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Old 07-31-2012, 09:45 AM   #46
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I'd like to signal this article on IGN:
http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/07/...s-doomed?page=1
Sorry if it has already been signaled. Anyway, you may want to look at the comments, too. Some are just childy, but some (especially those on multiplay, imo) look really interesting, to me.
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:00 PM   #47
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Can't tell you how many risks publishers have taken that failed financially.

Gamers and people in general have a habit of demanding originality and then rarely supporting it.

In recent memory there's Brutal Legend and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, two original and well recieved games that did poorly in sales.

And then there's crying over why we don't have more adventure games like Grimm Fandango and then forgetting that game was a financial failure despite positive reviews... and that most point and click adventure games around that time just weren't making money.


Your comment basically hit the nail on the head. I really enjoyed enslaved it was such a fun game to play.
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Old 07-31-2012, 02:43 PM   #48
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Today's games have good level design too. That's my point; by today's standards, Counterstrike is nothing special, yet so many gamers use it as some kind of paradigm of gaming perfection that should be reminisced about, while truly innovative modern games go under their collective radars because they're not, you know, LOL COUNTERSTRIKE. Point being, gamers whine about wanting innovation but they don't actually buy it.


Counterstrike gained that mythical status because one of the most played maps of all time, was put together by a 16 year old kid lol.

I think in general, innovative games do pretty well. Dear Esther, journey, minecraft they did pretty good. Brink had a really interesting art style and premise that got squandered, they forced it into a game that didn't make any sense.

Mirrors Edge I think that kinda flopped too, there seemed a time not so long ago when EA went on a new IP binge, Mirrors edge was part of that, so was dead space and a few others. Seemed like they did pretty well out of it but they don't seem to be in any rush to do it again.

Capcom went on a major IP drive back in the PS2 and GameCube era, it really flopped for them so bad, pretty much all of them were commercial failures while being innovative masterpieces, goes some way to explaining why their games are so derivative now. Even an old school style street fighter 4 was a massive battle to get green lit.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 02:51 PM   #49
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I think another reason console/PC sales may be down, especially for the casual gamers/general public, are all the mobile games people play on their phones.

People are pressed for time/money - just go download a new game at the app store and fulfill your gaming itch for 20 min at a time.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 03:47 PM   #50
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Despite this all innovation talk, the big approaching problem is graphics. With each DX it's more evident scenario of diminishing returns. So while graphics has made a big leap, and I'm thinking about Unreal Engine 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOvfn1p92_8, players barely noticed the difference. So while there was a move from pre-baked GI and reflections to realtime, the next step will take incredibly more horsepower to get noticed, and it will provide just 5-10% of improvement (bear in mind, this will happen in upcoming 5-10 years, so it's the next-next generation).
While players discussed uncoming Gran Turismo 6, one of them said it doesn't make sense releasing it on PS3. And the problem he is right: each next release surprised us with graphics, but for how long can it last? I think the next generation is the last one where graphics will be the main leading virtue. So these graphics whore raves will die eventually.
This poses a problem of what's next? it was pretty safe and predictable - invest 50-100 millions into improved graphics and it's a hit (roughly speaking). It gets more complicated, but what's good people want to play always. It's just as with HD movies it will be harder to say if the game was released yesterday of 10 years ago.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #51
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Do the sales figures they're quoting include in app purchases?

I mean the biggest impact that I can see as an outsider to the games industry has to be mobile/social gaming and microtransactions, games that cost very little or even nothing, but nickle and dime you to death.

I have to admit I loathe microtransactions, no-one likes feeling nickle and dimed.even though I can see the economic sense in them. They feel like a hidden tax rather than a purchase of value or content, fortunately on the iOS app store you can see which apps have in app purchases and that way I just skip them. It's quite possible that many others feel the same way and that could be having an impact, especially on full priced games like Diablo.

Perhaps too many of the attempts to "monetize" games beyond the sticker price have put off gamers, in game purchases, subscriptions etc, but I still suspect that the real problem is simply the overall economy. Everyone is suffering, not just games in isolation and purse strings are being tightened. That's got to be the biggest contributing factor.

With regards game design, I think many modern games are great. It's not about "realism" or anything other than good design, Bastion springs to mind as a great and well designed well balanced game. The Uncharted series too even if they're linear there's enough interaction and beautiful scenery to make them a real pleasure to play, then Call of Duty which is much maligned is just a really well designed game - sure it has crappy netcode and doesn't deal with cheaters, but the game balance, the pace and action, the map design all makes for a really fun experience which is what gaming is all about.

