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We are living in the lamest of times, a look at the completely insane videogame evolution of older days

iQuasarLV

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You got 2 out of 3, it wasn't because of corporate pressure, since that always existed even if the teams were much smaller. Of course it did help that a team of 10/20 people could pump out a game in a year or two max, but the biggest reason was that we had enormous jumps in technology in a very short timeframe.

There were constant innovations in IC as well as multiple fabrication node jumps that meant huge and cheap performance jumps very easily, relatively speaking. The tech has matured quite a lot though, the number of transistors in GPUs/CPUs/APUs number in the billions now, and on every platform, the energy requirements are becoming a challenge, while it's becoming incredibly challenging to go smaller in fabrication nodes.
Well the corporate pressure we are oh so familiar with today did not evolve until 1999. Before then it was a corporate mentality of, "as long as it sells, make it."
Acitivision See 1997-2008
Electronic Arts see 1991-2007
 
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“BIGGEST JUMP WAS FROM NES TO N64”
ok.
 

wolffy71

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Graphics are nice but they are also gradual, theres hardly this huge jump. Something else needs to happen for the customers to get a truly better experience. VR is a jump but its not for everyone due to isolation from the other people in the home, sickness, price, or unwieldy hardware.

Theres very few games that seem innovative at this point.
 
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Animagic

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The current business model, rendering methodology, and development pipeline is unsustainable long term.

The costs of developing producing and managing a game release are so massive, and take such coordination between so many people, that if one thing goes wrong the whole investment can go south. This is why all games are so similar, the training for game development is so sterile and soulless, and games all look the same. Because they are all the same, made in the same engines using the same methodologies. Because anything else is a colossal risk.

New rendering methodologies (beyond polygonal) and strategies are needed. Because so many benefit from keeping everything status quo, means it won’t change until massive losses are incurred. PS5 and X1X will have game development take exponentially longer under the current business and development models.

TLDR: Games aren’t evolving. Development will take a lot longer. Expect AAA releases to be cooking for a lot longer, or releasing in alpha state and developed as people play them.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

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Bragr Bragr if I focused on the American AAA market as much as much as you, I'd be depressed too.

You need to expand your gaming portfolio.

Also keep in mind that developers were still figuring out things back then so nothing was standardized. Some games would control decently, others would control like ass. Some games ran decently, others ran like ass. Some games were straightforward, others were structured like ass. It was literally a dice roll as to what type of game you'd get and how it would play. There were a lot of trash ass games on PS1, N64, and Dreamcast and people just dealt with because things weren't figured out yet. You're seeing what we have now as a negative because we've reached a point where controls, engines, gameplay types, and camera angles have finally been standardized and optimized for the better.

It's like celebrating the first set of airplanes made and then trying to hide the fact that most of them were terribly balanced, non-ergonomic, badly optimized, and crashed a ton. "But they were making so many unique types of planes and upgrading them so fast over the years"...Yea but most of them controlled like ass, used too many resources, and injured/killed people. I'd gladly take what we have now in terms of standardized commercial flights and jets over back then.
 
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AGRacing

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Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed II was released in 2009, 11 years ago, Bioshock and Mass Effect released 13 years ago. 10 years ain't that much these days in terms of evolution.

In contrast, look at this complete mind-blowing iteration of first-person shooters. In 10 years the industry went from Doom II to Half-Life 2.

1994 - Doom II
1995 - HeXen
1996 - Quake
1997 - Quake II
1997 - Goldeneye 007
1997 - Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
1998 - Half-Life
1998 - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
1998 - Unreal
1999 - Quake III Arena
1999 - Unreal Tournament
2000 - Counter-Strike
2000 - Perfect Dark
2001 - Halo: Combat Evolved
2003 - Call of Duty
2004 - Halo 2
2004 - Half-Life 2

Plenty of other genres also exploded. For example real-time strategy games. From WarCraft II to Rise of Nations in 8 years.

1995 - WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness
1998 - StarCraft
1999 - Age of Empires II
1999 - Homeworld
2000 - Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
2002 - WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos
2003 - Command & Conquer: Generals
2003 - Homeworld 2
2003 - Rise of Nations

3D platforming games in a 4-year span.

