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Author Topic: What's next in games?
foyleman
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 06:15 am

There's a lot of great games out there to play right now or in the coming week. Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 are battling for the top shooter. Skyrim has nearly taken over the lives of some of the people I know. Star Wars the Old Republic is about to steal away the few remaining friends I have. And these are only a few of the games that are plowing through this winter's PC market.

What's interesting here is that these games are bleeding into what was primarily a group of gamers who stuck to their guns in shooters. They are Call of Duty fans who have found enjoyment away from Call of Duty - so much so that the market might actually be making a shift to a new genre of games.

Almost weekly now, I find myself asking the question, "Where are games headed?" What do gamers really enjoy playing and how will that influence the next group of games that are developed? Well, I'll tell you what I think, but I'd love to hear from you too. And note that what we discuss here could actually become a reality ;)



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foyleman
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 06:53 am
I don't think the shooter genre is going away, I think that other genres are mixing into the shooter genre.

Over the past few years, the first thing you must have noticed is that shooters have added leveling up to characters. This is perhaps the most obvious addition to the genre.

I thought that Dead Island was kind of a shooter. I know there weren't many guns in the game, but the style of the game felt like a first person shooter. However there were RPG elements rolled into the game such as leveling up and skill trees.

I believe that the future of games is social. Playing with friends with the ability to play alone if you choose to do so. I think games will always include something that makes you feel like you are leveling up. Even if that's an achievement based level.

Perhaps future games are headed towards skill trees of some sort. It could be gun based where you can modify and better your weapon. Or it could include other player skills as well.

What do you think?
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sam_fisher3000
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 10:30 am
Shooter genre are always going to be the same, same for any other genre. Even with mixing genre. Doesn't intrigue me or make me feel the game is special the slightest.

I don't like the idea of leveling up b/c it's so basic. I prefer leveling up that is more comprehensive and does have noticeable upgrades. Take Alpha Protocol. It has tons of upgrades. It's noticeable but I prefer more. Something like, upgrade your aiming. In the beginning, your aiming sucks. The reticule/crosshair recoils fast. Then when you upgrade this skills, it slows the recoil. There's another game with noticeable upgrade. I can't remember.

Hasn't games always been social? There's multiplayer for every shooter games out there. You mean RPG or games that normally doesn't have MP? I know WOW is RPG and yet it's MP. MP has leveling up.


I do admit, I don't like the idea of leveling up. Too many challenges, not that I can't handle, but I don't have the time to level up. I prefer something where you have everything lay out for you and you just choose. Realistically, you're not gonna level up to unlock weapons, etc. Unless it has noticeable upgrade like I mentioned above. So more character oriented than unlocking some weapons that I might not even use.


I think the right direction for gaming is to make it more realistic than arcadey. Leave that to nitendo, arcade machines, etc. Not that I don't like arcade games. Graphically realistic, perhaps actually use real life images and put them in games. Don't know how this works, but BF3 has gotten really close, and there might be some legal issues. However, I want something like this. Other than graphics, I don't know how else to improve gameplay. Every game feels the same. Shooters, you shoot and that's it. Nothing more. There is one thing that I have on my mind. I want a realistic FOV. Something that that looks like a real person's FOV. Peripheral visions, maybe fish eye. And perhaps return to the older game style. Go back to the days of COD1, BF1942, Rainbow Six 1 or Rogue Spear, Ghost Recon 1, etc. And back to WW2, oh, how I miss those days.


That's just my opinion.

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Mystic
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 11:50 am
Introduction of achievements changed gaming as we knew it.. Look back, all games where played for fun, with a 'cus i can' attitude. Now a good percentage (not saying everyone, but i would go as far as saying most) of players, play to get that next achievement/unlock.

Personally i do like a game with level progression, it gives me a reason to play (the exact reason achievement where designed) but im not someone who HAS to keep playing to get it. But i have always been an RPG fan.

It's a bit of a strange approach i have seen in recent games, yes there is level progression but it doesn't really make you feel 'progressed'. Lets take BF3, a level 1 player can easily kill and level 50, no problem, yes the higher level player has more 'unlocks' but the way games are balanced it doesn't really matter what weapon you use.

Now if you take the same scenario but in a game like world of warcraft, a level 1 player wouldn't even be able to hit a level 50, let alone kill.

My point is if your going to push level progression in a game, it should be exactly that, you should be stronger, lower levels should struggle against you, you should unlock more powerful items, that's why i like MMO's the more time you put into your character the stronger they are.

