Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

I recently wrote a blog in which I kind of called out game designers for making uninteresting games. You can find it easily if you want to, but I'd like to open another thread to discuss a broader concern I have, one that certainly informed my wanting to write that blog in the first place. This isn't me trying to spam; I just wanted to open up a less formal discussion about it. see how informal i'm being? not even capitalizing the first letter of a sentence or 'i'.

Seriously, though, I wanted to talk about this without starting off by shoving my opinion down people's throats. I want this to be more of a question posed to a games enthusiast (AKA 'duder') crowd.

The main question is right there in the title of this thread: do I just not like video games anymore now that I'm at the ripe old age of 22? I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with how similar games are to one another, and how much time they take to complete. I really almost feel like it's more fun for me to make a game than play one.

Some relevant biographical stuff to get out of the way:

As someone who was born into middle class America in 1989, of course I spent a lot of time playing games growing up. I would never claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge/background of games, though. I really don't think I ever beat a game until I played Metal Gear Solid 2, and I really didn't own or rent that many different games before I got out of high school. On the other hand, games go on sale so often for so cheap now that I have dozens of unfinished games in my library.

Between Metal Gear Solid 2 and... say... Mass Effect 2, I had a solid run of finishing games once I started them, but now, other than when I play something for review (I make a few bucks reviewing iOS games), I tend to just not care about seeing a game through. As you could see in my latest blog, I really feel like it's the developers' fault for making boring pieces of media. But maybe it's my fault for becoming a Buddhist and learning to be extremely content with everything, including the unfinished state of all of these well-regarded games I own! Maybe being in grad school has messed my mind up but I still love her Lu-hoo-cille has messed my mind up by I still need her, you know I need her!

Ahem. Sorry. Frank Zappa tangent.

I dunno!

I bought Avadon: The Black Fortress on Steam the other day, and I just sat down and played it for like an hour or something. It seems like a perfectly acceptable RPG, but I've clicked on however-many rats to kill them and I'm just like "so this is how this is gonna go, huh?". RPGs haven't seemed to progress much past what was achieved back in the Infinity Engine days, and I'm jaded about it not even having played one of those games for more than like a half-dozen hours or so!

As such, I can't believe someone like our man Jeff Gerstmann isn't totally tired of games and giving anything even kind of familiar like two out of five stars. How much have first-person shooters really progressed since Half-Life: Counter-Strike? How much have 2D platformers really progressed since, say, Super Mario Bros 3? I mean, not to criticize it in particular, but isn't Starcraft II just Starcraft but kinda newer? Jeff has been around for all of these games, and I'm absolutely dumbfounded as to why he isn't sick of the same old mechanics being trod out in different clothes (fiction, graphics, etc).

If you know me, you know I'm way into the games-as-art movement. I'd go as far to say that my own "games" tend to (try to) be expressive at the expense of their game-ness. So while it seems like I'm totally unimpressed with games as a whole, I'd be quite happy to play Rez for a long time.

But I also spend hours upon hours with whatever EA's latest NHL game is! It's ostensibly just because like the game of hockey an awful lot, and you kind of can't blame EA for putting out such a fundamentally unchanging product every year, because the game of hockey itself hasn't changed all that much for more than a century.

Other video games aren't beholden to the rules of a real-life game, though. And I don't totally hate all games. I'll get down with some SpellTower, Scrabble, poker, Tetris, Lumines... are you seeing a trend yet? I do, just as I'm writing this blog. All of these games are... casual games? You could definitely say that, and a crowd like this might act like that's a bad thing. However, if these are casual games, then I'll defend casual games to my dying breath, because all of these games are actually pretty unique. They're not another RPG, another shooter, another platformer, another third-person action game, or another [insert genre here]. If being a hardcore gamer means playing the same thing over and over, then consider me out of the club. I don't mind.

I dunno, duders. Let me know what you think. Do I just need to ratchet up the difficulty whenever I play a game to make it more challenging? I mean, I guess I could say that it's gotten to the point that I'm confident that I can totally complete [insert objective here], so it really feels like a waste of time to actually do it. I'm not trying to rant that games are too easy at all. It's just that they feel like kind of a waste of time.

