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Modern games have a "creativity problem"

Modern games have a "creativity problem"

Modern shooters are plagued by a "creativity problem", says Super Smash Bros. creator.

Masahiro Sakurai, developer of the Smash Bros. franchise, has commented on game design in an interview with Techland, stating that modern shooters have a "creativity problem".

"I've found that, in the established genres, the controls are always the same," said Sakurai.

"For example, in shooting games, you find first-person-shooters utilize all of the buttons on the controller and always do the same thing the stick is for moving, triggers for shooting and they're always trapped in this very restricted framework for gameplay."

"That's just not creative. It feels like people are taking this empty shell and just swapping out the story and art and whatnot."

He also argued that "In the same sort of way that fighting games started to feel stale, there was definitely something new to be had in a design like Smash Brothers."

Sakurai is currently working on Kid Icarus: Uprising for the much-hyped Nintendo 3DS.

He said that in order to combat this decline in creativity he tends to focus on perfecting an effective gameplay mechanic, rather than forcing a game into "a larger, more expensive big-budgeted experience".

How do you feel about the state of game design? Are you sick of playing the same grey-brown shooters, or is there hope to be found in emerging technologies like motion control and 3D? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

49 Comments

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nukeman8 29th June 2010, 13:36 Quote
i think game creativity comes down to more than just which button does what on the controller
Omnituens 29th June 2010, 13:36 Quote
There's a reason most FPS on consoles use the same buttons - its the best layout to use.
mi1ez 29th June 2010, 13:39 Quote
he's right about the lack of creativity, but he chose a poor example!
south side sammy 29th June 2010, 13:40 Quote
I have no problem with the controls being the same. I kind of expect it. tough to have fun in any game when you have to "relearn " the basics...... What I do find troubling is the fact that ALL the games ( FPS Military ) they ALL look alike and act alike. This is what needs fixing.
gavomatic57 29th June 2010, 13:41 Quote
I think the headline deserved a better article under it. Modern games do have a creativity problem, but it has nothing to do with joypad control schemes.

The problem is a handful of publishers now dominate the market and are happy to churn out the same junk week in week out, dragging more money out of already tired franchises. Activision I'm looking at you.
Bob1234 29th June 2010, 13:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omnituens
There's a reason most FPS on consoles use the same buttons - its the best layout to use.

Its not necessarily "best" but its "familiar", so people find it easier to play different games.

One thing that gets "fun" in PC games is that, outside the WSAD and other very basic keys, a lot of the others can be very different, so you have to learn more.
Skiddywinks 29th June 2010, 13:42 Quote
What the **** is he talking about? Controls aren't about creativity, they are about efficiency. Hell, I'm pretty sure the three SSB games had the same controls (with some tweaks here and there, which even Halo does).

He has a point with the creativity in a lot of respects though. He just needs to think about what he's saying.
jsheff 29th June 2010, 13:43 Quote
I've got to say I agree, but I think that there are several reasons why the market doesn't innovate as much as it once did.

Looking at the progression of FPS games I grew up on, (Wolf3D, Doom, Hexen, Duke 3D, Quake, Half Life) there was a substantial difference in gameplay, stories, settings, etc. The market was ever growing, so there was always a boundary to push in terms of better graphics (Polygons instead of sprites? What is this magic?), new gameplay mechanics (Mouselook? But I like my arrow keys!) and story and character development (Barney never did buy us that drink, did he?).

Now, however, there is little room for innovation. Big budgets mean high pressure to succeed, and to guarantee success you need to follow an existing formula. Graphics have almost hit a wall in how much prettier they can be seeing as they've almost maxed out the 360 and PS3's capability. In the modern multiplatform industry, spending the extra cash to take advantage of a new graphics card's spangly new features isn't worth it if the target spec is 360 and PS3. In the past three years or so, there's barely been an FPS I've been interested in. Seems to me that there's just hundreds of CoD clones out there, and the market has just become saturated with them because that's where the money is.

I think that because a lot of us have grown up remembering a time when gaming was niche we see today's industry in such stark contrast.
StoneyMahoney 29th June 2010, 13:50 Quote
What I took from that is that these games are so close to identical in their mechanics and the way you play them, they might as well all be expansion packs for each other. No matter what groovy new stuff gets thrown into the engine, it always boils down to being yet another first-person shooter from the [insert favourite FPS game here] mold.