1996 - Super Mario 64
1996 - Crash Bandicoot
1997 - Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
1998 - Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
1998 - Banjo-Kazooie
1998 - Spyro The Dragon
1999 - Donkey Kong 64
1999 - Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!
1999 - Rayman 2: The Great Escape
2000 - Spyro: Year of the Dragon
2000 - Banjo-Tooie

You can look at virtually every genre around that time and see an explosion of evolution as new tech became available. It changed as much in 2 years as we see in 15 years because of the smaller and cheaper development times and less corporate pressure. Best of times.
I agree.

I was in high-school, university and college when the FPS was making quantum leaps. Amazing time to be a gamer.
 
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sainraja

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One look at your list and it's apparent you played more of your PS1 than a PC at the time. It's interesting because depending on which platform you focused on, your view of the various zeitgeists would be different.

I mainly got to play on PC for that period, so when friends introduced me to PS1 games my first hour or more was just trying to remember which button is which.
I think somewhere around 2001 or 2002 I did switch to some PC games (Warcraft 2). But yeah, for the most part, was console only. Didn't have a PC good enough for gaming.
 
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StormCell

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Bragr Bragr if I focused on the American AAA market as much as much as you, I'd be depressed too.

You need to expand your gaming portfolio.

Also keep in mind that developers were still figuring out things back then so nothing was standardized. Some games would control decently, others would control like ass. Some games ran decently, others ran like ass. Some games were straightforward, others were structured like ass. It was literally a dice roll as to what type of game you'd get and how it would play. There were a lot of trash ass games on PS1, N64, and Dreamcast and people just dealt with because things weren't figured out yet. You're seeing what we have now as a negative because we've reached a point where controls, engines, gameplay types, and camera angles have finally been standardized and optimized for the better.

It's like celebrating the first set of airplanes made and then trying to hide the fact that most of them were terribly balanced, non-ergonomic, badly optimized, and crashed a ton. "But they were making so many unique types of planes and upgrading them so fast over the years"...Yea but most of them controlled like ass, used too many resources, and injured/killed people. I'd gladly take what we have now in terms of standardized commercial flights and jets over back then.
But this is entertainment we're talking about. Triple A gaming has become extremely safe and templated. If you played one of these games 7 or 8 years ago, you're going to feel right at home in the brand new one because the UI and controls are standard fare in the template. Just like the rest of the game.

Not only are we basically getting the same games repeatedly, it's taking them longer to build them.
 
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Kev Kev

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im sure its already been said, but im not gonna read through 150 posts to find out, so ill just say it...

screen shots dont tell the whole story, games have improved and evolved immensely even in just the last 10 years. through story, gameplay, controls, VR and other things that graphics has nothing to do with.

you people and your weird fucking obsession with shiny graphics and the latest and greatest lighting tech, or whatever the fuck, is sadly short sighted, bordering on straight up childish. between that and exclusivity wars, gaming side on gaf looks like its inhabited by a bunch of 14 year old boys slap fighting each other while simultaneously throwing a scream-cry temper tantrum.

sad donald trump GIF
 

StormCell

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im sure its already been said, but im not gonna read through 150 posts to find out, so ill just say it...

screen shots dont tell the whole story, games have improved and evolved immensely even in just the last 10 years. through story, gameplay, controls, VR and other things that graphics has nothing to do with.

you people and your weird fucking obsession with shiny graphics and the latest and greatest lighting tech, or whatever the fuck, is sadly short sighted, bordering on straight up childish. between that and exclusivity wars, gaming side on gaf looks like its inhabited by a bunch of 14 year old boys slap fighting each other while simultaneously throwing a scream-cry temper tantrum.

sad donald trump GIF
It has improved in a lot of ways, but then in others it really hasn't. The one thing I feel safe in saying about modern gaming is that it is the best vanilla flavor ever. It's still vanilla. Incredibly vanilla. But it's the best vanilla. If you like vanilla, you're in heaven. If you preferred a variety of flavors, well you're simply outta luck.
 

TKOFromTokyo

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I think technological limitations had a lot to do with the jumps we saw from the 80s to the early 2000s. As a console gamer, I still see the SNES as the best console. Despite being 30 years old, the games hold up extremely well, better than the consoles that came before it and better than the two proceeding 3D generations. I do think that the PS2/Xbox/GCN had significant improvements from the PS1/N64 era and still holds up well. Everything after has just been continued improvements.