Thanks for letting me waste your time.[/George Carlin-style ending]

#1 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

I recently wrote a blog in which I kind of called out game designers for making uninteresting games. You can find it easily if you want to, but I'd like to open another thread to discuss a broader concern I have, one that certainly informed my wanting to write that blog in the first place. This isn't me trying to spam; I just wanted to open up a less formal discussion about it. see how informal i'm being? not even capitalizing the first letter of a sentence or 'i'.

Seriously, though, I wanted to talk about this without starting off by shoving my opinion down people's throats. I want this to be more of a question posed to a games enthusiast (AKA 'duder') crowd.

The main question is right there in the title of this thread: do I just not like video games anymore now that I'm at the ripe old age of 22? I'm becoming increasingly disenchanted with how similar games are to one another, and how much time they take to complete. I really almost feel like it's more fun for me to make a game than play one.

Some relevant biographical stuff to get out of the way:

As someone who was born into middle class America in 1989, of course I spent a lot of time playing games growing up. I would never claim to have an encyclopedic knowledge/background of games, though. I really don't think I ever beat a game until I played Metal Gear Solid 2, and I really didn't own or rent that many different games before I got out of high school. On the other hand, games go on sale so often for so cheap now that I have dozens of unfinished games in my library.

Between Metal Gear Solid 2 and... say... Mass Effect 2, I had a solid run of finishing games once I started them, but now, other than when I play something for review (I make a few bucks reviewing iOS games), I tend to just not care about seeing a game through. As you could see in my latest blog, I really feel like it's the developers' fault for making boring pieces of media. But maybe it's my fault for becoming a Buddhist and learning to be extremely content with everything, including the unfinished state of all of these well-regarded games I own! Maybe being in grad school has messed my mind up but I still love her Lu-hoo-cille has messed my mind up by I still need her, you know I need her!

Ahem. Sorry. Frank Zappa tangent.

I dunno!

I bought Avadon: The Black Fortress on Steam the other day, and I just sat down and played it for like an hour or something. It seems like a perfectly acceptable RPG, but I've clicked on however-many rats to kill them and I'm just like "so this is how this is gonna go, huh?". RPGs haven't seemed to progress much past what was achieved back in the Infinity Engine days, and I'm jaded about it not even having played one of those games for more than like a half-dozen hours or so!

As such, I can't believe someone like our man Jeff Gerstmann isn't totally tired of games and giving anything even kind of familiar like two out of five stars. How much have first-person shooters really progressed since Half-Life: Counter-Strike? How much have 2D platformers really progressed since, say, Super Mario Bros 3? I mean, not to criticize it in particular, but isn't Starcraft II just Starcraft but kinda newer? Jeff has been around for all of these games, and I'm absolutely dumbfounded as to why he isn't sick of the same old mechanics being trod out in different clothes (fiction, graphics, etc).

If you know me, you know I'm way into the games-as-art movement. I'd go as far to say that my own "games" tend to (try to) be expressive at the expense of their game-ness. So while it seems like I'm totally unimpressed with games as a whole, I'd be quite happy to play Rez for a long time.

But I also spend hours upon hours with whatever EA's latest NHL game is! It's ostensibly just because like the game of hockey an awful lot, and you kind of can't blame EA for putting out such a fundamentally unchanging product every year, because the game of hockey itself hasn't changed all that much for more than a century.

Other video games aren't beholden to the rules of a real-life game, though. And I don't totally hate all games. I'll get down with some SpellTower, Scrabble, poker, Tetris, Lumines... are you seeing a trend yet? I do, just as I'm writing this blog. All of these games are... casual games? You could definitely say that, and a crowd like this might act like that's a bad thing. However, if these are casual games, then I'll defend casual games to my dying breath, because all of these games are actually pretty unique. They're not another RPG, another shooter, another platformer, another third-person action game, or another [insert genre here]. If being a hardcore gamer means playing the same thing over and over, then consider me out of the club. I don't mind.

I dunno, duders. Let me know what you think. Do I just need to ratchet up the difficulty whenever I play a game to make it more challenging? I mean, I guess I could say that it's gotten to the point that I'm confident that I can totally complete [insert objective here], so it really feels like a waste of time to actually do it. I'm not trying to rant that games are too easy at all. It's just that they feel like kind of a waste of time.

Thanks for letting me waste your time.[/George Carlin-style ending]

#2 Posted by Galiant (2193 posts) -

I like where games are at right now. I'm 23 if it matters.