I realize they same rules don't apply across the board, but they way game are going genres are becoming a bit cloudy, a lot of newer games dont fall into either, FPS, RPG, MMO, RTS...etc instead they are becoming hybrid. I don't like not having a line between genres
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Mystic
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 12:27 pm
Just followed a link from foyleman about skyrim.. I'll try not too mumble on and turn this into a review

Ok, a game like skyrim is designed as an RPG to be an RPG,
Quote:
A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development


So for an RPG to work you need to progress your character and be given the freedom (important) in how to go about doing it. Skyrim adds tried and tested elements from other rpg's in a neat little bundle.

You have your quests, which has always been the main way to progress your character. You also have your crafting which unlocks a huge amount of possibilities. A game outside of this genre should never have a questing system in my opinion. But you don't want any one way or progression to be force fed to you, in a typical MMO it's very common to see 'kill x amount of b' then the next quest 'collect x amount of b' and so on. This repetitive system become boring really fast. So far the questing variation seems good. There are still a few repeat quests (thieves guild im looking at you, how many people can have a wolf in the house, geez)

Exploration is a big part of and an immersive environment is key to it's success, if there is stuff to see, placing to explore then you have the player in your hand. But this comes with a requirement to reward the player for exploring such content, be it with experience, items or if you must achievements. If the world is large then exploration will always be a key point, i absolutely love exploring skyrim, every inch seems to have something for me too check out. This would be the reward part, rewarding a player for doing a good job.

Loot, a great way to build up your character, there is always a sense of working your way up to that next gear upgrade, maybe a better weapon or armor. "oh look a bad guy, wander what loot he has", when in history has anyone said this in an FPS (not including weapon drops). In skyrim i have been targeting the dragon lords just because of the amazing loot they have, but they are a challenge, it not just put on plate for me, i have to work to get it. I like to have to work for something.

I know that modding is becoming a lost art, yes it still exists but is in no way as strong as it once was. Atleast in skyrim the developers are still supporting the community, the modtool allow you to create almost limitless content. There has been talk of people porting the entire oblivion/morrowwind worlds into skyrim, sounds like a tall order but the fact remains that it is possible..

## skip to here if you dont want to read it all ##

Anways i could ramble on forever, in conclusion, the reason i enjoy skyrim is the scale of the world, the exploration, quest variation, loot and although superficial, the graphics/sounds. An RPG should be all these things

An MMO should be the above, but on a multiplayer scale.

Other genres should not try to leech bits a pieces off of these games and try to create a hybrid. FPS should just be a shooter, like v.cod was. You have set guns, you pick a gun and go shoot.. simple.

RTS im not too bigger fan of so i can't really comment on them.

But to your original question foyleman, i think game will (and are) blending together and will do until there is no genres and every game will be a MMORPGFPSRTS or hybrid for short. I also think modding will continue to die which will be a very sad day..
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sam_fisher3000
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 02:22 pm
Quote:
It's a bit of a strange approach i have seen in recent games, yes there is level progression but it doesn't really make you feel 'progressed'.

My point is if your going to push level progression in a game, it should be exactly that, you should be stronger, lower levels should struggle against you,


That's my point exactly with the skill improvement. Comprehensive and noticeable upgrade. You know you are a better shooter than players who just started.

Level progression does not give me a reason to keep playing. For the lack of a better word, I play b/c it's fun and I like it. Take Sim City for example, out of your ordinary genre of games (what genre is this? Simulation, city, building, shooter? lol), I like it and I play it. I started playing again recently b/c it's so fun. There is no level progression or any achievements but I play it b/c it's fun and a bit different. Talk about taking a break from FPS.


I for one is a huge RTS fan. Not so much of RPG. Too long and too much progression than I like. RTS is not really about level progression but it has that sense of achievement because you are working so hard to get it. It is very strategic, in terms of strategic gameplay. One game is Company of Heroes. Oh, how I love that game. [casanova] (Not weird). In a way RTS can't really blend with other genres, maybe FPS. Like Raven Squad. Never play it but it has RTS and FPS element. Don't know how well it works but I have heard people say it sucks and so I say RTS can't blend. My point being sometimes there is a black and white line. Some genres can't mix. And I agree that FPS cannot mix. Let's see Sim City has FPS element. lol



I prefer games don't mix. There is no sense of identity. What are you playing? Shooter, RPG, RTS? What is it? And it no longer becomes fun b/c there's so many elements that it becomes confusing. I prefer shooter as shooter, RTS as RTS and RPG as RPG.