There has been very little actual advancement in FPS gameplay for a long time. The original Quake brought us a real fully-fledged 3D environment to play in. Half-Life and Half-Life 2 advanced the physics which we interact with. And... I've already run out of landmark games since then that weren't entirely based on eye-candy and weren't just evolutions. Pretty poor show from an entire genre, don't you think?

Only exception I can think of: Portal
[USRF]Obiwan 29th June 2010, 13:59 Quote
Yeah? i was like thinking, "try try a keyboard for a change" it is FPS game you know, a invention for PC mouse+keyboard. Not for a stupid nes controller.
bigsharn 29th June 2010, 14:05 Quote
You did NOT just insult NES controllers


On a serious note, as has been said before, this is probably the best button combination to use. Battlefield and COD series use slightly different buttons, but if they were to change it around (even a little) there'd be uproar and a shedload of complaints, as a result the new game in the series would revert back to the original controls.


There IS a lack of creativity in most FPS games, COD 1/2/3/5 and most of the Battlefield series are taken from real backgrounds so there's not a huge amount of creativity to be found in there
Krikkit 29th June 2010, 14:06 Quote
That's pretty extreme Obiwan. :p
gavomatic57 29th June 2010, 14:07 Quote
As I've said before, if you want original, interesting titles, look to the Eastern Bloc - the Russians, Ukrainian's etc are the only ones making real PC games.
Hovis 29th June 2010, 14:16 Quote
Guy complains about a lack of creativity in gaming, while working on a modernised version of a game from 1986, for Nintendo, a company that has been re-releasing essentially the same half dozen games for the past couple of decades. Oh the irony.
Fabou 29th June 2010, 14:46 Quote
@ Hovis
+1

Mario is still there playing douzen of not so different game and they talk about creativity. But atleast theere is still something new in every nitendo game I played (I'm far from having played all of them), whereas to much FPS are COD copy with nothing different (beside one is in WWII and one is in moyen orient) I mean look at that http://i.imgur.com/8pdbT.jpg
Rogan 29th June 2010, 14:53 Quote
Heh as the guy above just said... the creativity problem in FPS games is down to the control scheme on a joypad.

Really?

I've played some Wii FPS games, and although they utilise the controller in a completely different way they're still the same old rehashed "Kill everyone, reach end of level, repeat" rubbish as every other FPS game.


To some extent you might as well complain that books lack creativity because they all start on page 1 and you turn each page to progress the story.
Flibblebot 29th June 2010, 14:55 Quote
So, according to Masahiro Sakurai, all games are uncreative...apart from the game that he wrote? :(
Altron 29th June 2010, 15:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyMahoney
What I took from that is that these games are so close to identical in their mechanics and the way you play them, they might as well all be expansion packs for each other. No matter what groovy new stuff gets thrown into the engine, it always boils down to being yet another first-person shooter from the [insert favourite FPS game here] mold.

There has been very little actual advancement in FPS gameplay for a long time. The original Quake brought us a real fully-fledged 3D environment to play in. Half-Life and Half-Life 2 advanced the physics which we interact with. And... I've already run out of landmark games since then that weren't entirely based on eye-candy and weren't just evolutions. Pretty poor show from an entire genre, don't you think?

Only exception I can think of: Portal

Agree and disagree here, but good post.

Within the genre, you're not going to see amazing innovation in gameplay mechanics now that realistic physics have been achieved. That's by the nature... every FPS game is going to be a first-person shooting game. There''s only so many ways to change it while keeping it a FPS. Portal was great, and one of the most fun games I've ever played, but it isn't really a FPS. You don't actually shoot anything, you just create portals. It's using a FPS game engine, but you're not shooting at enemies, just aiming the portal.

Why are companies still making re-hashes of the same FPS games from decades ago with prettier graphics and more violent sounding titles? It's because people are still buying them.

Innovation is great, and I like seeing changes to the genre. I'd rather see a company take a gameplay mechanic that works well, and put in a very well-written plot, a wide variety of combat situations including physics puzzles, stealth, small scale man-on-man combat, medium scale combat against vehicles, and full scale combat (i.e. final battle in HL2E2) than see a company change up the well known FPS gameplay in favor of some goofy genre of game, but not to a good job with it.

I really liked the HL plot in that you didn't really know what was going on, you were just trying to get to the surface, and had no idea what to expect. There were times when you'd get to an area that looked impossible, but then find a trick for how to get through it. You had to pay attention and think about things moreso than just blast every person who walked by.

