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  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito'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
    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.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    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.

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

  3. #23
    Obscure Node Where Is My Halftime Pie?'s Avatar
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    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?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    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.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imbecile View Post
    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/m...n-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.
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  6. #26
    Obscure Node The Prince Of Love's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    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! ;)

  8. #28
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 04-06-2011 at 06:45 PM.

  9. #29
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    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
    Last edited by Wizardry; 04-06-2011 at 09:35 PM.

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imbecile View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    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/
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  11. #31
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    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...

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Kadayi; 04-06-2011 at 08:11 PM.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finicky View Post
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    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.

  14. #34
    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.

  15. #35
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    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.

  16. #36
    Obscure Node Synchrony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imbecile View Post
    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

  17. #37
    The best is yet to come.

  18. #38
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    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)

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    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!!
    if you like manga, RPG and dating sims, check my indie computer games

  20. #40
    Obscure Node cairbre's Avatar
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    I think the pc is coming back strong and I cant remember things being so good for a long time

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