After about 200 hours of Skyrim, I'm moving on to Old Republic (got a level 25 Jedi Guardian going). I'm not going to be sick of playing games any time soon.

#3 Posted by Buscemi (1106 posts) -

I just recently got into EVE Online again. Probably going to spend a good amount of hours in space.

#4 Posted by devotfeige (116 posts) -

I've gone through phases of feeling bored with video games, usually for months at a time. I just do something else, for a while. Sometimes you just want to read some books, or catch up on some old TV, or play some casual games or whatever else.

I started gaming more or less in 1999, and didn't really do much of it at the time. I slowly built up my collection around the Gamecube era, going through fits and bursts of gaming whenever I found a particular game or series that grabbed my attention, letting everything else fall to the wayside (until about 3 years ago my beaten/unfinished ratio was a perfect 1:1). Then for about two years I was playing games basically nonstop, trying out all sorts of genres and difficulties I'd never experienced before. Then I 'got bored' and played nothing for about ten months. I'm finally slipping back into the mindset of "well, I do sort of want to play something..." and playing some low-impact games that can be finished in a couple of hours. By April I'll probably be back on the 100+ hour JRPGs and replaying games I've beaten a hundred times "just for fun".

Long story short; eh. I've gone through the "do I just not like video games anymore or something?" mindset more times than I can be bothered to remember, now, and I always swing back around into enjoying them again eventually. I just don't worry about it and go do something that feels like less a waste of my time until gaming seems fun to me again.

#5 Posted by Grumbel (910 posts) -
@DevWil said:
RPGs haven't seemed to progress much past what was achieved back in the Infinity Engine days, and I'm jaded about it not even having played one of those games for more than like a half-dozen hours or so!
I completely agree that it can be frustrating to look at an old games and then see virtually no mechanical difference aside from graphical polish and graphical polish stopped to being important for me years ago. My favorite pet peave are dialog trees, they are fundamental to interactive story telling in games, yet progress in that area has been close to zero, plenty of games even progress backward by simplifying things to much and the old game of "chose your answer" becomes a uninteresting "click every choice available".  Another problem I have with games is that they are a little to separated these days, you have the indies and the big commercial titles, but you have very little in between, while most of  the games I really love happen in that in between area, where you have a large enough team to actually build a fully fledged game, not just a 2h demonstration of the latest game mechanics gimmick, but small enough a market share that you actually can implement the idea as originally conceived and not water it down to appeal to the mass market.
 
All that said, I don't really have that big of a problem with it. I play a lot, yet there are still so many games that I never got around to try that will keep me busy for quite some more years to come.  And it's not like gaming stopped to progress at at all, Mirrors Edge blew me away when I first saw the trailer and 10 years ago there simply wasn't anything quite like Assassins Creed around.
 
If all else fails, just stopping gaming for a while doesn't hurt either. Progress happens at a slow pace, so it can be quite daunting to just sit there and wait for it to happen while playing through all those little steps it makes, it's much easier to move away for a while and then come back to see what's new. 
 
And if that isn't enough, simply start building games yourself. If you are not happy with the state of the art, what better to do then advance it with your own creation?
#6 Posted by Humanity (9054 posts) -

I felt a bit of this sting this quarter of the year and made a similar thread about it. For me all the sequels and third entries really did it. Between Gears of War 3 which was an excellent game that introduced nothing new to the genre and Assassins Creed Revelations which was terribly dull I felt like maybe I just didn't like video games as much anymore. I believe once we start seeing some fresh IP's it's going to pick up. As it is I'm kind of worried about Bioshock Infinite. When I saw AC:Revelations I couldn't be more excited. After playing it I realized it was just one game too many with the same beats. All the footage for Bioshock has been great but I'm just worried when it comes to playing the game it will just be Bioshock 1, 2, without the water.

#7 Posted by Elemental_89 (56 posts) -

Props on the Zappa reference. I kinda feel the same man, I'm also 22, an games just seem boring. Which is a depressing realisation to make.

#8 Posted by dpedal1 (191 posts) -

I know how you feel man. I do not think there is anything wrong with that. I went thru a spurt where I caught up on breaking bad for awhile and then read the book the passage and then came back around to gaming when skyrim came out. Just like anything else we go thru spurts. Don,t feel bad

#9 Posted by NaCl (108 posts) -

I have to say I don't blame you.

