Author Topic: Game Development going downhill?  (Read 588 times)

tehloserer

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Game Development going downhill?
« on: November 28, 2011, 11:02:11 AM »
Is it me or has game development become more about looking pretty and including everyone and less about mechanics that challenge the player to become better?  Looking back to games from around '97-'01 we see that there are some titles that are still played heavily today.  Starcraft: Broodwars, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and among my friends Tony Hawk Pro Skater (original).  These games are balanced and have incredible high Skill Ceilings.  These two combined allow for some fierce competition.

Korea still plays SC:BW like there's no tomorrow.  There are three major television networks devoted to showing professional games.  they show other games too, like Tekken 6, and a DotA styled game.  Players on sponsored teams have salaries of $10,00 USD and up.  Why don't they play Starcraft 2 instead?  It's not complete and also imbalanced.  There are still two more expansion to be released and then some balancing that will need done after the last expansion before they fully decide whether to switch over or not.

Here in the US, mostly out west, SSBM is the game to play among "professional" gamers.  Brawl get some love from tournament organizers, but mostly because it's newer and not because it's better.  Brawl is missing many of the mechanics that raised the skill ceiling for the Melee.  No more directional air dodging takes away wave dashing.  Being able to grab the ledge while facing away from it is a shot to the skill ceiling.  The worst addition to the game was the random trip effect.  This makes dash dancing almost pointless.

The original Tony Hawk Pro Skater never saw tournament events, but the potential is there.  If you want big points in this game then you had better practice your lines.  There are no manuals, flatland tricks, or anything else that could be used to string together trick combos.

I've played A LOT of games in the time I've spent on this planet, and few come close to these games.  While most are nothing more than a "press X and watch the pretty colors" game, some have had me captivated while challenging me to find ways to improve my methods.

All-in-all what I'm getting at is that game developers should stop chasing after ever human on Earth and focus on making games for people that want a challenge from their entertainment.

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ViciouslyMe

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Re: Game Development going downhill?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 01:13:12 PM »
I wouldn't say there are no great games these days, just that there are fewer. Still, when 'reminiscing', one should remember that there were a lot of terrible games during those times as well. Personally, I've loved Uncharted (1 and 2, also 3 once I get it), thought it one hell of a game. The visuals are great, but the focus is more on story and gameplay. Skyrim has also been fun, but that could just be me. Nothing to do with visuals, just the fun of going around and becoming the type of character you want to be (in terms of fighting), molding your characters around the way you play and what you like using. Other games too,but I should take off. Supposed to be watching a movie.
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Loki

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Re: Game Development going downhill?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 01:19:21 PM »
The problem with games is the same as with movies ... Small creative studios cannot develop a modern game on their own and they need back up of the big capital, more concerned by ROI than creating new experiences for gamers. Secondlly, who buys game at 75$ today, the iPhone has killed the Nintendo DS cause games are free or very cheap.
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tehloserer

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Re: Game Development going downhill?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 03:43:36 PM »
I have played my share of terrible games as well.  I've also played some REALLY good single player games.  However the quality of competitive games has waned as of late, with developers trying to include everyone.  I wouldn't say that handhelds are dead to phones.  I have yet to see a Wario Ware or Legend of Zelda game forza mah cell phone.  I will say that tablets and cell phones will kill all other media interaction devices in the next 5-10 years.
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ViciouslyMe

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Re: Game Development going downhill?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 04:15:19 PM »
Doubt it, they could never be as powerful as some of the best computers out there. I understand what you're trying to get at, but the problem I think lies more in people wanting to have an excuse for losing to cheap tactics or over powered characters. Personally, there's a way to beat anyone and everyone. Can I do it right now? No, but given time, I can develop a strategy for them.
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Jake
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Re: Game Development going downhill?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2011, 05:15:40 AM »
In terms of skill, I think console games peaked around the time that the PS2 was launched. Consoles really went mainstream then and developers started making games for the lowest common denominator. The same is true of MMORPGs: for example, post WoW 1.x Blizzard just kept making the game easier and easier for "casual" gamers to beat. After all, a hardcore product ultimately ships less boxes.

I also see more and more effort from studios put into making games look fantastic at the expense of actual immersive - and skillful - gameplay.

Edit: The dates kinda tally - PS2 launch was 2000, fitting in with your golden era of 97-2001.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 05:19:04 AM by Jake »