Posted by AURON570 (1674 posts) -
http://www.examiner.com/xbox-360-in-national/why-fighting-games-suck-3
 
Quote from the highly opinionated article above:
"Racing games have become increasingly realistic, FPS evolve to meet the demands of the online gaming community, sandbox games have become more complex and detailed, and even RPGs have changed significantly from their early days."
 
Firstly all game genres can be reduced to a few fundamental things that don't change from game to game. Racing games: you control a car, press buttons to speed up/slow down, try to place first or beat a time limit. FPS: point and shoot. Fighting: pick character(s) and fight other character(s). By that same token you can reduce all video games to a fundamental principle: player has controller, controller inputs make stuff happen on a display. 
 
So really, how much do games have to "change"? If we accept video games as a form of art (which I do), we can ask the same question as "how much does a new piece of music have to change to make it new or interesting?" How about a new movie, new novel, new play, a new painting? Really what keeps video games interesting whether it is Fighting, Racing, FPS, RPG or any other genre you can think of, is that each new game reiterates on the same fundamental principle that all games are based on "player has controller, controller inputs make stuff happen on a display", and present things in a new interesting way. This is what makes games interesting. There's a reason people still listen to Beethoven, or read Shakespeare, and there's a reason why people keep playing video games.
#1 Posted by AURON570 (1674 posts) -
http://www.examiner.com/xbox-360-in-national/why-fighting-games-suck-3
 
Quote from the highly opinionated article above:
"Racing games have become increasingly realistic, FPS evolve to meet the demands of the online gaming community, sandbox games have become more complex and detailed, and even RPGs have changed significantly from their early days."
 
Firstly all game genres can be reduced to a few fundamental things that don't change from game to game. Racing games: you control a car, press buttons to speed up/slow down, try to place first or beat a time limit. FPS: point and shoot. Fighting: pick character(s) and fight other character(s). By that same token you can reduce all video games to a fundamental principle: player has controller, controller inputs make stuff happen on a display. 
 
So really, how much do games have to "change"? If we accept video games as a form of art (which I do), we can ask the same question as "how much does a new piece of music have to change to make it new or interesting?" How about a new movie, new novel, new play, a new painting? Really what keeps video games interesting whether it is Fighting, Racing, FPS, RPG or any other genre you can think of, is that each new game reiterates on the same fundamental principle that all games are based on "player has controller, controller inputs make stuff happen on a display", and present things in a new interesting way. This is what makes games interesting. There's a reason people still listen to Beethoven, or read Shakespeare, and there's a reason why people keep playing video games.
#2 Posted by ZanzibarBreeze (3071 posts) -

I don't think each game needs to come up with something new. There's something to be said about a game that takes its riffs from every other game but just does the experience a whole lot better. Obviously if the game fails then it looks terrible, ie. Dante's Inferno following God of War. So, no, I don't think games need to innovate, at least not in gameplay. Look at Uncharted. Its gameplay is certainly not new; it's just the best at doing what it does.
 

#3 Posted by Malakhii (1443 posts) -
@ZanzibarBreeze:  I didn't know Roger Ebert was a GB member. I hate the way you review movies. 
 
As far as games innovating, as long as I have fun playing them, that's enough for me. 
#4 Posted by AURON570 (1674 posts) -
@ZanzibarBreeze: Video games are art. Art can be defined as the deliberate process or arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions. Video games: you have a controller which you use to make stuff happen on a display, you in turn perceive what happens and react accordingly. Creating video games can be a solo effort, or a team effort, as the person or group of people try to create something fun or interesting for players. I don't see how it is fundamentally different from creating a film, a TV series, or writing a novel.
#5 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

I've always thought that to generally move on, video games needs to work on immersion more than anything. Like you say, you can distill an FPS into just running and gunning and I've been doing that since GoldenEye so what I need to keep me interested are characters, plot and a general motivation that makes me think I'm not repeating myself over and over again.

#6 Posted by Ace829 (2083 posts) -
@ZanzibarBreeze: No!!! Look what you've done! You've derailed the topic into another "Are games art?" debate!
#7 Posted by Pepsiman (2486 posts) -

Whether innovation is a necessity for any given game is something that is relative to what it's trying to accomplish. If a development team is just concerned with making a good, solid experience based on tropes and gameplay mechanics the audience is going to be familiar with, then raw innovation probably isn't necessary. Shoehorning it in, in fact, has the potential to derail what could otherwise be a great product. It's a route that means the refinements and changes it does make to current conventions are going to be more subtle, but with the right tweaks in the right places, little improvements here and there can make the game as a whole a really sublime experience.
 
On the other hand, if a game is going to have to live or die based on its alleged uniqueness and "being something different," then innovation is probably the best route to go. It still has to be applied carefully or else the execution can either be botched or at least overbearing for people. But when implemented correctly and has a good presentation to accompany it so people can embrace the newness of the ideas, innovation can offer its own share of special moments. Guitar Hero wouldn't be what it is if it didn't combine plastic instruments and iconic music with a mentality that anybody can at least feel like they're a rock star. Ocarina of Time wouldn't have had such a profound impact on the industry if it didn't have the level design to back up the then-intriguing motion of a Zelda game in 3D. Any well-made game that's driven by innovation has to live in such relative terms to succeed, as it's often the other things attached to the outright innovative aspects that determine how good such games actually are. 
 
Really, if a game is to shine, it has to do so on its own terms. If that can be done by achieving something nothing else previously has tried or succeeded at before, then more power to it, but there's definitely still something to be said about great games that are more concerned with refinements. Both methodologies have their merits; how effective they are with individual games is ultimately a matter of who's directing and producing the content.

#8 Edited by ZanzibarBreeze (3071 posts) -
#9 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

Of course games need to innovate, at least change some things up than leave things stale. They don't have to be revolutionary, just make some changes and improvements that make sequels better. 
 
It was one aspect that EA was criticised back in the day, when there were little innovation. Now they're getting a much more positive reception than say Activision. But there's a catch. Some games simply don't need to innovative, or change nearly as much. StarCraft 2 is a prime example, with a formula that doesn't leave much room to alter.

#10 Posted by Vinny_Says (5720 posts) -

at this point with these sick graphics on consoles the only real innovation possible is getting better frame rate and reducing load times, if not completely eliminating them.

Online
#11 Posted by AURON570 (1674 posts) -
@ZanzibarBreeze: I'm gonna start ignoring you, since you just said the same thing in your original post except you used pictures, that is you said "Games are not art." I already replied explaining the reasoning for why games ARE art, and I stick by it since you haven't proven it wrong in any way.
#12 Posted by Icemael (6343 posts) -

Games only need to innovate when they have no other way of improving.

#13 Posted by AURON570 (1674 posts) -
@Pepsiman:  I agree.
#14 Posted by InfiniteStateMachine (215 posts) -

just make it fun

#15 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

Innovation is very rarely necessary for a 'good game' or even a 'great game', but to make something revolutionary that people will talk about with great esteem for 25 years you need innovation.  Most innovative games don't reach that point, but true greatness can only be achieved by combining innovation with other virtually perfect elements.

#16 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11930 posts) -

You see, people are hypocrites. They always want something new and different, but they also want things that are familiar. Muck with either, and people will complain, regardless. However, in my opinion a competent but uninspired game is far better than an inspired but incompetent game. For example: X-COM Terror from the Deep is better than X-COM Apocalypse because although it is only a few features away from being a reskin of the first game, it at least doesn't mess anything up. Apocalypse actually tried to be different and succeeded, at the cost of being a worse game overall.