I too am fairly disappointed that the game mechanics of the genres I like have not evolved much - or have (de)evolved into something that is just plain not fun eg. FF.

Everyone is afraid to try new things nowadays due to development cost. While indie games do try "new things", they are often poorly turned - probably due to manpower constraints - and focus too much on the "novelty" of their unique mechanic / technology and are hence not fun.

#10 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

Maybe you don't like video games all that much? Or you're just over simplifying things too much.

Shooters haven't evolved since Counter Strike? a) that's not "the" hallmark of the shooter genre and b) shooters nowadays have nothing to do with Counter Strike

Starcraft II is Starcraft but newer? Either you haven't played both those games or you don't understand them all that well.

Everything is going to look the same to you, if you don't experience them. For me, I can't really tell the difference, gameplay speaking, between fighting games throughout the years. That's because I don't play them. And that's why I think games like Samurai Showdown II and KOF 98 are the best fighting games. Because that was the last time I played them.

#11 Posted by The_Hiro_Abides (1260 posts) -

I think the bombcast nailed it when they said that new IPs are introduced primarily at the new life cycle of a console. This console generation has run longer than any before it. So the sequels and trilogies have become a lot more apparent. It doesn't help that multiple series release their third game in the same year.

It makes sense and completely natural to get in a rut with games. But really you could say movies, TV, books have not meaningfully changed in decades. Sure sometimes a unique product comes out that is stellar but when you look at popular media there always a thread of similarity. The worst offenders are things that are rigidly beholden to a formula (i.e. procedural shows, romantic comedies).

Anyway I'm 28 and for the last month or so I've been digging more into PC games of my youth. Meaning I've been taking advantage of the Good Old Games sale and picking up games I've played or games I've heard good things about. It's a weird experiment with how much can I get used to an old control scheme or unintuitive mechanics.

As for how Jeff can still be excited about this industry, that's pretty simple, he still finds it fun. Besides he's in a bit of a more unique position of existing during the infancy of games to now. I think he's genuinely interested in where gaming goes from here.

#12 Posted by Demoskinos (14763 posts) -

I don't see why everything has to be different. You are of course free to your opinions but for instance I like Dragon Age so when things that are close to that like Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning come out it peaks my interest for the exact reason that it's similar to other games.

Now il get tired of a genre sometimes but I'll always come back. And honestly there's enough innovation and good ideas coming out of the indie space that you can get a nice breath of air with a lot of the great indie titles on steam.

Couldn't hurt for you to take a break. God knows that there have been times where I just kinda turn my nose at games and get tired and need a break.

#13 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Personally, I've never had this problem, but I'm practically beholden to games. Given an ultimatum between a woman and my games, I'd probably say, "the woman doesn't accept me for me and is not right for me" before going back to the latest Bethesda RPG. You might say beggars can't be choosers, but in this new world, people who are far more obsessive about gaming than I manage to find beautiful, kind women who are fine with the hobby.

Anyways, tangent. I am starting to feel some wear on this hardware generation's titles. Telling me a sequel to Darksiders, The Darkness, or even Mass Effect is not exciting me much anymore. As a result, I'm not planning to play many new games next year; the only one I've dedicated myself to buying is BioShock Infinite. Instead, I'm going to go back and play all the classics I've missed. In the next month or so, I'm even hoping to pick up a 2600, some joysticks, and some paddles so I can play Warlords, Pitfall, and a few others. Beyond that, I hope to finally finish Chrono Trigger, one of the Final Fantasy games, Banjo-Kazooie, a 3D Zelda title other than Ocarina of Time, and a whole lot more. Not pressured by the new release schedule I feel like I can really flourish in games like Geometry Wars and Street Fighter, too.

Maybe you need to do something similar. A lot of people have suggested taking a break altogether. That's a good idea, too, but as a developer, I know you should probably continue to expand your development vocabulary. Maybe set a hard budget at the start of the year for how much you will spend on games next year, and then cut that budget in half. If you're bored with the games you're buying, you'll probably try a whole lot of free-to-play games, demos, and classics that you probably would've never tried otherwise.