A friend of mine was playing an Xbox shooter, not sure what the title was. It looked so boring. Generic urban desert warfare setting in Afghanistan or wherever, and your squad was walking down a completely pre-determined path while getting shot at by guys in buildings, and then shooting them back with long-range, rapid-fire, scope'd rifles.Boooring. I like games that mix it up and add new gameplay elements. Forget about realism. I like to see teamplay elements, weapon variety, class or race variety, level setting variety, mission variety, etc. Some of the guns that are so much fun in certain games would never be found in real life combat.

Don't change the basic gameplay mechanics - they work. Referencing the Orange Box - Give us more things like the Gravity Gun or the Portal Gun, or the Sandman or the Stickybomb Launcher. Guns that are more exciting than a SMG that also has a grenade launcher like every single FPS has. Give us more classes like the Spy or the Scout or the Demoman, who are different from the standard FPS classes. Give us more epic battles like the one at the end of HL2E2. Give us more levels like Ravenholm or the river chase, and different multiplayer modes like Payload.
Ficky Pucker 29th June 2010, 15:38 Quote
why not play your fave fps on a steering wheel ! that'll make it much more interesting.
gymman39 29th June 2010, 15:46 Quote
That's why I love retro gaming, some of the old stuff rocks.
pimlicosound 29th June 2010, 15:47 Quote
Barring a complete reinvention of the shooter genre, I think it's good that the controls are all largely the same. It allows experienced players to start a game for the first time and to immediately feel comfortable. It removes the controls as an obstacle to getting started, unless it's your first time playing a shooter.

However, I think it's important to remember that Sakurai is coming from a very different angle here: that of a Nintento developer. They simply don't have two analogue sticks and a pair of triggers to play with. He would be FORCED to be more creative in developing a control scheme for a Nintendo shooter. Perhaps that's the root of his statements here - he's trying to put a positive spin on what is arguably a serious shortcoming in all Nintendo controllers.
Goty 29th June 2010, 16:11 Quote
This is coming from the guy who has been remaking the exact same game for 11 years.

Pot, meet Kettle.
mastorofpuppetz 29th June 2010, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
This is coming from the guy who has been remaking the exact same game for 11 years.

Pot, meet Kettle.

LMAo, so true, in fact, nintendo more then any other company are guilty of a lack of imagination in games, making the same games for 15 years.
Sloth 29th June 2010, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
This is coming from the guy who has been remaking the exact same game for 11 years.

Pot, meet Kettle.
Perfectly put.

Couldn't help but think while reading "Wait... the guy who made SSB and then simply cloned it two more times onto new consoles is talking about creativity?"
cheeriokilla 29th June 2010, 17:56 Quote
I love shooters because they're competitive and you can easily adapt between games, not all shooters feel the same and not all are designed in the same way... I feel I can easily adapt between Battlefield and Left4Dead and then maybe even Shattered Horizon and they all feel different, but you got the same basic controls...
cyrilthefish 29th June 2010, 18:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ficky Pucker
why not play your fave fps on a steering wheel ! that'll make it much more interesting.
Anyone tried playing other games with guitar hero (or similar) controllers? :D
Unknownsock 29th June 2010, 18:29 Quote
Sorry what? Go make another Mario please.
Hovis 29th June 2010, 18:30 Quote
I think it's worth noting too, and I do hate to generalise but here goes, the guy is from Japan, and Japanese gaming culture is hugely different to the west now. And that difference can be summed up with this simple sentence, "Japanese games have been **** for years."

If I was living in a culture that produced crap games I'd sense there was a problem too.

I used to think Japanese games were great. Fatal Frame, Virtua Fighter 5, FF7, Resi Evil 4, there are some gems in there from recent history, but mostly these days it's just this factory crapping out tat that I'd be offended to use for a coaster. I'm sure somebody will correct me and point to a good recent Japanese game, but I'll pre-empt that by pointing out that no, that game isn't any good and the person who pointed it out is wrong. So there.
docodine 29th June 2010, 19:00 Quote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwvCl4mgG7g