For me, the directions of modern gaming are disappointing. I’ve spent plenty of time playing online, but at some point it became tedious and job-like for me. I’m not interested in unending grind. I’m not really interested in cinematic experiences either. If I want a cinematic experience, I’ll watch a movie. I want to play action based games that test my skills with respect to timing, puzzle solving, and ability to react to events. However, I want to do that in shorter time periods. As gaming has grown, so have playtimes for games. I think that’s fine for some, but for me, I’m not looking to invest 100+ hours into a single player game. I just have no interest to devote that much time to entertainment. That’s why I’ve always preferred movies or short tv series to long ones.

In my mind, the truth is that my interests are different than where modern gaming is going. I don’t think it’s a getting older or more responsibilities thing. Those are both true, but I’be always preferred entertainment that was over in hours rather than days. Creativity may be stifled by big corporations now, but I also think games are so much more challenging to create now due to their complexities. Personally, more complex or explicit content isn’t always better. I think cinema has really suffered from this misunderstanding and I believe that video games are doing the same. It’s not a harken back to olden era thought. Rather, it’s a remember the fundamentals and why they are critical to entertainment. Well executed fundamentals are much more important that technological capabilities.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
But this is entertainment we're talking about. Triple A gaming has become extremely safe and templated. If you played one of these games 7 or 8 years ago, you're going to feel right at home in the brand new one because the UI and controls are standard fare in the template. Just like the rest of the game.

Not only are we basically getting the same games repeatedly, it's taking them longer to build them.
The first point is not a bad thing. I don't want to pick up a modern shooter and suddenly it controls like Mission Impossible on the PS1.

The second point is subjective. Again, people need to expand their gaming portfolios. Stop trying to roast an entire industry for "stagnation" because you mainly play games from the Big 3: Ubisoft, EA, Activision.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I think somewhere around 2001 or 2002 I did switch to some PC games (Warcraft 2). But yeah, for the most part, was console only. Didn't have a PC good enough for gaming.
I just had a thought: did you actually mean Warcraft 2? Cause I remember Warcraft 3 launched in 2002; Warcraft 2 was already quite a few years old by 2001.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
im sure its already been said, but im not gonna read through 150 posts to find out, so ill just say it...

screen shots dont tell the whole story, games have improved and evolved immensely even in just the last 10 years. through story, gameplay, controls, VR and other things that graphics has nothing to do with.

you people and your weird fucking obsession with shiny graphics and the latest and greatest lighting tech, or whatever the fuck, is sadly short sighted, bordering on straight up childish. between that and exclusivity wars, gaming side on gaf looks like its inhabited by a bunch of 14 year old boys slap fighting each other while simultaneously throwing a scream-cry temper tantrum.

sad donald trump GIF
No, not 14 year old boys, more like jaded old men who keep looking back to the 90s/early 2000s as their glory days.

The 90s generation is finally starting to feel old, having their songs played in clothing stores as classics, having their old classic movies be remade, having their fashion remixed as "retro-chic", and they're going through the same song and dance the 80s kids and 70s kids went through the last two decades where they're having a hard time accepting all of it.

Just remember there's 70s and early 80s babies who felt the same way about the PS1/ PS2 era that you feel now and they would rather have things go back to the arcade/NES era of simplified quarter-eating games.
 
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sainraja

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I just had a thought: did you actually mean Warcraft 2? Cause I remember Warcraft 3 launched in 2002; Warcraft 2 was already quite a few years old by 2001.
Maybe I am getting my years mixed up but I played Warcraft 2 pretty late, like 5-6 months before WarCraft 3 was launching (I got the game for like $9 dollars and it came with a sheet inside advertising WarCraft 3). I did get WarCraft 3 at launch but had to upgrade the ram on my computer to be able to play it.
 
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TKOFromTokyo

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No, not 14 year old boys, more like jaded old men who keep looking back to the 90s/early 2000s as their glory days.

The 90s generation is finally starting to feel old, having their songs played in clothing stores as classics, having their old classic movies be remade, having their fashion remixed as "retro-chic", and they're going through the same song and dance the 80s kids and 70s kids went through the last two decades where they're having a hard time accepting all of it.

Just remember there's 70s and early 80s babies who felt the same way about the PS1/ PS2 era that you feel now and they would rather have things go back to the arcade/NES era of simplified quarter-eating games.
No GIF
 
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Danknugz

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Nah.

FPS games were better back then IMO. I explained the reasons in my previous post.