#14 Edited by Jeust (10548 posts) -

That's what I feel about games. Most seem like a waste of time. There is one or other that make time feel worthwhile, as they give new experiences, and breed new ideas and sensations, but most of them are redundant, and built to satisfy an audience that doesn't eager for change. That's why now I insist in playing games with different appeals, like The Binding of Isaac, Cthulhu Saves The World, and even Star Wars: The Old Republic, experiencing the different concepts in them, enjoying myself with them, and learning new things.

#15 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

I think everyone goes through a phase like what you're going through. It happens to me about once a year. Give it some time and it will pass.

#16 Posted by YI_Orange (1142 posts) -

I don't know, I don't really find that. I think games are plenty different. Once I get around to making my top 10 list, look at them and find me one that's similar enough to another to warrant a "meh". That isn't to say games aren't similar, but there's enough different out there. If you're only playing Western developed games maybe branch out. Japan has pretty cool stuff. Specifically anything by Atlus, Grasshopper, or Platinum. Maybe seek out some older gems that you missed(God Hand). Or, of course, just take a break. Everyone gets bored of things once in a while. Give yourself some distance and don't feel like you have to play games and one day at random you'll find yourself in love with them again. Either that or you'll just never get back into games, which is perfectly fine too. I understand that you want to love games, but if you don't actually love them, you'll get over it.

#17 Posted by Aetheldod (3552 posts) -

I´ve played games for most of my life ... Im 29 years old and I love them. So I think you just dont like them as much.

#18 Posted by Demoskinos (14763 posts) -
@Jeust But see that's just it at the heart of it Cthulhu is still just a throwback to the days of SNES jrpg games like Final Fantasy 4. SW:TOR is still largely still just a MMO. They are still games worth playing but something that is truly original almost never comes around anymore. Its the same thing all creative mediums eventually get to where most of the truly original ideas are all taken.

#19 Posted by Zippedbinders (983 posts) -

Every time I worry about originality or the state of "modern" game design, I usually just retreat back to my throne of developers who have made a reputation of trying new and different things. Double Fine, Gaijin Games, Grasshopper, Platinum, and whatever you'd call the Persona team. Playing shitty shooters and RPGs (or sometimes a combination of both) and deciding that you're not excited for them doesn't necessarily mean you're tired of gaming, but more so that what you're playing doesn't reach your expectations. Be on the look out for games that actively interest you. Worried RTS games are stale? Try out Achron. Everyone's been copying SMB3? Try out Trine or Super Meat Boy.

@Humanity: Ubisoft is second only to Activision when it comes to running a franchise into the ground (there have been 7 retail Assassin's Creed games in 5 years), please don't let that color your expectations for a new game from Irrational/Ken Levine.

#20 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I'm 25, and I've played a *lot* of games over the years. And if there's any one bad thing about that besides all the time I've burnt, it's that it's given me a lot of time to understand pacing in games. It can suck the enjoyment out of games for me, because I know that D has to happen, because A, B, and C already have, and E has just been foreshadowed.

Where am I going with this? Right, enjoying games at 25.

I feel the fatigue, definitely. So most of the games I like to play now are emergent in some way, either by the game itself, or with the addition of silly humans. It's what I like to think of as the "soul" of a game. Its personality.

And I've played a lot of games recently without personality. I felt that MW3 was one of them. I felt the same way about Gears 3's campaign.

And then there are other games, good and bad, that I enjoy because I feel that they do have a soul. I didn't think tanks could fly until I was in a tank with some idiot in BF3. I'm thoroughly enjoying Child of Eden, even though when you break it down, it's a very simple game. I enjoyed Catherine, which was a terrible game, but managed to make me sweat anytime Vincent had to make a choice. And Creepers still manage to scare the hell out of me in Minecraft.

So I'm seeking these games out. The games that aren't necessary good or bad, but the ones that don't mind to surprise me or flip me the bird every so often.

Your mileage may vary, obviously, but this is how I feel about the games I end up enjoying at 25.

#21 Edited by Jeust (10548 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Jeust But see that's just it at the heart of it Cthulhu is still just a throwback to the days of SNES jrpg games like Final Fantasy 4. SW:TOR is still largely still just a MMO. They are still games worth playing but something that is truly original almost never comes around anymore. Its the same thing all creative mediums eventually get to where most of the truly original ideas are all taken.