In the future, I want to see realistic graphics, FOV and traditional gameplay. Go back to the classics, not the classic classic, like arcade, Nitendo, but classic shooters, RTS, RPG, etc. Don't forget, bring back WW2!



Quote:
Or it could include other player skills as well.


Hmmm, what does this even mean? Your friend's or some guy's skills shows up on your achievement list? Something a bit different from BF3? Nah, I want to see my own skills. I could care less about someone else. In that I don't like the part where future games are social.
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foyleman
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 05:52 pm
Great points of view so far. [thumbs_up]

As for mixing.. they are and will continue to do so. Genres that is. They have mixed so much that I can hardly tell the difference anymore.

Let's define...
Quote:
"A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting."

"a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling" yet "the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline."

"Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction."

Quote:
"First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective".

"First-person shooters often focus on action gameplay, with fast-paced and bloody firefights, though some place a greater emphasis on narrative, problem-solving and logic puzzles" "which in turn fall under the heading action game."

"first-person shooters involve an avatar, one or more ranged weapons, and a varying number of enemies".

Based on those definitions above, I'd say the only major difference is player perspective.

So, I should correct myself and not ask what elements of the various game genres you like. But rather, what elements of gameplay excite you the most and do you have another perspective on those elements that you could see games taking?

@Sam.. I used to have the exact same perspective as you. Perhaps that perspective comes at a certain age.
Quote:
I don't have the time to level up

However, I have recently realized that if there were no such thing as leveling up, then we would have no reason to return to play again.

You mentioned that you like RTS games and pointed out that they too have leveling up. The difference is that you level all the way up over the course of a single game as opposed over the course several games. At the end of a game, you feel strong and almost invincible. I think that might be partly why you return to the game... to repeat that feeling.

I believe that's why so many people return to the other game genres today. They feel a sense of accomplishment and they want to continue feeling that way.

OK. One more blurring of the genre line to mess with your heads. Let's say we have a shooter game (CoD style weapons). Now let's put you in a team. The other team(s) that you are playing against are all NPCs. Yeah... now you might be calling this a co-op FPS, right?
Now let's add leveling. The more you shoot, the better you get. You earn the right to new weapons but rather then unlocking these new weapons, you find them along the way.
This game has a main story line (good or not doesn't matter). And along the story line, there are little sub-plots. Every movie, sitcom and every good game has them.
Remove the linear game-play and allow the player to choose to follow those sub-plots thereby earning (or finding) those better weapons more easily.

Is this game an FPS or an RPG? I'm not saying it matters what we call it. I'm just trying to point out that the genres will mix and it's the little bits here and there that make it fun that I want to hear about.

Me? I want to play with friends and feel like I'm being social. That means some sort of multiplayer. I want to feel like I'm getting better in the game (real or imagined, lol). And something to entice me to come back and work at earning it? a plus in my book.

**Geez, I could go on forever here. [sleeping]
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sam_fisher3000
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Posted: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 09:01 pm
Quote:
So, I should correct myself and not ask what elements of the various game genres you like. But rather, what elements of gameplay excite you the most and do you have another perspective on those elements that you could see games taking?


Hmm...I don't know how to answer that. Considering in order for something to excite me has to be something I like.

Quote:
However, I have recently realized that if there were no such thing as leveling up, then we would have no reason to return to play again.


Well, I disagree on this. There's gotta be a game out there where you will return to play again b/c there is no leveling up. Sim City is for me. Splinter Cell. The stealth TPS(?) that has no leveling up and yet I go back and play. I recently got a PS2 back and began playing all 4 original SC games. SC to SCDA. No leveling whatsoever. That doesn't mean it doesn't apply for PC. And lots of other games. I don't know if you are looking for platform specific or any.

You got that right for RTS but it is also b/c there is unlimited ways to play it. More sandbox style. This leads me to discuss later.


I love sub-plots! I am the master at creating those for novels!


Quote:
Let's define...
Quote:
"A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting."

"a form of interactive and collaborative storytelling" yet "the game need not have a strongly-defined storyline."

"Interactivity is the crucial difference between role-playing games and traditional fiction."

Quote:
"First-person shooter (FPS) is a video game genre that centers the gameplay on gun and projectile weapon-based combat through first-person perspective".

"First-person shooters often focus on action gameplay, with fast-paced and bloody firefights, though some place a greater emphasis on narrative, problem-solving and logic puzzles" "which in turn fall under the heading action game."

