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLizard View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    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.
    Last edited by BobsLawnService; 04-06-2011 at 06:55 AM.

  8. #8
    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 :)
    if you like manga, RPG and dating sims, check my indie computer games

  9. #9
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    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.

  10. #10
    Obscure Node Bad Sector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    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.
    ~bs~

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node Flint's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Flint; 04-06-2011 at 08:49 AM.

  12. #12
    Obscure Node Plankton's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
    Obscure Node Berlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Nick View Post
    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.

  14. #14
    Obscure Node Renfield's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #15
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    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.

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berlin View Post
    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.

  18. #18
    Obscure Node SwiftRanger's Avatar
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    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.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    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 cliché of 'I was into them before they sold out' which is a fairly tragic perspective given this is a gaming enthusiasts site.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 04-06-2011 at 11:54 AM.
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  20. #20
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    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.

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