True, but there are small creative ideas in some games, that are new to me. Cthulhu is a throwback, still it uses its limitations, with humour enhancing to where it can the experience, making it much more enjoyable than some AAA games. SW:TOR is also an MMO, but it mixes the formula, and is different than any other mmo that I played, giving relevance to the story, while still allowing us to be surrounded by companions and friends. That is what I personally look for: those small details that expand my experience, and my ideas.

But deep originality is hard to find, and even harder to find it pleasing.

#22 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

Ultimately I think you're in a much better position to answer whether you're tired of video games than we are. Perhaps you just need a break, perhaps you just need to dedicate less time to games, perhaps you just need to play different games, or maybe you really are over with games altogether. Personally I'm 20 and find myself still really enjoying most of what I play, a lot of it coming out of the mainstream industry, but I do often think about how the mainstream games industry is increasingly going out of its way to not diversify and how some aspects of video games are becoming somewhat stagnant and that makes me a little sad.

Moderator
#23 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

Yeah: completely taking a break from games isn't something that I can realistically do, for various reasons. I'm also too interested in games in general, even if I get really disappointed in the particular releases.

It seems like the best solution is being more critical about the games I buy and start playing. Even with Skyrim, which I've been looking forward to, I'm worried I'll get bored. I played through Fallout 3 earlier this year, so if it just feels like that in a different setting, I'm probably going to lose interest, unfortunately.

Someone brought up Child of Eden, which I wrote a lengthy review of on this site. I think it's an exceptional game-thing. Yes, the gameplay is simple, but it succeeds so incredibly as a multimedia software experience. Rez and Child of Eden don't need to have great gameplay, because they're not games for the sake of gameplay. They're games for the sake of interactive music.

And while not every game tries to do this, certainly a lot of games try to be games for the sake of fiction. However, telling a story in a game shouldn't be the same as telling a story in a movie (something a lot of developers lose sight of), and most game stories are absolutely uninteresting. So few games are about anything resembling humanity. SOME EVIL FORCE IS SOMETHING TWIRLING ITS MOUSTACHE AND YOU GOTTA SAY NUH-UH!!!! At least Mass Effect is grounded in science fiction that seems comparable in quality to Star Trek.

So maybe the more a game seems to simply be "HEY KILL THE BADDIES TO WIN THE STORY", the less interested I should be.

#24 Posted by cexantus (131 posts) -

Until very recently, my interest in gaming had significantly decreased as all I could see were the "same old, same old."

Of course, I realize the irony that it took me Black Ops to get me interested in gaming again; and I've now been wasting my life away with Skyrim.

#25 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11622 posts) -

I'd just like to call out your example of Avadon. That game and everything else made by Spiderweb Software are made as deliberate throwbacks to some era of RPGs. Honestly though, what kind of neuters my interest in those titles more than anything is a lack of production values, because they're clearly solid otherwise.

Maybe you just need a break. At the end of the day, Video Games should not be more than a hobby for most of us. I dunno. Try playing some old games. Who says you have to always be current with the constant deluge of new releases?

Online
#26 Posted by mracoon (4967 posts) -

I recently went through a phase where I couldn't be bothered to complete games. L.A. Noire, Deus Ex HR, Dirt 3, Fallout 3, Stacking, Outland, Limbo and Ms. Splosion Man are games that I've started playing in 2011 but haven't finished (Skyrim and Gears 3 don't count as I'm still actively playing them). They're not even bad games but I felt no urge to stick with them to completion. On the other hand, there are games like Portal 2 and Bastion which I've completed twice (you could say I've completed Portal 2 three times if you include co-op) so I think the urge to play games is something that comes and goes with time. Right now I'd say I'm in a game playing mood having put 60+ hours into Skyrim and spending several hours in Gears 3 Horde mode.

Moderator
#27 Posted by Brother_PipPop (253 posts) -

I'm in the slump now, and it sucks. I don't think its the current games I just can't stick to one game. I read up on games and see the trailers and such and I get super pumped. But then when I actually play the game I fizzle on them. I see it as two things. Either im investing way to much time into games before they come out. I might spend to much times listening and reading content on games that im always exited about whats coming next current games aren't keeping my interest. Or, and I think this is more true then the other point, I'm moving more towards multi-player games then single-player. I am still p[laying Star Craft nightly, aswell as Tf2 on and off and mmo's usually keep me entertained. So i think im just moving away from single player experiences but that kinda bums me out.

