The state of videogames

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Akratus, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    So I start to feel like videogames are stuck in a gigantic rut and won't recover anytime soon. Sure there's things like kickstarter crpg's and those are great but the vast majority is simply. . . breathtakingly banal. I mean, I go on to this forum to get away from that feeling and the only new posts are in the gta V thread and Battlefield 4 thread. No, I kid, I kid. . . you know I love you guys.

    It's not so much that there aren't any good games to play, but it's simply that the overwhelming majority of game related fans and their discussions are insane in their rhetorical uneducated arguments and love for gimmicks and badly designed games.

    Nobody wants quality games, quality writing and gamedesign. Apparantly we want gimmicks, good graphics, our favorite mary sue characters, romances, emotional cinematics and black and white morality choices.

    I know I'm not really dealing with that here on this forum but I just feel that it overwhelms the potential in gaming, even more so than the popular crap in other mediums like movies and books. I take a look at comments by developers who are supposed to know something about their craft and it just makes me fucking depressed about the state of the human race if I dig long enough.

    For example, Bioware's unwillingness to look inward in ANY fashion and simply ignore ANY valid criticism and keep talking about how lgbt characters make their games good. And the majority of their fans still love them unconditionally.

    Then there's the whole next gen bonanza. E3, ads, interviews, fan and fanboy/girl discussions. . . there is an insane amount of worth put on these things that I feel ensures only the increased banality of our medium. This is the core of the medium. This is where most of the discussion will take place, where all the journalism is. This is the public face of video games. Old games with new paint jobs surrounded by hired dancers and dubstep music. And people look to e3 as though it's an event that actually changes things or brings something new.

    People will marvel at the supposed innovation of bad shooters like Bioshock Infinite. And the shallow spectacle of upcoming shooters.

    "Properly" portraying female characters, having good romance and including popular gimmicks like zombies and what have you are what is considered QUALITY now.

    I can not accept the fact that MOBA games are a thing. Their own fucking genre.

    And the journalists are just big fucking buddies with the devs and together they just keep the cycle going and it just grows and grows. In size and stupidity. We should just call it news and marketing, rather than journalism.

    Sometimes I just want to sit in a corner and play Aram Kachaturian's Ballet Suite Gayanen on repeat.

    Do we have to accept now that games have become about ego stroking, roleplaying, dialogue with the illusion of choice, worthless points/achievements and hype?

    That hype machine is most insufferable of all. People will foam at the mouth about things they have not even yet SEEN.

    So do we accept it or do we move on to something better? I don't see how that is possible. Yet.

    I guess we will do what we have always done. Gather here and in other places and simply marvel at the decline, and formulate the best criticism we can as well as discussions about what has been able to elude the banality and what hasn't.
  2. zegh8578

    zegh8578 Keeper of the trout Orderite

    Mar 11, 2012
    I am a grump when it comes to games. You can give me a lump of money, and I'll walk in and out of a game shop, with no new games in my hands.

    One of my best friends will often, and eagerly, show me game trailers on youtube, and to me, it's all the exact same soup every time: Look you can shoot your enemies, look you can climb now, oh look, this game stands out because you can climb and shoot at the same time!

    I haven't been really excited about upcoming games in ages. The last game I waited for was Fallout 3, and we know how that story went...
  3. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    It is the same with me. I feel like meeting up with fellow grumps to talk away our gaming woes.

    Is there some kind of voicechat place I could participate in?

    Wait a second. . . we should really have a voip server. . .

    The forums are great but far too slow. :wink:
  4. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    Get out of my head, Akratus.

    This was the reason why Fallout, to me, is the most memorable gaming experience. It was actually created by adults, for adults, and not in the "adult themes" content, but in coherency of world design, writing, complexity and variety of quests and the depth of world reactivity systems underneath.

    It was the promise of something that never came - an era of sophistication, where grown up people can play grown up games.

    Instead, we are saddled with games where world design, writing and other fine details which are VERY IMPORTANT, are at the bottom of priorities list.