There are any number of examples of great games on all platforms at all prices, but people have less money than before, have less free time than before because of changes in attitudes towards work and work ethics (for the worse) and then maybe last of all on that list the publishers decisions might not be endearing them to many gamers.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:33 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
Despite this all innovation talk, the big approaching problem is graphics. With each DX it's more evident scenario of diminishing returns. So while graphics has made a big leap, and I'm thinking about Unreal Engine 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOvfn1p92_8, players barely noticed the difference.

That's a good point. Foremost to me is good gameplay but I can't help that I'm also a graphics whore. I remember playing Tomb Raider Legend, I think, the one just before Guardian's of Light, and remarking to myself how good the graphics looked and how lush the environments were and then I started playing and while it was generally fun it was still the same old Tomb Raider. I love it for its climbing puzzles and environmental obstacles. The tired gun battles, on-rails vehicle fights and totally linear storyline just don't hold me anymore and get boring. The new Tomb Raider is definitely a change of direction but it still looks really really scripted. It's like all they've ever cared about in that series was how best to craft the main character (obviously) and then tack on a few new moves or maybe a new weapon or gadget and now its 2012 and we're still playing a 90s game. I guess I should say the same thing about Mario and Zelda but somehow I still love those games even though they've barely evolved. Maybe Miyamoto just got it right the first time I don't know.

Imagine if they took the Tomb Raider world and broke it out of it's linear-ness. Kept all of the cool climbing abilities and Lara's gadgets but you were free to explore how you wanted and investigate possible tombs or temples that are whispered about by locals...

Oh right, that game is Assassin's Creed, nevermind.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:01 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
Despite this all innovation talk, the big approaching problem is graphics. With each DX it's more evident scenario of diminishing returns. So while graphics has made a big leap, and I'm thinking about Unreal Engine 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOvfn1p92_8, players barely noticed the difference. So while there was a move from pre-baked GI and reflections to realtime, the next step will take incredibly more horsepower to get noticed, and it will provide just 5-10% of improvement (bear in mind, this will happen in upcoming 5-10 years, so it's the next-next generation).


While I understand your argument, I don't quite agree with it.

I think that on the way to "perfect photorealism" in games (= indistinguishable visually from real or filmed/photographed reality), we are currently only, maybe, about 30% there.

That means that there is 70% more R&D and development to be done, which may well take another 1 or 2 decades.

We will need much faster CPUs, GPUs than today for "perfect photorealism", and much more available RAM and Harddisk space than we have today.

A "perfectly photorealistic" game may take up, say, 10 TB of harddisk space, and require 128 GB of available RAM, or perhaps even more, to deliver perfect photorealism in realtime.

It may need CPUs/GPUs that are maybe 50 - 100 times faster than today's top hardware.


20 years from now, we may reach a point of "diminishing returns", where improved hardware makes only 2 - 3% difference visually.

But we are quite far from that point of diminishing returns right now.

Current games, even if the look "OK" or "quite nice", look nowhere near "photoreal" yet. We aren't even close to "photorealism" in games right now. The current hardware simply cannot deliver that. It simply doesn't have the horsepower to deliver "photorealism".


So I think we can look forward to another 10 - 20 years of hardware development making a major difference in games.

There is still a lot of ground to be covered until "perfect photorealism" in games is a reality.

My 2 cents...
 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:07 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Per-Anders
Do the sales figures they're quoting include in app purchases?

I mean the biggest impact that I can see as an outsider to the games industry has to be mobile/social gaming and microtransactions, games that cost very little or even nothing, but nickle and dime you to death.

Check out this recent article on World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net. World of Tanks is a free-to-play game that actually doesn't penalize you if you play strictly free and yet they post "double-digit millions in income every month". Do they take these guys into account?
Wargaming.net Income

Edit:
Oops, just saw there was an update to the story at the bottom. That's double-digit revenue, not profit.
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Last edited by WyattHarris : 07-31-2012 at 05:18 PM.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:17 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DePaint
While I understand your argument, I don't quite agree with it.

I think that on the way to "perfect photorealism" in games (= indistinguishable visually from real or filmed/photographed reality), we are currently only, maybe, about 30% there.

That means that there is 70% more R&D and development to be done, which may well take another 1 or 2 decades.

We will need much faster CPUs, GPUs than today for "perfect photorealism", and much more available RAM and Harddisk space than we have today.

A "perfectly photorealistic" game may take up, say, 10 TB of harddisk space, and require 128 GB of available RAM, or perhaps even more, to deliver perfect photorealism in realtime.

It may need CPUs/GPUs that are maybe 50 - 100 times faster than today's top hardware.


20 years from now, we may reach a point of "diminishing returns", where improved hardware makes only 2 - 3% difference visually.

But we are quite far from that point of diminishing returns right now.