#28 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

I feel fine about where games are now. It's kind of a transitional phase it seems like, people trying out lots of different game models, distribution methods, DLC distribution, etc. I'm curious what or if the industry will settle with.

I don't feel like I have the problem that "everything feels the same". Sure there are a lot of derivative products, but not everything can be absolutely fresh every single year. Game genres are still in flux even. People seem to forget games are a nascent industry compared to something like film, but is growing at such a crazy rate that it's hard to keep up sometimes. Looking at film, it's not like every action film has to completely break the mold for it to be entertaining. Die Hard 2 didn't do anything that different from Die Hard, hell the structure was essentially untouched, but it was still pretty great.

#29 Edited by Humanity (9054 posts) -

@Zippedbinders said:

Every time I worry about originality or the state of "modern" game design, I usually just retreat back to my throne of developers who have made a reputation of trying new and different things. Double Fine, Gaijin Games, Grasshopper, Platinum, and whatever you'd call the Persona team. Playing shitty shooters and RPGs (or sometimes a combination of both) and deciding that you're not excited for them doesn't necessarily mean you're tired of gaming, but more so that what you're playing doesn't reach your expectations. Be on the look out for games that actively interest you. Worried RTS games are stale? Try out Achron. Everyone's been copying SMB3? Try out Trine or Super Meat Boy.

@Humanity: Ubisoft is second only to Activision when it comes to running a franchise into the ground (there have been 7 retail Assassin's Creed games in 5 years), please don't let that color your expectations for a new game from Irrational/Ken Levine.

I definitely agree that the quality of games you play very much so influences your enjoyment of them overall. I have to disagree about the ability to fix that issue as easily as just playing an experimental new title. Sure Achron is a completely fresh new take on RTS - but if you're a big RTS buff and StarCraft isn't doing it for you anymore I doubt a really rough around the edges title like Achron will alleviate your gaming woes. Those indie type games, or even more developed titles like Trine 2 have a time and place but they won't replace the need for big titles with heavy narrative. Super Meat Boy is a game I can play for a while before I get bored or frustrated. I believe you really are at the whim of big studios taking a risk and developing something new and exciting. Dead Space was a huge success and an excellent blend of third person shooting and survival horror. That worked out for Visceral great. One of my favorite new series. Dantes Inferno was a similar concept, and it failed horribly. They tried to make a different kind of beat 'em up but the end result was more trite than the herd which it was trying to break out from.

As far as Ken Levine - I respect the guy but Bioshock 1 didn't nearly blow me out of the water (puns!) like it did other people. Great story and atmosphere for sure. Terrible combat and archaic game choices on the other hand.

#30 Posted by supermike6 (3557 posts) -

The only games I play nowadays are Starcraft 2 and the NHL games; I feel you bro.

#31 Posted by DevWil (842 posts) -

@ArbitraryWater: i'm actually looking forward to playing Deus Ex (the original), Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and Fahrenheit (as a prelude to Heavy Rain, which is sitting in my apartment in its shrink-wrap). maybe SW:KoTOR and Bioshock, too. so yeah, maybe some older games will be a good time.

@MikkaQ: but the Die Hard series, enjoyable as the films may be (i like the ones i've seen), aren't terribly ambitious. what i've been lamenting lately is the game industry's lack of Ingmar Bergman-like game designers (not that there aren't a handful of them). there are plenty of John McTiernan-types making games, though. sometimes they'll make something with an enjoyable personality or technical prowess, but they're not trying to do fundamentally new (or even expressive) things with the medium. like i said in my one blog, the best we typically get is something on the level of Kevin Smith. we'll see a Clerks or Chasing Amy once in a while, a game that's fairly unsophisticated but has some sort of emotional core, but we mostly get fed stuff more comparable to Mallrats. and Mallrats isn't so good.

@supermike6: is there a support group for us? haha. I CAN ONLY FEEL SOMETHING WHEN THE GOALIE'S WATER BOTTLE HITS THE ICE.

#32 Posted by huntad (1931 posts) -

@Winternet said:

Maybe you don't like video games all that much? Or you're just over simplifying things too much.

