• 63 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Posted by zpa (22 posts) -

So I've been discussing this with a bunch of friends recently: what changes must be made to make games better and more enjoyable? I for one am sick of the annual shovelware from franchises such as Call of Duty. I think developers need to get more creative with design and bring fresh ideas and IP's to the table as well as reinvent old franchises that they just push out the door every year.

What do you all think?

#2 Posted by Winternet (8021 posts) -

For starters, I don't think you really understand the term "shovelware".

Second, there are lots of creative, fresh and new games out there, you just need to know how to look for them.

#3 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2418 posts) -

The continuous increase in independent developers for one.

#4 Edited by UlquioKani (1067 posts) -

Its a little hyperbolic to call Call of Duty shovelware. As for changes, I think there needs to be more time spent on some games and franchises need to be given breaks. It keeps them feeling fresh. Look at how Nintendo has managed to keep franchises like Zelda, Mario and Metroid going for decades. It's only in recent years that cracks have started to show in their armor. Also lets stop punishing developers for design decisions even before a game comes out. Gamers also need to be less angry when a game they like has changed because that leads to games becoming too similiar to predecessors and becoming stale. Allow the developers to create their vision. Then judge it. If it's fucked up then criticise, constrcutively. Don't create an environment where developers feel that trying something different may anger the fans.

#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@zpa said:

I think developers need to get more creative with design and bring fresh ideas and IP's to the table as well as reinvent old franchises that they just push out the door every year.

Why?
#6 Edited by PenguinDust (12533 posts) -

People who buy games need to change. The industry is driven by profit not surprisingly and so the games or genres that make the most money will be copied and direct the next phase of publisher development. As long as COD or shooters in general make a lot of money, game companies will continue to recycle the formula because it works.

Now, me, I like blowin' shit up so I have few complaints.

#7 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6398 posts) -

More mid-tier games being successful in the marketplace.

#8 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

A lot of those kickstarter funded games coming out, being good and making money.

#9 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Black Ops 2 was an excellent game that did player choice better than even The Witcher 2. It's a lot of fun to play, the story was engaging and interesting, the characters similarly so, and it did some pretty impressive things with choice.

I'm pretty happy with games. Are there some games I want that aren't being made right this second? Sure! But we're getting close. If the standalone version of Day Z does what the mod set out to do, that'll be a hell of a start. And Star Citizen could be freakin' awesome. And there have been a lot of great adventure games of late it seems, so that's fantastic.

Now if someone would just make a really great text adventure...

Online
#10 Posted by L44 (561 posts) -

More games utilising the fact that they are games.

#11 Posted by believer258 (11949 posts) -

@zpa said:

So I've been discussing this with a bunch of friends recently: what changes must be made to make games better and more enjoyable? I for one am sick of the annual shovelware from franchises such as Call of Duty. I think developers need to get more creative with design and bring fresh ideas and IP's to the table as well as reinvent old franchises that they just push out the door every year.

What do you all think?

Call of Duty is not shovelware.

@MordeaniisChaos said:

Black Ops 2 was an excellent game that did player choice better than even The Witcher 2. It's a lot of fun to play, the story was engaging and interesting, the characters similarly so, and it did some pretty impressive things with choice.

I'm pretty happy with games. Are there some games I want that aren't being made right this second? Sure! But we're getting close. If the standalone version of Day Z does what the mod set out to do, that'll be a hell of a start. And Star Citizen could be freakin' awesome. And there have been a lot of great adventure games of late it seems, so that's fantastic.

Now if someone would just make a really great text adventure...

I should beat either game before commenting but from what I have played I don't see how anyone could come to that conclusion... to each his own, I guess.

#12 Posted by ChinaDontCare (111 posts) -

MORE COMPUTER NUDITY

#13 Edited by kerse (2115 posts) -

For me its more interesting and engaging stories well written dialogue and quality voice acting, I think its kind've sad that its still a problem in a lot of games, at this point every game plays kinda like at least one other game so they need something more to hold my interest.

#14 Posted by Nodima (1226 posts) -

Costs in all manner of animation, A.I. and graphics programming need to go down so that more budgetary concerns can be focused on quality acting, writing and design. For the longest time, most games didn't really have to focus on complex animations or A.I., at least not my favorites. Fights were random and then based on dice roles in RPGs, platformers were essentially side-scrolling pattern puzzles. Sports games were entirely based on dice rolls and rubberbands, and shooters were essentially "the monster is on the screen, it will not stop moving until you stop it's movement." And you certainly couldn't have voice acting; even the PS1 struggled with that for a while. As a result the writing always came off as clever because it didn't have to be interpreted by anyone but yourself, and the design of the game was what kept you coming back.