Current games, even if the look "OK" or "quite nice", look nowhere near "photoreal" yet. We aren't even close to "photorealism" in games right now. The current hardware simply cannot deliver that. It simply doesn't have the horsepower to deliver "photorealism".


So I think we can look forward to another 10 - 20 years of hardware development making a major difference in games.

There is still a lot of ground to be covered until "perfect photorealism" in games is a reality.

My 2 cents...


Actually Mister3d is right, but it is more than only the hardware. A lot of the issue is artistic capability. It will be harder and harder to achieve realism in games and be consistent about it throughout, unless the objects will be scanned. One could argue that films look great, but the thing about that is, movie frames are massaged to look real. Games will never have that ability. Making games look more realistic than something like Crysis 3 will be very very hard.
But to make realistic humans, more will be required than hardware. Artistic capability will trump the need for better hardware more and more.

The reason I say this about artistic capability is if you take a look at the humans in crysis 1 versus part 2. The humans in part 2 don't look as good. Not that they look bad, but the artist working on the crysis 1 heads has moved on to work on uncharted. There are very very few people of his caliber.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:26 PM   #56
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I don't think the graphics will be that much of a focus---part of the advantage of waiting this long for the next generation is that they can get a big jump in power for much lower cost.

Really all they need to do is support games at full 1080p 60fps, and 3D, and that'll be a big jump. They just need the features really, I think that full HD jump along with a reasonable cost and new features is what's going to be happening rather than Microsoft or Sony trying to sell it just on new graphics.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:46 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by conbom
I think in general, innovative games do pretty well. Dear Esther, journey, minecraft they did pretty good. Brink had a really interesting art style and premise that got squandered, they forced it into a game that didn't make any sense.

Mirrors Edge I think that kinda flopped too, there seemed a time not so long ago when EA went on a new IP binge, Mirrors edge was part of that, so was dead space and a few others. Seemed like they did pretty well out of it but they don't seem to be in any rush to do it again.

Capcom went on a major IP drive back in the PS2 and GameCube era, it really flopped for them so bad, pretty much all of them were commercial failures while being innovative masterpieces, goes some way to explaining why their games are so derivative now. Even an old school style street fighter 4 was a massive battle to get green lit.

On the flip side, Square also did some experimenting and the results were Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story and a few other gems. Both from the same in-house group in Square, both at the top of my list of favorite Square games, both received great reviews and both had mediocre sales compared to Final Fantasy. I would assume that was to be expected but I remember reading articles back then about how Square wasn't going to go out on a limb anymore. The Bouncer being such a flop and Spirits Within tanking the company didn't help either.

Vagrant Story might be one of my all-time favorite games but I understand why so many couldn't get into it. The combat was crazy complicated but I liked it more and more for that. For example, the final boss could 1-shot you when he performed a certain move unless you performed the correct counter at the right moment, which it warned you to do but still. I just happened to get it right the first time but I could imagine getting killed out right without any chance for comeback.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:47 PM   #58
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Ambient-whisper, you are right. I mentioned racing games as simulators will be the first ones where it hits. In Crytek Ukraine office there are none of people who just make one task - they all can do at least several tasks and well. The demands are growing so it's close to VFX standards with each day. It puts a lot of pressure on artists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by darthviper107
Really all they need to do is support games at full 1080p 60fps, and 3D, and that'll be a big jump. They just need the features really, I think that full HD jump along with a reasonable cost and new features is what's going to be happening rather than Microsoft or Sony trying to sell it just on new graphics.

Sony and Microsoft know that there should be a jump, and not just from 720p to 1080p. It's not that huge as it was with HD in this gen. We will see of course.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 05:57 PM   #59
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Who wants photo realism in games? I mean really. If I wanted photo realism I would stay in the big game of life. I find cinematic quality to be much more enjoyable and beautiful because you know it is fantasy, artsy and not photo real. Arma 3 looks boring because they are striving to get as close to photo real as possible. Its imagination at its lowest. Not fun to see a copy of life.

Thought I won't argue that it could be very useful for many other things, simulators for example. Just not standard games.
 
Old 07-31-2012, 06:01 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamagoo
Who wants photo realism in games? I mean really. If I wanted photo realism I would stay in the big game of life. I find cinematic quality to be much more enjoyable and beautiful because you know it is fantasy, artsy and not photo real. Arma 3 looks boring because they are striving to get as close to photo real as possible. Its imagination at its lowest. Not fun to see a copy of life.

Thought I won't argue that it could be very useful for many other things, simulators for example. Just not standard games.

It's what I read all the time at game forums - "we want more interesting games, not graphics!". But then a game is released - "it's not realiistic, bad graaphics".
 
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