RTS games also peaked in the late 90's/early 00's.

Arcade Racers also.

2D platforms as well. Sonic 3 & Knuckles/Yoshi's Island peaked the genre.

Some games like Dungeon Keeper haven't been beat yet.

I would argue that 3D platformers also peaked in the mid/late 90's on the N64.



Doom (2016) retains some elements from this design yes. DOOM Eternal less so.

The later Wolfenstein games have level designs similar to arena shooters. They kinda suck.
Doom 2016 is weird cause it kind of feels like an extension of OG Doom but something is very lacking about the experience. I try not to be that guy but I feel like 2016 got a lot of hype from people who maybe never played og doom back in The early 90s when gaming was a lot more underground and not nearly as cool and socially acceptable as this today. It reminds me a lot of skateboarding , which at the time was also similarly underground, and a lot of skaters lament about how mainstream and weak the scene has become due to mainstream and a lack of commonality and “brotherhood” amongst fellow gamers/skaters who you knew would need to understand / hold something of a counter-cultural mindset to be interested in those things at the time.
 

iQuasarLV

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The first point is not a bad thing. I don't want to pick up a modern shooter and suddenly it controls like Mission Impossible on the PS1.

The second point is subjective. Again, people need to expand their gaming portfolios. Stop trying to roast an entire industry for "stagnation" because you mainly play games from the Big 3: Ubisoft, EA, Activision.
A few things to bring up.

1. While point #2 is subjective it has a really big defense. The last 15 years of game development decision making has been driven by subjective masses feelings about gameplay / controls / ideology. There is a criminal minority of releases that are not gentrified to conform to the most vocal masses in social media. Look at what happened with TLOU2 / CyberPunk 2077 / GTA Sand Andreas / Tomb Raider (reboot) just to name a few. Today, no studio is going to green light a game for release if they get even the slightest whiff of a controversial content.

2. I am not going to speak for others, they can do that themselves. However, I have almost 200 games on steam branching almost 2 dozen publishers and dozens of development houses spanning the globe. Norway / Germany / China / Japan / USA and from AAA down to indie. The difference being I look for a certain type of game. I could care less who makes it. However that certain type of game is getting rarer and rarer because of point #1. More and more people want to just get paid and ultimately end up going the way of the mob to just sell a game well enough to pay the bills.

3. Irregardless of what you say about those big 3 publishers and their deep throat budget tactics with money shot mentality. They form the gigantic force of pushing the narrative of what the type of game you want. They tell you what you want and you gobble it up and say more please. It could be the most bland peace of shit to grace a gaming platform. The programming has been made. The $100+million ad compaign has paid off. We now only want our FIFA / Madden / Destiny / Halo / PUBG / Fortnite / APEX and nothing else. That is ultimately the underlying felling why this thread even exists. This is why I said the old proverb that nature finds a way to exist in an urban environment is foolhardy in reality. Our creative natures are suppressed and gentrified to fit our corporate overlord's quest for ever increasing profits. All to the point that you have to ask yourself is it even creative art anymore if 42 chefs got to include their input in the process of making game? Sadly, video games are not going the way of books or music, but of Hollywood. The lawyers and producers and studio heads and marketing departments and their beta cohorts create the games these days. Not the directors and musicians and art leads and design programmers. They're just the workers on the assembly line. This is our reality now.

/rant
 
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Kev Kev

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No, not 14 year old boys, more like jaded old men who keep looking back to the 90s/early 2000s as their glory days.

The 90s generation is finally starting to feel old, having their songs played in clothing stores as classics, having their old classic movies be remade, having their fashion remixed as "retro-chic", and they're going through the same song and dance the 80s kids and 70s kids went through the last two decades where they're having a hard time accepting all of it.

Just remember there's 70s and early 80s babies who felt the same way about the PS1/ PS2 era that you feel now and they would rather have things go back to the arcade/NES era of simplified quarter-eating games.
I was born in 87 and don’t feel that way at all

It’s not a generation thing. It’s just a bunch of pussy ass cry babies who “want it and want it now!”.

Gaming is this best it’s ever been and continues to get better every year. I can’t wait to see where it is 10 years from now... and 20 years from now!? My god man, it’s going to be glorious.
 