"first-person shooters involve an avatar, one or more ranged weapons, and a varying number of enemies".

Based on those definitions above, I'd say the only major difference is player perspective.


To answer your question of blurring the genre lines I used what you said before.

The player perspective defines what you are playing. You did not mention whether it is first person or third person in that game you created. Perhaps it is your way of proving a point. However, I would use that for what you are saying. If it is first person, it's FPS, if not, it's RPG or TPS.

Other than that, I have my own idea that is relevant to what you are saying.

I like sub-plots, not hard to create. Removing linear game-play leads to sandbox, non-linear gameplay. Not hard at all.

My first point being, it's just another generic sandbox game, like GTA, with the exception of whether it is first person or third person.

My second point being, I have my own story that maybe some day it will be a game. There is a non-linear gameplay, along with sub-stories. You play as a spy and you play as a soldier. Of course the gameplay for spy and soldier is different. And the addition of the element of non-linear gameplay, it is just another FPS. I wouldn't say RPG. Just a sandbox style.

So that leads to me saying the future of gaming is more sandbox oriented, not really mixing genres. At least to me. It's all sandbox style, even though it seems to have elements from other genre.

That's just me.

I didn't mean I don't want to be social. Just that I don't wanna know about other people's stats for all I care. Just my friends. I tend to look up you and my friends' stats on BF3...not creepy...to compare...





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odilasa1
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Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 02:42 am
Hmm... So I would hope that the future of gaming is definitely all about innovation. This would of course have to mean that some genres are more than likely blurred or blended. I think that there are already loads of games out there that do this.

One of my all-time favorite games, FF Tactics, does this very well. Sure some may call it RPG, strategy, or as Wikipedia calls it "tactical role-playing game". It's important to realize that many games contain elements from multiple genres and more often than not this makes games more fun. Of course the first time I played it I was expecting it to be a completely different type of game, but surely after spending some time playing it, I could not stop.

Now there is no doubt that there are many things that draw people into certain games. Style and substance are two major factors that play into whether games can grab and hold your attention. One game in particular that I thought was very unique was Kagero: Deception 2. Having never played the first, Tecmo's Deception, or even being remotely interested in playing either game, I happened to come across it by chance. So after popping this disc into my PS1 and playing through mostly mundane demos, including Kagero, I wasn't very entertained. Probably about a few weeks later I had an itch to play something different and couldn't figure out what, so I re-played the demos and for some reason this time got stuck playing it.

Let's take Metal Gear Solid for example, it has many different elements incorporated into it. I would definitely not call it a TPS regardless of perspective, as it has stealth, action, adventure, strategy, and probably many more types of game play. I think labeling games in this manner probably is more helpful in terms of marketing a product to gamers than it is to actually describing a game. That isn't to say to all labels are not helpful. I would think calling Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat anything other than a fighting game would be silly.

sam_fisher3000 writes...
Quote:
There's gotta be a game out there where you will return to play again b/c there is no leveling up. Sim City is for me.Splinter Cell.


Surely maybe just bad examples or a bit of oversight, but there is most definitely a form a "leveling" in these games and many others alike. Although maybe not initially apparent or in the way you're used to. I can say that at the start of most games not all abilities or items or [insert game term here] are available. Even with RTS games there is some form of leveling. The most recent game I've played in this vein is WC3. Obviously you cannot just begin with the most powerful units as that would unbalance a game. Not sure if you're familiar with the term "creeping" or as some would call it "grinding". One game I did mention earlier however does not have leveling whatsoever. Street Fighter is a good example of a fun and simple game with no real objective other than to beat the crap out of your opponent.

To paraphrase a famous saying, "You won't know where you're going, until you know where you've been."
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Mystic
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Posted: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 05:55 am
I play a lot of games purely for 'fun'. To name a few some people probably haven't even heard of like anno1404(rts), beat hazard(music shooter) and serious sam (this is what an fps should be). They all have no leveling system yet are still fun to play.

I also play a fair bit of v.cod and uo. The system United offensive uses (if your not aware) is good in my opinion, each player starts a round at 0, then you have a number of 'ranks', these do not effect your weapons but more your ammo count, as you get higher ranks, yes you do get to use satchel charges and eventually artillery but these are no more than perks and really dont effect gameplay. At the end of the round your all back to 0 again.

@odilasa1
The grind i know all about from being a long time mmo player. I play aion, wow, aoc and rift. They are a huge time sink and level grinding is what pushed me away from them.
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