This is the sort of thing he likes.
yougotkicked 29th June 2010, 21:11 Quote
huh, when i saw the words "creativity problem" i thought he was going to go after the fact that our "game of the year" lists contain ~10 iterations of "nameless soldiers kills lots and lots of bad guys/terrorists/aliens/zombies". I like the idea of almost all shooters having the same basic controls, it makes it easy for experienced gamers to bring their reflexes into new games. though I always use custom keybinds anyways.
peoplesmachine 29th June 2010, 22:26 Quote
"You know creativity is a dual edge sword in the gaming world of today. Gamers hate change always have and always will. I embrace new ideas even if the game isn't as good or a triple A title. For example Rouge Warrior on Xbox 360, while it's no call of duty or big budget title with lots of development time and money it does do something that not one other FPS does, you can take cover into third person which contrary to reviews works well and has saved my butt on many occasion.
Then you pop right back into first person, I love this...think of call of duty or battlefield 2 and being able to hug a wall in third person the dynamic of the game and MP would change quite a bit. It's the same with Unreal 2 Lilandri Conflict, gamers saw the game running in third person and it barely sold, yet what gamers should have done is the fact that you can play it in FP just like Unreal Tournament, you can set the options up without melee weapons or third person to play it like classic unreal.
No one bought this, it was at one time 5 dollars new at gamestop. Some gamers back then when I showed them this game they said I didn't know you could still play it like good ol Unreal? Duh...Unreal Tournament 3 came out and while better looking then Unreal 2, Unreal 2 was a better game in design and flexibility while playing...gamers hate change, if you change a shooters controls or anything else the game will fail, look at Advent Rising one of the best ever games created and yet because of the controls (flick) targeting people hated this game, guess what you don't even have to use it, and you can play the game in first person.
You see gamers want enough of the game to be different to fee new, but also want enough of it to be like what they are used to playing so there is a happy medium, don't put a cover system in a third person shooter and see the reviews treat it...like crap. I generally buy games that most do not to see how they are, and I find many diamonds in the rough this way, some not so good either but more often than not these are good games. I love Mass Effect one and two, and Battlefield 2, and Darksiders, Burnout Paradise, but I also love Bulletwitch, Two Human, X Blades, and yes Rouge Warrior, there is just something fun about that game that I love playing it, is it great...no, is it good...yes in many ways, s it perfect..not at all.
Creativity doesn't sell, God of War comes out, and sells millions of copies but it really just took a Devil may Cry violent approach in 3D with great story and it was awesome, but that too became the standard, you see it in Dante's Inferno, Darksiders, Devil May Cry 4, and Bayonetta although Bayonetta is way more action packed than the God of War series....sorry fan boys love me some Bayonetta.
Most games taking a chance on something really new...usually fail....sadly. You have to have the best of both worlds in a game but we are responsible for that. We buy those games and while the next Halo will be fairly cool it really is the same game I have been playing since part 1, which is why I stopped after 3.
Creativity is there you just gotta know where to look ..................."
tad2008 30th June 2010, 03:09 Quote
I think Masahiro Sakurai must have a translation problem. Having consistent controls across similar genre of games is essential for ease of use and to be able to pick up the game and play it without having to re-learn a new set of controls or to have to customise the controls each and every time, though I do find it necessary on some games to tweak the controls a little as needed.

Working on the Nintendo 3DS with it's own limited controls comprising of a D-Pad and 4 Buttons, oh and a stylus is hardly cause to go ranting about limits of control systems, at least computers have 100+ keys and multi-button mouse options available in addition to gamepads, joysticks, stearing wheels, flight sticks, etc.

What we do need is stronger more consistent story lines and a greater sense of overall realism to give us a complete experience and so that we feel truly part of the game not just sat at a desk looking at a screen. Something that takes us further than even an interactive movie ever could, I don't just want to see the game, I want to feel that I am not just in the game but a real part of it too.

Guildwars 2 seems to be heading in the right direction with dynamic events:
http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/dynamic-events/
Altron 30th June 2010, 04:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tad2008
I think Masahiro Sakurai must have a translation problem. Having consistent controls across similar genre of games is essential for ease of use and to be able to pick up the game and play it without having to re-learn a new set of controls or to have to customise the controls each and every time, though I do find it necessary on some games to tweak the controls a little as needed.

Working on the Nintendo 3DS with it's own limited controls comprising of a D-Pad and 4 Buttons, oh and a stylus is hardly cause to go ranting about limits of control systems, at least computers have 100+ keys and multi-button mouse options available in addition to gamepads, joysticks, stearing wheels, flight sticks, etc.

What we do need is stronger more consistent story lines and a greater sense of overall realism to give us a complete experience and so that we feel truly part of the game not just sat at a desk looking at a screen. Something that takes us further than even an interactive movie ever could, I don't just want to see the game, I want to feel that I am not just in the game but a real part of it too.

