Innovation and creativity in video games

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by saxamo, Aug 19, 2008.

Aug 19, 2008
  1. saxamo
    OP

    Member saxamo Spaaaaace!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    775
    Location:
    NYC
    Country:
    United States
    I've been thinking about video games as of late. I don't feel satisfied with the majority I've been playing. They just don't seem as compelling as they used to when I was younger. I got around to playing portal earlier this summer, and everything since then has really been downhill.

    I came across this insightful article: Life after the video game crash. The article argues that games have never had enough substance to keep us playing them, and the only thing driving the industry is novelty. Which is very true. He does argue that the game economy is declining, however I think it will rise not because of the better and more comprehensive games coming out, but because of the increasing need of society to be entertained.

    The other article is a transcript of a 2006 talk by Jonathon Blow on game design talks about making games important to people. It's brief, but it says a lot of what I feel. We need "important" games that "speak to the human condition" in the same way that good books do. And Blow's key insight is that games were already moving in that direction years ago, but went astray. So instead of looking for "innovations" in graphics and gameplay, we should be going back to classic games and expanding on what we love about them.

    The two topics that the first article gives are spot on here are some of my pics for either.

    Soothing hand-eye coordination:
    Donkey Kong Jungle Climber (Unique and fun gameplay!)
    The Ouendan! series.


    Imaginative Immersion:
    Phoenix Wright (sort of, more so storytelling)
    TWEWY
    Contact (to a lesser extent. A for Effort, though)

    Anyway, I want to hear your opinions on the topic. Are games getting more creative? less? What platforms have the most promise in this department?
    Do you have examples of old games that were "ahead of their time" so to speak?
    What games currently are like this for the DS...or any console?
     
  2. Diablo1123

    Member Diablo1123 Newcomer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,432
    Location:
    Underground
    Country:
    United States
    in the article

    This is a lot to think about I'll be back later [​IMG]


    I'll agree that too many people seem focused on graphics though
     
  3. Mei-o

    Member Mei-o Generic Asian Kidâ„¢

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2008
    Messages:
    860
    Location:
    Somewherewherewhere
    Country:
    Japan
    Most of the games today are usually repetitive FPS and hack-and-slash games(sorry faboys [​IMG]), I'm sick of it, also, as the that^ guy said, there's too much focus on graphics...gameplay is rather mediocre and repetitive, I would do anything for a brand new experience, something that breaks the loop.
     
  4. Panzer Tacticer

    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,222
    Location:
    Right Here
    Country:
    Canada
    Among wargamers (classic type use of the term please), there is a strong feeling that the computer saved wargaming.
    This is being increasingly challenged by successful sales of board game wargames which were supposed to be doomed.

    Distribution methods have been evolving in the last few years.
    I used to be forced to get my games at brick and mortal retail only.
    Then I was able to buy through my computer.
    Now I can just plain download the game without any need for physical item.
    Digital theft though has become mindlessly easy.

    I have been watching as the Nintendo DS proves that utter crap can be made for the game. Can't be impossible.
    I have watched wargame publishers claim they just can't market wargames on consoles. Bullshit.
    If joe schmuck game maker can make the trash that is available for the DS, then GOOD games are just a matter of deciding to do it, and then bloody well doing it.

    Games crash? No I don't see that happening any time soon.
    Not impossible, I just don't see it happening soon.
     
  5. Doomsday Forte

    Member Doomsday Forte GBAtemp Maniac

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,272
    Country:
    United States
    That does it, I'm going to make a topic about this.

    But to be relevant, I think lots of games are slowly slipping towards the "mediocre is okay" part of the spectrum. I mean...platformers and RPGs and FPSes and sports games (hah, especially sports games) and racing games all end up feeling like the other games in their genres after a while. There are only a few differences to keep them from being exactly the same as their competitors, but they don't really push the envelope in my eyes. Part of that is control schemes becoming standardized. After the SNES controllers were made widely popular, we're STILL getting controllers with the ABXY plus pattern. A whole 18-19 years after its introduction. Sure, a "but it works, why fix it?" claim can be made, but why aren't we still driving Model Ts in this case? =P

    Not to harp on Nintendo and sound like a fanboy, but at least Nintendo is actually trying different things with the Wii and DS. Two screens? A touch screen? Motion controls?! That'll never work! It has, to an extent though. Not everyone is taking these endeavors seriously, hence why Nintendo has the highest rate of junk titles over any system (though I can easily argue that the Wii and DS are easier to develop for, I'm going to stick with everyone saying "Nintendo is kiddy.")

    And I have a severe bone to pick with people who put graphics on top when it comes to priorities in a game. To me, gaming is something that not only gives me something to look at, but gets me into it, makes me glad I'm spending time with it as opposed to staring blankly into space with my finger up my nose. Graphics are important, yes, but they shouldn't be the primary focus of the game. I'm waiting for the day that a game comes out that has orgasmically-good graphics, and absolutely zero gameplay. You just pop it in, and it even plays itself. You just watch. Exaggerating, yes, but given the trend of people wanting the absolute best graphics ever...it's pitiful. I play games to have fun, not to look at something pretty. If I wanted to look at something pretty, I'd go outside, watch a movie, or date.

