The coming of the complex games...

The coming of the complex games...

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==Troy==
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Joined: 29 Oct 2008, 15:55

The coming of the complex games...

Post by ==Troy== »

My take on the theory.

Take a look at the beginning history of the gaming and software design. The primary audience were software engineers and their kids, much less so your average six pack Joe on the street.

To those of you who began in this era as kids, I am sure you remember the gradual learning curve throughout the games, the utter complexity and lack of understanding at the beginning, and slow grasp of the concept of the games over the years. It didnt take a day to grasp the game, but months instead.

Those who did not have that original experience, and who are the majority customer for the gaming at the moment, are the ones who lack the intricate understanding of game concepts and, as they now lack spare time, and are much older, they also lack the will to learn. Coupled is the young generation, which can also be conveniently fed with dumbed down games, as those can be grasped easily.

But it is this younger generation where my theory, and well, hope, lies. As they are slowly transitioning to the "mature gamer" territory, with a vast game experience from their dumbed down xboxes and ps3's, I recon they will slowly come to realization of the utter boredom of repetition and cliche game mechanics. And after one after another game-movie stamp, they will strive for something different.

Indie gaming is IMHO one of the indications of the trend, the success of the kickstarter at this time (and failure of it's predecessors earlier).

I do not claim that the game-movies will go away, but I do recon we are in for the beginning of the new gaming era, where the rest of the population caught up to where the first generation of gamers were 10 years ago.

Any thoughts?
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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 13:08

Re: The coming of the complex games...

Post by zwzsg »

Both will continue to exist. They will be more dumb high budget cinematic-choked one-button games, and more complex tough indies games.
gajop
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Re: The coming of the complex games...

Post by gajop »

A lot of older games were hard due to bad interfaces and weren't actually about game complexity.
And as far as complexity goes, I think a comparison between Civilization 4 and Civilization 5 shows that even if you simplify the game you can have more complex gameplay due to the strategies involved.
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Pxtl
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Joined: 23 Oct 2004, 01:43

Re: The coming of the complex games...

Post by Pxtl »

Also, this completely ignores the entire arcade industry. Those games had to grab a player through some flashy demos. They had to explain the mechanics in a two-screen instructrional moment in the demo cycle... if they spent too long explaining mechanics, the demo would be too slow and woudln't grab the player. If they put too much explanation in-game, then they would lose money as players would be playing for too long without putting in quarters.

Consoles followed the arcades, not the PCs... PC gaming may have had complex gaming, but elaborate, baroque gameplay didn't start creeping into the consoles until the PS1 era.

So you're missing half the industry. And honestly, I think the PC world's love of complexity is misplaced. Bolting on more and more gameplay elements doesn't make a game better, it just makes the game have more trivia to learn to play it. And while learning all that trivia can be a fun part of the gameplay, as a whole it does not necessarily create a good game once it's all put together. Is TF2 better with the plethora of exceptions and special damages and features added by its inventory of gear?

And this complexity has a real cost. Name an RTS game where even a hardcore RTS gamer can feel comfortable in it in under 20 hours. This kind of learning curve does not exist for genre afficionadoes in the FPS or tabletop gaming worlds. If you're good at the skills of an FPS, you can learn the basic strategies and gameplay of a new FPS pretty fast and feel comfortable (if not dangerous) pretty fast. Tabletop gamers are famous for having gigantic shelves of their collection and most of those games are expected to be pretty clear before a half-dozen one-hour plays.

The barrier to entry of each individual RTS game means RTS gamers don't really try a lot of different games... they spent so long getting good at one and those skills just aren't that transferrable to the next that they don't really move on. That's why the biggest game in the genre is still dragging around 20-year-old tropes... the only way to get new players is to make your game a near-clone (see how the most popular Dotalikes have somewhat subtle differences).

Anyhow, tl;dr this kind of thing actually, y'know, fun?

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Last edited by Pxtl on 11 Jun 2013, 20:35, edited 2 times in total.
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smoth
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005, 00:46

Re: The coming of the complex games...

Post by smoth »

cavewars was one of the best games i have ever played.. it was stupid simple.
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