Guildwars 2 seems to be heading in the right direction with dynamic events:
http://www.guildwars2.com/en/the-game/dynamic-events/

I disagree with the realism comment. So many games are fun because they AREN'T realistic. Do wizards and elves really battle orcish hordes? Um, not around here they don't. But how can you look at all of the hugely popular games based around that genre of literature and say that there aren't some amazing, fun, and brilliant games there?

What I think is a better idea is to not do a half-assed job on realism. Games that try to be realistic and aren't tend to be boring. Either make the game realistic, or discard any pretense of realism. Fantasy games, space games, and even cartoon-ish games can all be very fun, because they don't try to be realistic and end up failing at it. None of the Blizzard games are realistic, but don't even try to tell me that just about every game they've made has been a huge and enduring success, with millions of players. Nothing Nintendo makes is meant to be realistic, but they're also a gaming legend.

I'd even go so far as to say that realism can inhibit the creativity of the games. Stop churning out identical WW2 Allies vs. Nazis games, or Afghanistan U.S. vs. Terrorist games. Don't be afraid to push the limits with a sci-fi or fantasy game, or even to release a FPS game like TF2 that drops and pretenses of modeling any historical war, and just says "It's RED vs. BLU" and instead devotes its energy to making a game with a ton of variety and interesting combat situations beyond just exchanging SMG fire on the beaches of Normandy, and doesn't take itself too seriously in the plot department.
wafflesomd 30th June 2010, 08:19 Quote
Games have been pretty uninspiring as of late, but it certainly isn't due to controls.
Kilmoor 30th June 2010, 08:29 Quote
...could it be possible that CONSOLE PLAYERS as a whole ruined the FPS?

A fit-for-toilet-paper game like Halo comes along and becomes a hit because the poor console player just doesn't know any better. They never played the Half-Life series and seen how creative the FPS can be. So developers eager to sponge up the console market's cash come along and churn out crap after crap and spoon-feed it to the crowd, while turning a deaf ear toward the mouse-and-keyboard crowd's cries for a higher standard.

I may be biased. I would give consoles a try... if they came with a mouse and KB and ran windows.
B1GBUD 30th June 2010, 09:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
"For example, in shooting games, you find first-person-shooters utilize all of the buttons on the controller and always do the same thing the stick is for moving, triggers for shooting and they're always trapped in this very restricted framework for gameplay."

Wut? the FPS was born on the PC, not console... that is why you feel trapped, trapped into buying recycled console crap, trapped into buying the next COD or HALO re-hash.

Now please..... GTFO
gavomatic57 30th June 2010, 09:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilmoor
...could it be possible that CONSOLE PLAYERS as a whole ruined the FPS?

A fit-for-toilet-paper game like Halo comes along and becomes a hit because the poor console player just doesn't know any better. They never played the Half-Life series and seen how creative the FPS can be. So developers eager to sponge up the console market's cash come along and churn out crap after crap and spoon-feed it to the crowd, while turning a deaf ear toward the mouse-and-keyboard crowd's cries for a higher standard.

I may be biased. I would give consoles a try... if they came with a mouse and KB and ran windows.

The console experience does ruin perfectly good franchises - Call of Juarez is my biggest bugbear - the first one was excellent, the consolified sequel sucked, so you may be onto something there. I'll be giving Crysis 2 a wide berth, that's for sure.

I do find it strange how the Orange Box was not that popular when it was ported to the the consoles - but maybe the use of subtle humour, physics-based puzzles was too much for some people? Modern Warfare 2 is incredibly popular on the consoles - possibly because it requires no intelligence to play it.
CowBlazed 30th June 2010, 09:59 Quote
I think Orange Box sold pretty well on consoles, but the PC experience is obviously where its at. Not only do you get updates, its cheaper too.
liratheal 30th June 2010, 10:08 Quote
That's.. A bit rich, coming from the Smahs Bros. developer, isn't it?
ParaHelix.org 30th June 2010, 11:37 Quote
I thought he was gonna rant about creativity... apparently not :/
ParaHelix.org 30th June 2010, 11:39 Quote
I just re-assigned buttons on my X-Box PC controller...I'm an artist!
tad2008 30th June 2010, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
I disagree with the realism comment. So many games are fun because they AREN'T realistic. Do wizards and elves really battle orcish hordes? Um, not around here they don't. But how can you look at all of the hugely popular games based around that genre of literature and say that there aren't some amazing, fun, and brilliant games there?