    And people wonder why I still play games from the S/NES era.
     
  6. RebelX

    Member RebelX GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    Irmo, South Carolina
    Country:
    United States
    I think that video games are getting less creative. While graphical advances are being made, without a compelling story to go with it the game just won't cut it for me. I remember (and still have/play) a game called Deus Ex (the first one). It came out in 2000 and it is just awesome. Personally, I think this game has the best story to a game EVER. It was so creative and has so many sub plots that every time I play it over again I find something new. And your choices of what you do or who you kill affects the entire plot. This made EXCELLENT replay value. The game play was excellent too. You can either choose to go about guns blazin', or take a stealthy approach and sneak past enemies. You can go through the ENTIRE game without killing one person.

    Now we have games like Crysis, Call of Duty, etc. that have awesome graphics but have stories that just don't seem to cut it.

    I just hope that creative video games will somehow make a comeback, maybe there will be hope in Deus Ex 3 (Deus Ex 2 sucked).
     
  7. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,889
    Location:
    Brazil
    Country:
    Brazil
    Yahtzee (the guy from Zero Punctuation) made recently a "review" of the most expected trailers on E3 ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/vie...E3-Trailer-Park ).. there he said something like "In the NES era, you could make a game about a chef riding a giant grasshoper while shoting velociraptors, today a game is considered original if the heavy armored main character has a mustache." Of course that's exagerated.. but in a way he's right.. with some few exceptions, all the most expected games coming out are either sequels (Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, Far Cry 2) or simple clones of other successful games.

    Still, there's not much that can be done, that's what happen in every market!

    Remember in the 90's when Street Fighter 2 came out and every man, woman and dog would spend all his money on arcades playing it!? Remember the huge amount of fighting games that spawned after that? Some were good and original, a lot were just bad copies of SF2 and vanished in the history.
    Same thing is happening now.. FPS games were exclusive to PC, until Halo became one of the best selling games in History.. now everyone wants to get a piece of that cake! Luckily for 360/PS3 users, those games are expensive to make, so most of them have some quality at least. On the Wii and DS, Nintendogs, Brain Age and Wii Sports were a HUGE success and those are cheap to make.. hence, the amount of crap on Nintendo systems.

    Also, today, the video game market has too much money circulating, companies are too afraid to risk on something new.. only companies doing original stuff are small and new companies that have nothing to lose anyway..
     
  8. saxamo
    OP

    Member saxamo Spaaaaace!

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    775
    Location:
    NYC
    Country:
    United States
    Professor Layton is a good example of the brain age fad done right. It IS possible, but like you said, a lot are just bad copies... And while it is true that companies will not risk something new, that doesn't mean that it can change.

    However, our power as flashcart users is slightly diminished [​IMG] What we CAN do though is to start getting homebrew into shape. And it totally is, but this doesn't mean that it can go farther. I personally don't have the time right now to do some homebrew developing, but in the future i'd really like to do something deep and rich and whatnot.
     
  9. Doomsday Forte

    Member Doomsday Forte GBAtemp Maniac

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    1,272
    Country:
    United States
    Well, this is probably why the Homebrew Bounty was started. A very nice incentive for someone to start coding and making a great game that just may rival some of the games we have today. Of course, given the small time frame from month to month, that's unlikely, but one can always start a project now to take the bounty in, say, March of 2010. =P Lots of homebrew developers make stuff simply because they wanted to. Stuff like positive community reaction/assistance, and an incentive like a cash prize, definitely help when the developer starts to lose heart or interest in the project.
     
  10. Panzer Tacticer

    Member Panzer Tacticer veteran human

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,222
    Location:
    Right Here
    Country:
    Canada
    There is one eventual dilemma though. Theres a limit on how many ways anything can actually be done.

    In my case, it's wargames. The Second World War was of finite duration and had finite battles that make cool settings for games.
    Eventually you get sick of seeing the same battle over and over. And eventually you don't give a damn for a company's claims that they have done something cool and unique. Because everyone thinks they are "cool and unique". So in time, cool and unique isn't really all that special.

    How many different ways can you generate a RPG based game? Eventually it's the same dynamics. You need the brawler, the magic user the healer the rogue type. You hunt for adventure, and beat up monsters and save the day. Eventually gamers have played these games so much they can waltz through an entire game in a day and wonder if it was worth the time let alone the cash.

    And god, I think I can't handle any more take care of an animal games [​IMG]
     
  11. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,889
    Location:
    Brazil
    Country:
    Brazil
    True, there are so many WWII based games these days.. and I think there are at least 3 coming out this year! I remember when I played the first Medal of Honor game, I remember how I was surprised to see a FPS game based on WWII and how great and original that was. Now when I see a WWII based game I just say "meh" [​IMG]

    Well, the movie industry is around for more than 70 years now and it still manages to give us original ideas.. video games have only 30 years or so, I don't see how can we be already out of ideas considering how much more stuff can be made on a video game that can't be made on a movie [​IMG]
     

Share This Page