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Have games really advanced much in the last 10 years?


Anne Summers

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3 hours ago, alex3d said:

Gotta be honest, I still struggle to accept that intellectually this industry might have peaked in the late 90s / early 2000s with games like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex or even Shadow of the Colossus. Or, even if it's a specific genre, Gabriel Knight Sins of our Fathers. 

A handful of games have been as mind-blowing since then, e.g. Witcher 3 or Dishonored 2.

You have to frame it from the technology developments. 

 

80s: 2D sprites and pseudo 3D (but good frame rates

Mid-90s: 3D push (Mario 64, Tomb Raider etc.)

Early 2000s: Online push (Sega Online, Xbox Live, Second Life), live service games

2010s - now: VR/AR push... but no mainstream appeal yet due to hardware/price

 

To come back to the topic:

  • So yes, since the 90s we're already in 3D... only the fidelity has gone up
  • Since the early 2000s we have been online on consoles... nothing has fundamentally changed there in terms of interactions
  • So indeed, nothing has fundamentally changed

 

If you look at the patterns, there are two main axes along which things are moving in gaming:

  • Fidelity (graphic fidelity, 2D/3D/4D??, spatial sound)
  • Interaction (eye tracking, motion sensing, touch controls)
  • Social (online, co-operative play, co-creation e.g. Minecraft)

 

So the next frontiers and breakthroughs will move along these axes. 

 

Therefore I believe that the next frontier will indeed be VR/AR games on good hardware and all the new opportunities they will open. It's the frontier that is moving things forward across all 3 of the axes that have traditionally propelled gaming forward.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Giles said:

FWIW, movies over the last 10–20 years seem less and less significant, while videogames continue to fascinate me more. Are they the art of the zeitgeist?

 

At the risk of chucking a grenade into a bunch of nerds, that's likely because large movies have been utterly strangled by being sequels or comic book adaptations or sequels to comic book adaptations.  It's one huge blancmange of the familiar.  You could argue that AAA games have that problem, but there is still a healthy ecosystem of original content.  As someone who doesn't give the slightest fuck about Marvel, DC or Star Wars, finding something to watch means hunting around Netflix / Amazon Prime / Apple TV+.

 

(Actually, the thought occurs that games are at the opposite of where they were in the late 80s, where it seemed that everything that was being released was a licence from either an arcade game or a TV show / movie.) 

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4 hours ago, alex3d said:

Gotta be honest, I still struggle to accept that intellectually this industry might have peaked in the late 90s / early 2000s with games like System Shock 2 and Deus Ex or even Shadow of the Colossus. Or, even if it's a specific genre, Gabriel Knight Sins of our Fathers. 

A handful of games have been as mind-blowing since then, e.g. Witcher 3 or Dishonored 2.

 

I honestly think we're living through a similar pinnacle for some genres that immersive sims reached in the early 2000s and point and click adventures did in the 90s.

 

Puzzle games, but especially the Zachtronics style engineering ones. Roguelikes and their many subgenres and categories. Whatever genre games like Outer Wilds and Return of the Obra Din are supposed to be (environmental detective adventures...?). Interactive fiction.

 

It's easy to fall in to the trap with posts like this of just listing a bunch of games which doesn't really communicate anything so hopefully I've chosen these specific examples well but the craft that's gone in to individual puzzle threads in Outer Wilds or the layers of mechanics you can explore and manipulate in Slay The Spire. Building working computer architecture and synthesisers inside games like Silicon Zeroes, Shenzen IO and The Signal State. They're as rich and deep as anything that's come before.

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I think we're on the cusp of a reusable assets revolution that I think could be fascinating. Having the same buildings, characters and vehicles show up in different games. Epic are pushing it pretty hard with the new UE5 and it was a big part of what that Matrix thing was trying to sell us.

 

You already see it a lot in things like Skyrim mods and there's examples there like my 2021 GOTY The Forgotten City, which started as a Skyrim mod. Reusing assets enabled them to focus on the story and mechanics and made for a fascinating experience. In 2022 Skyrim has been played way, way more than Elden Ring, a lot of people will be fine with this.

 

Or it could just make every game look the same, but based on how often I get games mixed up in High Score Day, many already do.

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Has gaming advanced a lot in the past 10 years?

 

Yes. I actually think games like Fortnite with massive player numbers has advanced gaming somewhat. I remember talking on these forums back in 2009 or so about how it would be great if we could have massive battle royale games with 100 players and then Fortnite/COD/BF/Fall Guys come along and did that very thing.

 

VR has played a big role as well. Quest 2 definitely brought in a younger audience (for better or worse) and the immersion in some VR games is fantastic, especially with the higher refresh rates that the headsets offer to make motion sickness less of a thing. I am surprised AR didn't take off more but i do think the tech just isn't ready.

 

Personally i want to see better immersion in games as It's still a little expensive to invest in FBT but the ones I have tried really are amazing and these are still early days. I want the Oasis to be a real thing dammit!

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4 minutes ago, DarhkFox said:

Personally i want to see better immersion in games as It's still a little expensive to invest in FBT but the ones I have tried really are amazing and these are still early days. I want the Oasis to be a real thing dammit!

 

Yes but we need to be careful what we wish for with respect to things like OASIS...Hopefully we don't get the dystopian physical world to go with it... 😕

 

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Just now, MattyP said:

 

Yes but we need to be careful what we wish for with respect to things like OASIS...Hopefully we don't get the dystopian world to go with it... 😕

 

 

Let's hope not. I don't think the dystopian world would be a byproduct of the Oasis though. 

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I think it is interesting that this thread has two distinct tacks.

 

Better tech or different* experiences.

 

Are games going to do the same as before but faster/prettier/in VR or are they going to expand "sideways" and explore the possible.  (I've so far stayed away from Elden Ring because I want to explore what sounds like an amazing world, but without the hassle of learning/balancing all the intricate systems in order to beat the various tough bosses.  It seems that I've got to the "why can't we talk to the monsters?" stage.)

 

The answer is going to be both, of course but I just thought that it was interesting that there are two separate conversations going on.

 

 

*I wasn't sure whether to put "better" there

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On 05/06/2022 at 23:53, ZOK said:


I am playing this at the moment (nearly finished I guess as I’m at the reactor) and I agree - also the storytelling itself is top notch, all the different ways it conveys things. I love the foreshadowing of beats through the ‘Moonman’ books you find.

Apart from one awful section, I thought this was one of the most atmospheric and well-told stories in ages. It really captured the feeling of some event on the moon - and it being a real location - that so many others fail at.

 

I recall the general reception on here was mixed, and many preferred Taco a, which I thought was much poorer for various reasons, not least that none of it felt believable.

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