    I'm now 36 and I can't stand to look at "stories" and "worlds" of any videogame, because they're all garbage written on a napkin for barely literate 15-year-olds which are so prevalent these days.

    I only can handle playing competitive FPS, because they don't pretend to have a story, and the experience changes based on people present.

    The state of decline, the industry staying at the 15-year-old boy's level, is the reason why I started working on an isometric RPG so long ago. Because I recognized the many ways in which Fallout promised more.

    Unfortunately these days my enthusiasm has destabilized due to variety of factors. But posts like yours still remind me why it's worth doing.
  5. valcik

    valcik So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Dec 20, 2008
    This reminded me of Troika Games. Those gentlemen were pushing the limits of game design all the time!

  6. Idiotfool

    Idiotfool Still Mildly Glowing

    Apr 12, 2007
    I'm really torn in that I miss seeing games like Fallout and Arcanum, where I can positively lose myself in playing them and I rail at the perceived decline in video games, and in accepting that my tastes are atypical. Sometimes, I think we need to objectively look at games of the past. Games like the above were niche, even then. It's just tough to justify developing a massive world, with a huge number of choices and repercussions, only to have fans largely ignore it.

    When I look back at the old SSI and TSR D&D Games, I don't think they're all that different from the modern stuff, like Oblivion, save graphics. Menzoberranzan had occasional voiceover, NPC dialog, a central, mostly linear story with occasional extra tasks that didn't matter much to the overall game. Compare that with something like Dragon Age Origins and there's not a huge hell of a lot of difference at their heart. DAO has quest markers, a mini-map, and an enemy map, but I would say that part of that was do to UI limitations in 1993 and that Menzoberranzan would have had it if it could have. Overall, though, there's not much more that I can see that can be done to make a game groundbreaking in the back-end. Investing in an exceptional writing staff, having great vision to tie everything together, adding in choice. These factors make a game I want to play today and they also made the games that I thought were great, yesterday.

    Now, I would say that the percentage of gamers who enjoy deeper gameplay as NMAers would has decreased, though the population may have increased. Gaming is much more mainstream and acceptable than it was in 1993. A larger market and potential revenue drives gaming companies to make games more approachable to the masses and the majority of games now exist in markets that didn't exist 20 years ago. We are saturated with mediocrity because more mediocre people are in the market.

    The struggle to find good, modern games has proven too much for me but, fortunately, I've found a lot of other activities to fill the time and I find I play video games less and less. When I do, I see that I'm firing up oldies because I just can't be bothered to try to find the diamonds in the shitpile. I don't know why, but I have Mass Effect 1 and 2. ME2 is still in the wrapper because I just dislike 1 so much, overall.

    I beat New Vegas this summer, despite buying it on release. I logged 310 hours of total gametime and my actual game completion was 80 hours. I still haven't done the expansions. I'm not sure how you felt about New Vegas, but I loved the game for its story and all the other shit possible. I'm sure I'll love Wasteland 2, as well and, though I didn't pledge for it, I'll probably pick up Numenaria. Outside of those, not sure what else is out there but, because of a busy schedule, it may be for the best for me.

    I still think that the number of stellar A titles is probably the same as it was back in the good ol' days, but the addition of more shit makes it more difficult to find, as you say. But, that's why it's good to be part of a community of people with similar tastes, so people can point out something that you might not have been aware of.
  7. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    If this were true, there would've been a modern Fallout game that has grown and improved upon everything in Fallout 1.

    New Vegas certainly isn't it. In terms of overall quality, it's more like a chewed up bone thrown to Fallout fans, who gladly take it now, after Fallout 3 presented them with a piece of dung.
  8. Idiotfool

    Idiotfool Still Mildly Glowing

    Apr 12, 2007
    For you. For me, it was an awesome game in a shit, but usable, package. If it were isometric with turn-based combat, would that have been sufficient for you? If not, what was lacking that you found to be superior in Fallout 1?
  9. shihonage

    shihonage Made in USSR

    May 8, 2007
    I've done this many times before.