Ultraslick

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Going from SNES to N64 is probably the greatest technological leap in gaming. Controller and graphics were all new in the N64. I don’t know what will compare to leaving 2d gaming for 3D gaming.
Totally agree.
First time playing the N64 was “shit your pants” incredible.
now with the ps4 to ps5 jump- all that tech basically amounts to the games maybe looking slightly clearer and smoother than last gen.

The quality of life improvements; ie controller, load times are the major noticeable “next gen” changes.

I want to shit my pants, I really do!
Sadly that may never happen again.
 

StormCell

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The first point is not a bad thing. I don't want to pick up a modern shooter and suddenly it controls like Mission Impossible on the PS1.

The second point is subjective. Again, people need to expand their gaming portfolios. Stop trying to roast an entire industry for "stagnation" because you mainly play games from the Big 3: Ubisoft, EA, Activision.
Actually, the reality has become the opposite. I can only vaguely recall the last game I played from Ubisoft, EA, or Activision. If I think hard enough, it was Far Cry 5, Command & Conquer remastered, and Tony Hawk 1&2 Remastered. Now how telling is it that the last games I've played from the big 3 are all basically remasters from the '90s?
 

FStubbs

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I was literally just gonna make a thread on this subject.

Game design peaked in the PS360 gen and has remained stagnant since.

Geme design created in that gen is now, still, status quo. Nothing new sinse.

I dont know what it will take to break the Open World formula specifically. Its been the exact same since GTA 3.
I'm not sure anything will. You look at some of those great games of the past, like Ultima 7, Ocarina of Time, MGS, and really what they were trying to approximate was a huge open world. Now that they're able to make those worlds, those are the games we get.

EDIT: What's going to bite AAA/AAAA gaming in the nose is when indie tools get to the point where indies can consistently make Gen 7 level games. Once that happens, they're going to be gored.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

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iQuasarLV iQuasarLV and StormCell StormCell You guys aren't getting it. First of all, you completely ignored Kev Kev Kev Kev 's post which does a good job on his own stating why what you two are trying to say isn't true by a long shot, but you've also missed my point as well. When I say "expand your gaming portfolio" I specifically mean STOP just playing AAA games. Literally so many other options out there and you'd rather buy and then complain about the big boy companies.

It's an endless cycle of depression that you're willingly subjecting yourselves to and then coming onto this site to complain about your bad buying habits. I have the same issue with people in off-topic who spend time hate-watching a TV show. Cut it out.
 
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StormCell

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iQuasarLV iQuasarLV and StormCell StormCell You guys aren't getting it. First of all, you completely ignored Kev Kev Kev Kev 's post which does a good job on his own stating why what you two are trying to say isn't true by a long shot, but you've also missed my point as well. When I say "expand your gaming portfolio" I specifically mean STOP just playing AAA games. Literally so many other options out there and you'd rather buy and then complain about the big boy companies.

It's an endless cycle of depression that you're willingly subjecting yourselves too and then coming onto this site to complain about your bad buying habits. I have the same issue with people in off-topic who spend time hate-watching a TV show. Cut it out.

I was lamenting the fact that I don't buy anything from those three anymore. I thought that was the point I made. I play a lot of other games, which is fine, but I miss the days when EA and Activision made a baseball game, I wish they would try their hand at making bass fishing games again, and imagine if we had a snowboarding game that wasn't Steep (wow, that would be cool). I'm not specifically hung up on these three but moreso on how the market has homogenized and become so sterile and safe. If it wasn't for Stardew valley, there'd probably not have been a decent Harvest Moon style game anymore, and if it wasn't for Cities Skylines the city building genre might have died too. That's the point.
 
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iQuasarLV

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iQuasarLV iQuasarLV and StormCell StormCell You guys aren't getting it. First of all, you completely ignored Kev Kev Kev Kev 's post which does a good job on his own stating why what you two are trying to say isn't true by a long shot, but you've also missed my point as well. When I say "expand your gaming portfolio" I specifically mean STOP just playing AAA games. Literally so many other options out there and you'd rather buy and then complain about the big boy companies.

It's an endless cycle of depression that you're willingly subjecting yourselves to and then coming onto this site to complain about your bad buying habits. I have the same issue with people in off-topic who spend time hate-watching a TV show. Cut it out.
Mmm, ignored the part where I said my portfolio ranges everything from AAA to Indie you did.

Also ignored Kev. I don't need endless berating to drive a point home. Sorry, not sorry.
 