Shooters haven't evolved since Counter Strike? a) that's not "the" hallmark of the shooter genre and b) shooters nowadays have nothing to do with Counter Strike

Starcraft II is Starcraft but newer? Either you haven't played both those games or you don't understand them all that well.

Everything is going to look the same to you, if you don't experience them. For me, I can't really tell the difference, gameplay speaking, between fighting games throughout the years. That's because I don't play them. And that's why I think games like Samurai Showdown II and KOF 98 are the best fighting games. Because that was the last time I played them.

Basically this. Anyone can look at games from a distance and pass judgement. I used to do this with various genres, but stopped being so quick to write games off and gave them a chance. It's about being open-minded and actually playing games. If you still don't like them, you probably shouldn't play them.

#33 Posted by Owlhead (152 posts) -

I've found my interest in games is tied to my depression. If I'm feeling bad then my interest in games is low.

Really, I'm just tied of feeling like if i want to play with friends online i need to go get the new Cock of Dookie. Nobody wants to play Space Marine...

Also, Starcraft II was supposed to be Starcraft but newer lol. Probably my favorite recent game (though they really ruined the multiplayer for me. Zerg just isnt the same...)

#34 Posted by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

@DevWil: Then it just kinda goes back to what I said about games being very nascent. We're just not there yet. Games are still almost purely commercial entities, and until it gets cheaper and cheaper to make, we're not going to see a lot of really "challenging" games. They used to be more common, especially out of Japan, games not afraid to break conventions, but that's because developing for PS1/2 was super cheap, and they were able to make them with small teams and put them out relatively quietly. Since the HD era started, asset development costs went way, way up, since the games automatically had to meet a higher level of craft to meet people's expectations of what a modern game needs to look like, especially in HD, which requires higher texture resolutions and mesh detail.

This will probably change when it becomes cheaper to make games, but then... when is that going to happen exactly? A new console generation won't help anyone in this regard. That's why I want to see more incremental changes in the next set of platforms, instead of massive game-changing features. Something to ease the burden on developers so they can streamline their processes more and make games for less money, and thus experiment more.

#35 Posted by CptChiken (1987 posts) -

I have found that i play games less and less, this year i played maybe 4 games, and have finished none of them. Even if i stop playing games i think i will still continue to visit giant bomb because i just like the entertainment.

#36 Posted by Moncole (636 posts) -

I started to get bored of games last year. Than I played a critically acclaimed game for the first time and I love games again

#37 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@Humanity said:

I felt a bit of this sting this quarter of the year and made a similar thread about it. For me all the sequels and third entries really did it. Between Gears of War 3 which was an excellent game that introduced nothing new to the genre and Assassins Creed Revelations which was terribly dull I felt like maybe I just didn't like video games as much anymore. I believe once we start seeing some fresh IP's it's going to pick up. As it is I'm kind of worried about Bioshock Infinite. When I saw AC:Revelations I couldn't be more excited. After playing it I realized it was just one game too many with the same beats. All the footage for Bioshock has been great but I'm just worried when it comes to playing the game it will just be Bioshock 1, 2, without the water.

I agree a bit with this. 
 
For me, it was a year for fun and competent sequels to established franchises. This is where it stops though - nothing new or groundbreaking, which was expected this year, and I was only wow'd by a small handful of titles, most of which weren't sequels.
#38 Edited by DevWil (842 posts) -

@Owlhead: well, the problem for me is actually that i'm perfectly content not finishing games. it's the opposite of depression.

@MikkaQ: polygonal games that take hours to completely experience will never be cheap. they're inherently labor-intensive. however, it's easier than ever to make a game. far easier. this is why i'm not someone who laments the creative laziness of AAA games. of course Modern Warfare 3 isn't surprising. i don't mind that publishers commission sequels to successful products; i just wish indie developers would stop making unofficial sequels to games that already exist. people who make games for little-to-no money have no excuse not to be creative. that's why i get far more incredulous when flash game developers just make platformer after platformer, and don't even try to express anything truly human in their games.

@CptChiken: i completely sympathize, and feel largely the same way. lately i've been debating whether to play Chrono Trigger on my iPod Touch or just watch the Endurance Run. as much disdain as i have for popular games, i still find GB's coverage of them very entertaining.