All of this is sort of why I struggle with Jeff's decrying of Turtles in Time on older podcasts...in my opinion the original game is very well planned out and challenging enough for what it set out to be. But it's obvious you can't make that exact game today, due in part to Re-Shelled and in part to the fact it's just TOO simple in subtle ways. At this point it's really hard to accept simple games; even if they appear simple on the surface, oftentimes they avoid novelty by surprisingly deep internal systems. But the bigger the game gets the more imperative it is that the animations work, the scripts work, the screen doesn't tear, the polygons don't clip, the lighting feels right. This is why sports games have seen such a downfall as graphics standards this generation (as someone like Brad I think asked on a recent pod). All of those issues seem like something that needs [i]so[/i] much polish to look right that it's hard to focus as much of your game on the actual presenting of the game (missions, characters, etc.). Red Dead Redemption told a great story, but I still think it's sad that it can be held up as some classic of game storytelling to this point.

To take games forward, the technology and tools required to handle the immediate visual presentation has to become easy enough and cheap enough to use that more emphasis can be put into the actual art of the game, from design to expression.

#15 Posted by DarthOrange (3864 posts) -

More new games that people don't immediately right off. Look at PlayStation All-Stars. The fighting mechanics in that game and the strategies are like nothing seen before and yet a large group of people simply right it off as Smash Bros. rip off. Look at a Smash Bros tournament and look at a Battle Royale tournament and you can see they are fundamentally different. 
 
Then look at how many people immediately wrote off the new DmC.  
 
Some gamers need to stop being such vocal assholes if they want to make games better. 

#16 Posted by Giantstalker (1660 posts) -

More realism, especially accessible realism, as a way to bring nuance and depth into games. Flagrantly exaggerated, fantastical stuff just doesn't interest me as much as modeling something believable.

#17 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

More torsos. Like, infinity more torsos. With tits, without tits, who cares? Just more of 'em.

#18 Edited by Nodima (1226 posts) -

@DarthOrange said:

More new games that people don't immediately right off. Look at PlayStation All-Stars. The fighting mechanics in that game and the strategies are like nothing seen before and yet a large group of people simply right it off as Smash Bros. rip off. Look at a Smash Bros tournament and look at a Battle Royale tournament and you can see they are fundamentally different. Then look at how many people immediately wrote off the new DmC. Some gamers need to stop being such vocal assholes if they want to make games better.

Personally I wrote All-Stars off because playing it remained absolutely disorienting throughout the beta. But I really liked the first Smash Bros. (like, extremely liked) so it does bum me out the game can be dismissed as "just" that. It plays VERY differently strategically in every respect, and certainly doesn't feel as meticulously balanced.

#19 Edited by Roger778 (958 posts) -

I prefer buying games that are story-driven, whether they are adventure, action-adventure, or Role-Playing Games. I might buy the occasional shooter, but only if the critics are raving about them.

I think I'm contributing to this problem of buying sequels to games, because I have gotten every Mass Effect, Assassins Creed, and Splinter Cell games. Maybe that's a sign that I need to start trying other types of games, and ones that aren't sequels.

#20 Edited by EXTomar (4772 posts) -

Off the top of my head:

- More flexible pricing structure. Some games aren't worth $60 or $10.

- Tangent to that: More flexible return structure. When we finish or aren't satisfied with a game it feels like we are screwed.

- More powerful hardware but less features (ie. don't provide motion control just to have motion control feature). It costs more for us and developers for features we may never use.

#21 Posted by GunstarRed (5213 posts) -

More games with dog sidekicks.

#22 Posted by beeftothetaco (425 posts) -

Less white male protagonists in their mid 20's. I know it's a relatively small grievance but it's been really bugging me recently.

#23 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

People have to buy games so the game industry gets money, so they make something not safe.

#24 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

The biggest change has already happened, or is well in the process: easy distribution for smaller and independent developers. Steam and the internet at large has changed the industry for the better in this way. No longer do you need to sign on with a massive publisher just to get your game out into the market.

#25 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@believer258: In Black Ops 2, you feel like you really have control over things in a way that makes sense. You influence things, you don't just pick between A and B, you do a thing and that is what causes things to change, instead of you making a decision.

And honestly, if you haven't finished (or played much at all) of Black Ops 2, you have absolutely no reason to even discuss it. The end of Black Ops 2 is where it all pays off.

The brilliant part about Black Ops 2 is that it doesn't make any of the choices feel like choices. You have no idea that your agency in the situation even exists beyond what you'd normally have most of the time. I never felt like I was making a choice in a video game, I was just trying to do things and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I treated everything like it was a choice, and tried to do what I thought was the best thing. And sometimes, the results were unexpected. There are still parts of the game that I wonder if they are in fact influenced by me or not. For example, there's one sequence that ended, at least for me, with a character being pretty badly maimed, and for the rest of the game, you can see the results of that injury. I genuinely felt guilty, because it felt like it happened because I hadn't been driving as well as I should have been. I don't honestly know if that was a moment of player agency, or just a thing that always happened, and that's where Black Ops 2 really excels at giving the player a sense of control that most games don't give.

Also, aren't you pretty down on all military shooters? I'm not sure you're the person I'd ask to compare the two.

How much of each of them have you actually played?