    On these forums also, but I can't find those links for some reason.
  10. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    Amen brother! well spoken :clap:
    but from what I heard, the market of game didn't changed much: most people buy game for graphic or other meaningless accesary.
    and few people buy real good games.
    at least, there were good critics who teach people what is good game and what is bad game. but now, most critics are broken. they don't know what is good game nor what is poor game. instead of good game, they choose what would be well sold. what a shame.

    I think NV did better job on almost every thing than Fo1 did.
    because world of Fo1 isn't that connected well, combat is just joke(control only one character? seriously?), weapon and armor system is too simple(turbo plasma+power armor.) and that good old isometric itself wasn't good graphic for Fallout series because of angle. I think top view would be better. and Fo1's dungeon is poor.
    WL has mind maze, Fo2 has Sierra army depot and NV has Sierra madre. but what about Fo1? Glow isn't good enough.
    I don't know why Fo1 still praised as masterpiece. I rather choose Arcanum than Fo1 if I choose what is masterpiece.

    NV has critical problem. everything was far better than Fo1 and even 2 but that problem make NV rater lower than 2 for me.
    what is proble? it's quest marker and using skills and items as dialog option. it removed huge part of aspect of game. it's not a matter of isomeric or turn-based.
  11. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    A year or two ago, I would have applauded this rant. Now, with so many classic styled (I didn't say good, havn't played em yet) games coming down the pike, I dono.

    I feel like I say this only because enough developers out there feel as Akratus does, and have taken to kickstarter/greenlight/indie to provide what is lacking over the past few years.

    Give it time.

    IMO a new golden age of PC gaming is dawning. That's me being optimistic, and I rarely see the glass half full.
  12. BonusWaffle

    BonusWaffle Still Mildly Glowing

    Mar 6, 2013
    I think this is the only thing that can be done. Rant and rave as much as you will but nothing will change the fact that the vast majority of people who play video games at this point in time are kids. Stupid kids with stupid tastes.

    The only way to fund the kind of work that needs to be done to create video games is to have these large amounts of stupid kids spend their parents money on them.

    Im just going to get as much enjoyment out of the few good things we have until 20 or so years down the road when these stupid kids grow up and video games become more mainstream and mature.
  13. Idiotfool

    Idiotfool Still Mildly Glowing

    Apr 12, 2007
    I agree that having stat checks in the dialog was annoyingly childish, but that was part of the shit package I mentioned. Same goes for the quest waypoints and fast travel, but I accept that they were mandatory and not something Obsidian would have opted for themselves. They don't make the sorry less engaging, for me.
  14. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    In 20 or so years we will have a new generation of knuckleheads playing games that win themselves for them.

    The young generation of today will pine for cover systems and auto-healing.

    That cycle will repeat ad nauseam. (<--- my usual pessimism)

    What I'm saying is the tide has already turned over the past two years. While they might not be tripple A titles, games like Numineria and WL2 and Project Eternity show that there is a developer base out there concerned with providing what has been lacking in gaming over the past decade.

    Would a Troika of today go bankrupt? Or fund a 4m kickstarter?
  15. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    You are correct, and the thought popped up a few sentences into my rant. Kickstarter is indeed glorious.

    But this is more my reaction to games reaching heights of lavish retardation that not even hollywood dares dream of.

    I DARE you to sit through an entire e3 presentation by any one company. If you can you are a stronger man than I. I have never seen something so inherently intellectually offensive.