BabyYoda

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old man yells at cloud, calling this the lamest of times is absurd, we are getting more variety and unique games in all shapes and forms than ever before, game design continues to be interesting and unique,
the lamest of times were probably mid-gen 360/ps3 where everything was call of duty and fortunately, the damaged halo did to first-person shooters finally dissipated (2 weapons, mindless regen health/effectively infinite ammo encounters, no boss fight trash)
we are getting more variety than ever before, niche titles from around the world see wide release, every genre, style,
and lemmings stupidity seems to have stopped, just because Fortnite is making all the money, everyone else hasn't decided everything needs to be Fortnite
some genres are in a lul, but if there is a demand they will eventually return.
the only thing that is currently lame is zen pinball making Williams tables.
Halo CE was a very innovative and refined game that changed the landscape of fps' forever, it's not Bungie's fault that they were incredibly successful and that half the industry tried to replicate that success, don't blame a bold and courageous attempt at doing things in a new way for all of the safe risk averse developers out there. How I wish more developers copied other Halo traits, like open and non linear levels, stunning vistas, seamless transition between indoor and outdoor environments, excellent music and art, very intriguing setting, ai that still holds up very well, massive plot twist that no one saw coming and so on, nope, they mostly copied the easier things.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

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Mmm, ignored the part where I said my portfolio ranges everything from AAA to Indie you did.
You didn't do a good enough job playing enough variety of indies. That's the cold truth. But if you want to go around ignoring members for not sharing your specific opinion don't let me stop you.
 

iQuasarLV

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You didn't do a good enough job playing enough variety of indies. That's the cold truth. But if you want to go around ignoring members for not sharing your specific opinion don't let me stop you.

calling anyone that posted in this thread a 14yo pussy is an attack not an opinion, thus ignored.

Also, I don't need to be an exclusive connoisseur of indies to lay the state of the industry at their feet as the sole inheritor of artistic game development. There are plenty of other ranks of games between AAA and indie that can decide what they want to be. At least indie developers do not try to pose as something they're not.
 
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Bragr

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You got 2 out of 3, it wasn't because of corporate pressure, since that always existed even if the teams were much smaller. Of course it did help that a team of 10/20 people could pump out a game in a year or two max, but the biggest reason was that we had enormous jumps in technology in a very short timeframe.

There were constant innovations in IC as well as multiple fabrication node jumps that meant huge and cheap performance jumps very easily, relatively speaking. The tech has matured quite a lot though, the number of transistors in GPUs/CPUs/APUs number in the billions now, and on every platform, the energy requirements are becoming a challenge, while it's becoming incredibly challenging to go smaller in fabrication nodes.
Well, when you have 60 million ridings on a project, as opposed to 4 million or whatever back then, it does mean that failure would affect people on an organizational level. As a result, you have a board and several executives that demand a return and will put in place safeguards to get the money back, and those safeguards might mean making games that are built on other games that are proven financially, so the developers won't get the green light unless the game fits a model of a pre-existing game.

And since the video game business is so much bigger now, there is more executive oversight into how likely the game is to mimic proven money-making games.
 

Bragr

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Bragr Bragr if I focused on the American AAA market as much as much as you, I'd be depressed too.

You need to expand your gaming portfolio.

Also keep in mind that developers were still figuring out things back then so nothing was standardized. Some games would control decently, others would control like ass. Some games ran decently, others ran like ass. Some games were straightforward, others were structured like ass. It was literally a dice roll as to what type of game you'd get and how it would play. There were a lot of trash ass games on PS1, N64, and Dreamcast and people just dealt with because things weren't figured out yet. You're seeing what we have now as a negative because we've reached a point where controls, engines, gameplay types, and camera angles have finally been standardized and optimized for the better.

It's like celebrating the first set of airplanes made and then trying to hide the fact that most of them were terribly balanced, non-ergonomic, badly optimized, and crashed a ton. "But they were making so many unique types of planes and upgrading them so fast over the years"...Yea but most of them controlled like ass, used too many resources, and injured/killed people. I'd gladly take what we have now in terms of standardized commercial flights and jets over back then.
I'm not arguing that games are worse or better today, it's more just an appreciation of how the early days of experimenting with first-person shooters resulted in such a broad selection of excellent games.
 
S

Shodan09

Unconfirmed Member
I think it has evolved, just not in the ways that many people - myself included - would have preferred it not to.