What I think is a better idea is to not do a half-assed job on realism. Games that try to be realistic and aren't tend to be boring. Either make the game realistic, or discard any pretense of realism. Fantasy games, space games, and even cartoon-ish games can all be very fun, because they don't try to be realistic and end up failing at it. None of the Blizzard games are realistic, but don't even try to tell me that just about every game they've made has been a huge and enduring success, with millions of players. Nothing Nintendo makes is meant to be realistic, but they're also a gaming legend.

I'd even go so far as to say that realism can inhibit the creativity of the games. Stop churning out identical WW2 Allies vs. Nazis games, or Afghanistan U.S. vs. Terrorist games. Don't be afraid to push the limits with a sci-fi or fantasy game, or even to release a FPS game like TF2 that drops and pretenses of modeling any historical war, and just says "It's RED vs. BLU" and instead devotes its energy to making a game with a ton of variety and interesting combat situations beyond just exchanging SMG fire on the beaches of Normandy, and doesn't take itself too seriously in the plot department.

I agree that there are games that do not or should not be realistic, afterall Tetris could hardly be considered so and was hugely popular. However, the sense of realism I am referring to is more closely associated with damage, atmosphere and overall scale.

Let's take your Wizards and Elves example from the fantasy genre, we know they don't exist in real life but let's consider adding a sense of realism about it. We know Elves stereotypically tend to use bows and we have bows in real life, yet in those RPG / Fantasy style games (albeit not all) you can make a veritable pin cushion out of your chosen target before it falls down.

Coming back to the modern day, WW2 games give you SMG's that use a whole clip to kill someone, which in anything less than a cartoon / comic book style game in my opinion detracts from the game itself.

Games themselves are lacking creativity and the lack of realism is dumbing things down for players who no longer need to think creatively to get through a game. In a lot of FPS titles it's stock up on ammo and find the med kit, wade in to the guards and keep your finger on the trigger. We as players are not given the opportunity to be rewarded for our own creative game play or encouraged to explore alternative avenues to simply standing toe to toe with our opponents.

If players want to simply run in through the front door or engage opponents head on then there will be times when that is simply what is required, but for designers to offer us alternate creative solutions to solving problems in games and progressing with satisfaction and achievement is seriously lacking and has made me more particular about which games I now purchase.

If a game is simply another clone then I simply won't touch it. No matter the genre if it doesn't bring something fresh and exciting to the table then it's simply not worth purchasing.

For those games that throw realism completely to the wind, they can be fun too and have been over the years, going back to games like pacman, space invaders, asteroids and the aforementioned tetris, they all have their place in gaming history but when was the last time we really saw a new truly creative game?
robots 30th June 2010, 18:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
he's right about the lack of creativity, but he chose a poor example!

Yeah I agree.

Creativity is seriously lacking these days, but the controls are not an issue at all. The reason why FPS's use those controls, is simply because that's the best way to do it... Particularly on the PC with WASD and the mouse. There is no better way to control a FPS, and the only way I would change from this method, is if there was some kind of brain interface.

None FPS's however, he has a point. With fighting games for example, it certainly doesn't have to be the Mortal Kombat / Streetfighter way that all games now do.
Altron 30th June 2010, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tad2008
I agree that there are games that do not or should not be realistic, afterall Tetris could hardly be considered so and was hugely popular. However, the sense of realism I am referring to is more closely associated with damage, atmosphere and overall scale.

Let's take your Wizards and Elves example from the fantasy genre, we know they don't exist in real life but let's consider adding a sense of realism about it. We know Elves stereotypically tend to use bows and we have bows in real life, yet in those RPG / Fantasy style games (albeit not all) you can make a veritable pin cushion out of your chosen target before it falls down.

Coming back to the modern day, WW2 games give you SMG's that use a whole clip to kill someone, which in anything less than a cartoon / comic book style game in my opinion detracts from the game itself.

Games themselves are lacking creativity and the lack of realism is dumbing things down for players who no longer need to think creatively to get through a game. In a lot of FPS titles it's stock up on ammo and find the med kit, wade in to the guards and keep your finger on the trigger. We as players are not given the opportunity to be rewarded for our own creative game play or encouraged to explore alternative avenues to simply standing toe to toe with our opponents.

If players want to simply run in through the front door or engage opponents head on then there will be times when that is simply what is required, but for designers to offer us alternate creative solutions to solving problems in games and progressing with satisfaction and achievement is seriously lacking and has made me more particular about which games I now purchase.