    I see these discussions about who won e3 or who is winning with their ideas for the next generation. But Sony did not 'own' microsoft at e3. They are both only presenting banal stupidity. And this is the deciding factor in where games will go. Kickstarter has a real risk of dying out once people lose initial hype and interest, and the idea of putting down money again when you've already done so for dozens of gamaes you already received becomes less apealing for all the people, necessary for funding.
  16. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    It would be interesting if someone would dig out some statistics (age groups, sales, marketing, developement), leaked inside information, scholarly work etc. about the gaming industry, so as to get a better view of what actually is going on. I feel that there are many misconceptions in our rants. Of course rants can be warranted only on the basis of shitty gaming products (that is fair enough), but it sometimes feels like a circle of useless bickering. That doesn't bring us closer to having a better view of the situation at hand. I'm interested myself, what it actually takes (solutions, barriers) to make a good game.

    A video game is a product of many people working on the same project (not talking about indie games), so everything begins here.

    Funds - a lone artist might make something inspiring just for the hell of it, but bringing together many like-minded, talented (i hate this word), dedicated people who would work good as a team is hard enough with good a budget (meaning making of a blockbuster, or rather lackluster video game), but with an ambitious idea, well it means:

    *Not a safe project - hard to find funding;
    *No easy solutions (no ladders in bethesda games) - needs superb programming, means potential of insane bugs, which might take ages to fix
    *A complex structure from modeling and animations, to actual branching consiquences and dialogues which might branch out to huge numbers of possibilities. All of this means long, long developement time, which in turn means, the technology will pass you by and it will be like "duke nukem forever". A solution to this problem would be SMART ideas, how to sidestep them and hurry up the process, but good ideas don't come in bunches.
    *A game is a combination of many different things which have to tie up as a whole, the more ambitious the project, the harder it gets to pull everything together into a quality product.

    So this might be only the developement part, but then you have all the outside problems:

    *The market - who are your potential customers (is the demographics really made of children? - i think i read that that's actually not true), what is the state of the market, what are the possibilities. Even if you have a superb product, it might be difficult to make the customer see it, as he might not have the temper to actually get accustomed it, seeing as how the videogamer of today is being brainwashed into a constant state of "action & wow".
    *Funder - how hard is he pulling your leash, what are HIS GOALS
    *Marketing - how do you actually make your game known, with all these behemoth publishers controlling the landscape.

    There thousands of things one has to take into consideration (of which i think i only named a few). So is it really stupid gamers and greedy publishers that are between us and great video games, or are their many other underlining problems. I also think a good history book of gaming (wonder if we even have those) would make the picture clearer.

    As for myself, i haven't played a new game in a while now. Trying to complete all D&D games from the late 90' to the middle 00' . Right now i'm playing Temple of Elemental Evil, and it brakes my heart how such a great, great combat system is carrying the burdens of bugs and bad wiring on its shoulders. If only someone would wed such a great system with a great story - now that would be something. What breaks my gaming heart even further is that i will probably not see any game with d&d rule system and universe, or something similar in sophistication to it, in the near future, as the last game i think was NWN2? And i haven't heard of anything annouced.

    Shooters and action games - Crysis was a pretty good one, other than that it's all such bullshit it just baffles me how they can constantly sell almost identical products by the million. These games are a bizzare mixture of trying to mix an urge for reality with a fairy tale - you can get breath taking view, for it to be shattered when you bump into an invisible wall the next moment. I find that it's the wrong idea in general to make games about being realistic - this is impossible.

    Some decent simulation and strategy games still left though, so it's not ALL gloom and doom.
  17. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    You say that games cost a lot and have a lot riding on them.

    However. Good writing and design only takes a good brain.
  18. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    Hm.. I'm saying that there are a lot of things which we (including me) might not take into consideration. I'm not covering the game industry for their failures, i'm just saying that maybe we are going for too simple conclusions in these topics as to why game industry is in this state. I think there might be many more underlying things, but for that we need to bring in more factual information.
  19. Akratus

    Akratus Bleep bloop.

    May 14, 2011
    I present to you: Exhibit A.

  20. AskWazzup

    AskWazzup Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Aug 21, 2008
    Forget it. Apparently i suck at making my points.

    Better explain what is this piece of paper, i have a vague feeling that this is a sketch related to Mass Effect story, dialogue?