It's evolved around the economic interests of publishers. It has not evolved out of a passion for the medium. So much of what constitutes 'game design' now is actually an adaption of legacy mechanics and tropes in service of monetisation, extending user engagement, and brand extension/consolidation. You can see it everywhere.

We are in a weird state of affairs where some of the most critically acclaimed games are those which seem uncomfortable with their status as games - stuff like The Last Of Us 2, which has aspirations towards being the gaming equivalent of 'great art', but demonstrates little interest in that pesky game stuff. The evolution in that space has largely been in service of revenue generation on one hand, and addressing the inferiority complexes of wannabe filmmakers like Neil Druckmann on the other.

I wasn't sure how to put my feelings into words but you've absolutely nailed it here. This is everything wrong with modern gaming.
 

Azurro

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Jun 11, 2018
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Well, when you have 60 million ridings on a project, as opposed to 4 million or whatever back then, it does mean that failure would affect people on an organizational level. As a result, you have a board and several executives that demand a return and will put in place safeguards to get the money back, and those safeguards might mean making games that are built on other games that are proven financially, so the developers won't get the green light unless the game fits a model of a pre-existing game.

And since the video game business is so much bigger now, there is more executive oversight into how likely the game is to mimic proven money-making games.

Those 4 million that you mention were also riding on a much smaller market, which meant that the chances to recoup your money were also a lot smaller.

I mean, don't you remember the tons of doom clones, the tons of platformers, fighters, all of them going after a proven market during the 8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit era?

This idea of an innovation market where all creative ideas go and everyone just thinks of doing the most creative thing, budgets be damned, belongs in a fantasy world.
 

Bragr

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Those 4 million that you mention were also riding on a much smaller market, which meant that the chances to recoup your money were also a lot smaller.

I mean, don't you remember the tons of doom clones, the tons of platformers, fighters, all of them going after a proven market during the 8 bit, 16 bit and 32 bit era?

This idea of an innovation market where all creative ideas go and everyone just thinks of doing the most creative thing, budgets be damned, belongs in a fantasy world.
But those 4 million weren't governed by the same oversight we see of modern triple-A publishers. It's a different playbook right now.

Of course, there will always be clones that try to cash in, the whole industry tanked in the 80s because of clones. But developers of FPS games in the 90s tried to build new franchises virtually every year.

What are the new triple-A FPS games of modern times? there are some fantastic indie games that are carrying the genre in terms of new IPs, like Dusk, but old giants like Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield still rules the roost.

In the 90s, Wolfenstein was the first big FPS, then ID built Doom & Doom II because of evolving tech, then Bungie did Marathon with their own new ideas, then you got Heretic, Descent, Duke Nukem, Quake, Unreal, and Half-Life. That's is all in a 6-year span. Each game was driven by new tech and ideas. It's hard to compare that to the last 6 years of FPS games, we got PUBG, Overwatch, and maybe Siege. New ideas and tech ain't enough anymore to drive sales, you need to come up with a reason for why it's gonna sell 4-5 million or no one is gonna fund you. And that reason is usually based on proven models from other games. That was not the primary concern in the 90s because the sale models weren't as established as now, instead, the new tech and experimentation of emerging ideas and multiplayer drove the genre forward to a larger extent.
 

mcjmetroid

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Feb 11, 2019
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There was nothing quite like growing in that time. I'll never change it for the world.
However we have it as good as we've ever had it now.

True I wish more original games are out there but on the other look at all the games we have access to now.

Were still in a good age of gaming. It won't last forever but let's enjoy what we have for now.
 

Hypereides

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Jan 19, 2009
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There are still good games being made, but they're much less common than they used to be. Not to mention those games that do stand out get regularly lambasted or hampered (usually scrutinized for the weirdest reasons) by the media since they're less about their definition of "art" and more about being "gamey". Releasing an actual game, with "gamey" elements, is considered not worth a playthrough, apparently. So, those games pass by with little to no fanfare.

Fuck, man. I'd take gamer reviews like Bo_Hazem 's threads over the slock proffesionalism the so-called gaming media keep pumping out.

The popularity of gaming has also made them far more tame than before. Gamedevs used to do some unapologetically wild ideas. Not so much now.