If a game is simply another clone then I simply won't touch it. No matter the genre if it doesn't bring something fresh and exciting to the table then it's simply not worth purchasing.

For those games that throw realism completely to the wind, they can be fun too and have been over the years, going back to games like pacman, space invaders, asteroids and the aforementioned tetris, they all have their place in gaming history but when was the last time we really saw a new truly creative game?


As for real-world damage, realism is not always best. Different damage scales work for different games. In real life combat, a single bullet to the head or torso will most likely kill you or completely incapacitate you, and a limb shot will significantly reduce your combat capabilities. The reason certain games work by requiring 30 bullets to take someone down is because it is more interesting and more challenging to hit someone thirty times than it is to hit them once. The gun damage scales so that the harder it is to hit someone with a gun, the more damage it does. In real life, if you're out in the open and somebody pops up with an AK-47 and unloads it in your general vicinity, GG. It isn't accurate, but they'll almost certainly land at least one hit on you, which would completely wreck you. If you make it so that it takes a dozen bullets to kill you, then that person needs to actually aim to hit you that many times, and you have an opportunity to take cover or take evasive action while returning fire. it becomes a game determined by who is more accurate and who can manuever their character better, rather than just who lands the first hit. It allows the weapons to provide a high degree of variety, so that the slow-firing or more difficult to aim weapons do better. Again, in real life, a SMG bullet will kill you just as dead as a sniper rifle bullet of similar caliber, but in games it is balanced so that the SMG bullets do far less damage than the sniper rifle bullets, because it is easier to land lucky hits with rapid fire.

If, in a fantasy game, one arrow from an archer Elf would instantly kill you, then why would anyone play a melee character? Obviously, any halfway decent player would be able to hit you with at least ONE arrow before you can run up to them. So they make it require 20 arrows to kill you, so that the playing field is levelled between range and melee characters, and there is variety in the game. If the elf is good enough, he can hit you with 20 arrows before you kill him, and if the melee hero is good enough, he can find a way to get hit less than 20 times before killing you.

Real life isn't fair. But video games can be fair, and that's why we play them.

Of course, I'm referring mainly to multiplayer here. Multiplayer needs unrealistic damage so that it can be balanced.

Single Player, I have always preferred more guerilla style games where you avoid a full-out confrontation most of the time, and kinda sneak around dispatching guards. I like the missions where you lose if they spot you, like a few RTCW ones where you lost if there was gunfire, so you had to run around with a silenced sniper rifle taking out guards without them seeing you. IMO it makes it realistic, because one person would never make a frontal attack on an entire army. The very nature of single player FPS lends itself to you being outnumbered and outgunned, but being a lot more talented than the AI you're fighting, so you avoid taking hits as much as possible. However, multiplayer FPS thrives on even teams and much closer talent levels. Anyone can land hits, so they make the characters a lot tougher so that the players who are good at manuevering to dodge shots and who are very accurate win.

And, to your final question - Portal. 'nuff said.
Elton 30th June 2010, 22:40 Quote
He chose a terrible example, but he's right.

Most games are about point and shoot. Lately the only shooters that are different is ARMA2, STALKER, and Crysis provided you played it Gunsmith style.
tad2008 1st July 2010, 21:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
As for real-world damage, realism is not always best. Different damage scales work for different games. In real life combat, a single bullet to the head or torso will most likely kill you or completely incapacitate you, and a limb shot will significantly reduce your combat capabilities. The reason certain games work by requiring 30 bullets to take someone down is because it is more interesting and more challenging to hit someone thirty times than it is to hit them once. The gun damage scales so that the harder it is to hit someone with a gun, the more damage it does. In real life, if you're out in the open and somebody pops up with an AK-47 and unloads it in your general vicinity, GG. It isn't accurate, but they'll almost certainly land at least one hit on you, which would completely wreck you. If you make it so that it takes a dozen bullets to kill you, then that person needs to actually aim to hit you that many times, and you have an opportunity to take cover or take evasive action while returning fire. it becomes a game determined by who is more accurate and who can manuever their character better, rather than just who lands the first hit. It allows the weapons to provide a high degree of variety, so that the slow-firing or more difficult to aim weapons do better. Again, in real life, a SMG bullet will kill you just as dead as a sniper rifle bullet of similar caliber, but in games it is balanced so that the SMG bullets do far less damage than the sniper rifle bullets, because it is easier to land lucky hits with rapid fire.