The truth that nobody wants to admit is that in the 80's, 90's, and early 2000's, video gaming was a hobby by and for nerdy guys, for the most part. And, not 'nerdy' in that OMG I AM STREAMING WOW ON TWITCH AND I LIKE ANIME LOL SUCH A NERD. I mean, there were 'computer clubs' all over the world, mostly populated by engineering students, electronics hobbyists, and assorted weirdos who often loved Nine Inch Nails. They were the audience, and so, games were tailored around their tastes - complexity, challenge, patterns, systems, and sophistication.

Then, around the time of the late 360/PS3 era, and during the major rise of Steam, the audience shifted, as gaming became mainstreamed. All you needed to be a 'gamer' after that was a half-functioning brain stem, and a PC or console - both of which had been streamlined to make them as effortless as possible. The games that came afterwards reflected that mindset - ease, comfort, simplicity, conformity, and a new approach which had more in common with Hollywood blockbusters than with ZZap! 64. 'Golden age of gaming'? In your fucking dreams. This is gaming's lowest ebb. Sorry to the kiddies who missed out on what it was like back then, you would have enjoyed it.

So, yes. OP, you are correct. The timeline we are currently living in is absolutely shit, for everything - not just gaming - unless you have the IQ of a house plant, or you are such an always-online internet meme spewing fuckwit that you just don't care.

This man gets it.

were not worthy waynes world GIF
 
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The trouble with generational leaps in modern gaming is the inherent diminishing returns of graphics and the like. The push from 1080p to 4K is barely noticeable when you play a console from across the room, but it requires significantly more computing time. Same is true with increased 3D modeling fidelity and textures. We have gotten so good at faking lighting and shadows that they often look essentially the same as ray tracing to the untrained eye. Linus tech tips just did a video testing this idea for ray tracing.

I doubt my wife could even tell the difference between a late gen PS4 game and a crossgen PS5 game at the moment.
I know a couple who bought a ps5 for their kid. The kid is 10/11 and was mind blown by the console. The parents said they didn't notice a difference in graphics from the ps4. We've entered diminishing returns.
 

iQuasarLV

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Oct 7, 2020
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There are still good games being made, but they're much less common than they used to be. Not to mention those games that do stand out get regularly lambasted or hampered (usually scrutinized for the weirdest reasons) by the media since they're less about their definition of "art" and more about being "gamey". Releasing an actual game, with "gamey" elements, is considered not worth a playthrough, apparently. So, those games pass by with little to no fanfare.

Fuck, man. I'd take gamer reviews like Bo_Hazem 's threads over the slock proffesionalism the so-called gaming media keep pumping out.

The popularity of gaming has also made them far more tame than before. Gamedevs used to do some unapologetically wild ideas. Not so much now.



This man gets it.

were not worthy waynes world GIF
I would like to add on to the point made by Lime. Around that time we also got the iPhone and mobile gaming.
 
Nov 24, 2016
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You think that's crazy, look what released in 1998 alone:

Resident Evil 2
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Xenogears
Tekken 3
StarCraft
Unreal
Banjo-Kazooie
F-Zero X
Metal Gear Solid
Grim Fandango
Half-Life
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Baldur's Gate
Street Fighter Alpha 3

Some of the greatest games ever made released in one year.
Also Starsiege Tribes released. So many great mods.
 

Pachi72

Member
Feb 5, 2018
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The last really big jump for me came with going from PS2 to PS360. PS4 didn't feel like a reinvention of what video games could be (with the exception of VR), like every prior generation.

As awesome as the DualSense and near-instantaneous loadings are, PS5/Series X don't feel that way either. Nor do I expect another generation to come will.

Those of us who were just old enough to start playing games when Atari or NES came on the scene, were born at a really cool time to grow up with the medium.
PS4 and Xbox One was a huge leap in fidelity. Those PS360 games looks like trash running at 720p1080p now. At least the PS4 and Xbox image quality looks stunning even today on most games.
 

Sejan

Member
Sep 28, 2018
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I know a couple who bought a ps5 for their kid. The kid is 10/11 and was mind blown by the console. The parents said they didn't notice a difference in graphics from the ps4. We've entered diminishing returns.
Exactly. Each generational leap has appeared smaller than the last with the exception of the move from 2D to 3D. There were plenty of people saying the PS3 didn't look that much better than the PS4, too. Eventually, PS5 games will appear far too advanced for the PS4, but those days will quickly lead to us complaining that the PS6 isn't a big enough jump over the PS5.
 
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