If, in a fantasy game, one arrow from an archer Elf would instantly kill you, then why would anyone play a melee character? Obviously, any halfway decent player would be able to hit you with at least ONE arrow before you can run up to them. So they make it require 20 arrows to kill you, so that the playing field is levelled between range and melee characters, and there is variety in the game. If the elf is good enough, he can hit you with 20 arrows before you kill him, and if the melee hero is good enough, he can find a way to get hit less than 20 times before killing you.

Real life isn't fair. But video games can be fair, and that's why we play them.

Of course, I'm referring mainly to multiplayer here. Multiplayer needs unrealistic damage so that it can be balanced.

Single Player, I have always preferred more guerilla style games where you avoid a full-out confrontation most of the time, and kinda sneak around dispatching guards. I like the missions where you lose if they spot you, like a few RTCW ones where you lost if there was gunfire, so you had to run around with a silenced sniper rifle taking out guards without them seeing you. IMO it makes it realistic, because one person would never make a frontal attack on an entire army. The very nature of single player FPS lends itself to you being outnumbered and outgunned, but being a lot more talented than the AI you're fighting, so you avoid taking hits as much as possible. However, multiplayer FPS thrives on even teams and much closer talent levels. Anyone can land hits, so they make the characters a lot tougher so that the players who are good at manuevering to dodge shots and who are very accurate win.

And, to your final question - Portal. 'nuff said.

Well this is certainly a good discussion and it's good to read a well thought out reply. Yes technically speaking to hit someone with 30 bullets at range compared to a dozen rounds or even a 3 round burst would be considered as having to be more accurate.

However, you seem to have forgotten that in modern games and even fantasy based games there is still armour to consider, whether that's a military issue Kevlar vest or a suit of chain or plate mail (with or without a shield). This allows our medieval warriors to approach the archer make use of their shield, use cover and provide a harder to hit moving target. It also provides our modern soldiers with a measure of protection, which admittedly can be overcome with larger calibre weapons, armour piercing rounds or called shots to more vulnerable body areas, which further reinforces the sense of realism and also having to be more creative as a player than simply point and shoot.

When I asked about a recent truly creative game I had considered Portal and glad that you had thought of this too, though it dates back to the end of 2007 and I happily agree that it does use a simple concept creatively, it also uses another concept realistically, and that's physics, a real life factor if ever there was one.
Elton 1st July 2010, 21:26 Quote
I've always wondered how a multiplayer portal game would work out. With guns of course.
Altron 1st July 2010, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tad2008
Well this is certainly a good discussion and it's good to read a well thought out reply. Yes technically speaking to hit someone with 30 bullets at range compared to a dozen rounds or even a 3 round burst would be considered as having to be more accurate.

However, you seem to have forgotten that in modern games and even fantasy based games there is still armour to consider, whether that's a military issue Kevlar vest or a suit of chain or plate mail (with or without a shield). This allows our medieval warriors to approach the archer make use of their shield, use cover and provide a harder to hit moving target. It also provides our modern soldiers with a measure of protection, which admittedly can be overcome with larger calibre weapons, armour piercing rounds or called shots to more vulnerable body areas, which further reinforces the sense of realism and also having to be more creative as a player than simply point and shoot.

When I asked about a recent truly creative game I had considered Portal and glad that you had thought of this too, though it dates back to the end of 2007 and I happily agree that it does use a simple concept creatively, it also uses another concept realistically, and that's physics, a real life factor if ever there was one.

I'll cut this short because I'm at work and my shift ends very soon, but RE: Armor, does it really matter exactly how they call it?

I'm not going to argue semantics as to whether it is better to give you 100 hp or whether it is better to give you 25 hp and 75 armor. In terms of gameplay, both save the same purpose - they make you less squishy, so combat lasts longer and is more involved.

It's immaterial as to whatever real-world justification is used to explain your character's ability to withstand damage that would kill us mere humans, whether that be abnormally high HP, or body armor, or a HEV suit. And, of course, most still retain the mechanic where a heatshot is more powerful than a torso shot, regardless of the amount of health or armor.

I'm glad we agree that gameplay is improved when your character is tougher and your enemies are tougher so that things like ducking for cover, strafing and evading, headshots, and better accuracy make more of a difference, regardless of how it is written into the plot.
knuck 1st July 2010, 22:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elton
I've always wondered how a multiplayer portal game would work out. With guns of course.

Portal 2


Also, before Portal came out, there was an alpha version of the game with multiplayer and Half Life 2 weapons. I got to play it and it was awesome to make portal traps to send other players in a pit
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