@Nodima said:

Costs in all manner of animation, A.I. and graphics programming need to go down so that more budgetary concerns can be focused on quality acting, writing and design. For the longest time, most games didn't really have to focus on complex animations or A.I., at least not my favorites. Fights were random and then based on dice roles in RPGs, platformers were essentially side-scrolling pattern puzzles. Sports games were entirely based on dice rolls and rubberbands, and shooters were essentially "the monster is on the screen, it will not stop moving until you stop it's movement." And you certainly couldn't have voice acting; even the PS1 struggled with that for a while. As a result the writing always came off as clever because it didn't have to be interpreted by anyone but yourself, and the design of the game was what kept you coming back.

All of this is sort of why I struggle with Jeff's decrying of Turtles in Time on older podcasts...in my opinion the original game is very well planned out and challenging enough for what it set out to be. But it's obvious you can't make that exact game today, due in part to Re-Shelled and in part to the fact it's just TOO simple in subtle ways. At this point it's really hard to accept simple games; even if they appear simple on the surface, oftentimes they avoid novelty by surprisingly deep internal systems. But the bigger the game gets the more imperative it is that the animations work, the scripts work, the screen doesn't tear, the polygons don't clip, the lighting feels right. This is why sports games have seen such a downfall as graphics standards this generation (as someone like Brad I think asked on a recent pod). All of those issues seem like something that needs [i]so[/i] much polish to look right that it's hard to focus as much of your game on the actual presenting of the game (missions, characters, etc.). Red Dead Redemption told a great story, but I still think it's sad that it can be held up as some classic of game storytelling to this point.

To take games forward, the technology and tools required to handle the immediate visual presentation has to become easy enough and cheap enough to use that more emphasis can be put into the actual art of the game, from design to expression.

As someone looking to get into the part of the industry that you just said should be budgeted down as much as possible, I disagree. Shitty animation means shitty characters, shitty AI means shitty gameplay, and shitty graphics means shitty atmosphere.

Regardless of what we want, you're never getting a return to the stone age. If you want that, go play a Zelda game, otherwise, games are going to keep moving forward with the new technologies, not backwards.

Or, really, it sounds like you just want to play text adventures, because you don't want a good story, you want a good written tale, and maybe some old school gameplay to push it along.

Also, fuck anyone who says that the code running those games is any less of an art than the shitty writing that no matter how much "effort" he puts into it, Joe Game Writer is going to push out. On top of that, that isn't why a lot of crappy writing exists in games today, that has ALWAYS been the case. And just like 20 years ago, there are still plenty of examples of fantastic storytelling and writing. That is just silly. People work very hard and care very much about those things, and ignoring them as being some sub-par aspect of the game creation process is so frustrating. One of the coolest things about Rage was how fantastic the animation was. It wasn't spit out by a computer, it wasn't mocapped, it was all hand animated, and it looked fucking stellar.

And look at games like ArmA 2, which is freakin' awesome with the right people and a good mission. That game has awful to no writing and acting, and the design isn't all that great. In fact, just about all that is great about it is the cold hard technology of it enabling an experience that is awesome and unlike almost anything else.

I'm not saying you have no right to like the things you do, not at all, but A) you aren't going to get what you want except out of the indie darling part of the industry, and B) it's dumb to say that things like AI and game engines should be simplified and made easy and quick to do because we need more writing. Games are awesome because they are interactive, and it's the engine and the AI and things like that which make them interactive to the level they are, not some guy writing a story, regardless of the quality of that story.

Online
#26 Posted by Rafaelfc (1350 posts) -

Audiences with insane and unjustified expectations based on PR cycles is what needs to change.

#27 Posted by believer258 (11949 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I'm not down on military shooters as much as I am tired of how boring and cliche'd they've become. I think that Call of Duty 4 is one of the top 5 games of this generation but I just feel like they went down a very steep slope after that, all trying to one up the others in terms of explosions and shitty dialogue but none ever quite figuring out what CoD4 got so damn right.

Maybe I am down on them a bit, but it's only because there's a good potential there that's hardly even being tapped, but it seems like Spec Ops and maybe this game did that. However, when playing Black Ops 2 some parts of it just felt really stupid and inane to me, like the one where you had to keep mashing a button and the numbers kept popping up. It wasn't too long after that when I just turned it off because I simply didn't want to play any more of those kinds of games.

Still, I've heard from you and several others that the latter half of the game really pays off well so I will dive back into the game at some point.

#28 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Another videogame crash.

#29 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

@beeftothetaco said:

Less white male protagonists in their mid 20's. I know it's a relatively small grievance but it's been really bugging me recently.

Brown hair, stubble, white man in their mid thirties is 60% of action games now, it's gotten beyond stale.

#30 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2478 posts) -

It could be to blame on the economy, but there is a sever lack of quality new IPs. A majority of big name games being released are franchises that are continually milked, call of duty of course being the worst. Its not entirely a bad thing, brands like god of war and halo still put out great games, but lack of new IPs stalls creativity.

#31 Posted by Hunter5024 (5709 posts) -

A lower cost of development? I don't know how that's possible though, maybe cheaper, more available, and more effective engines and tools.

Online
#32 Posted by Psykhophear (939 posts) -

For me, I would like the game industry to cut down on the violent and run-and-gun games and instead, to shift their focus on different genres. I don't object those games but mainstream games nowadays are recycling the same old formula and cause nothing but controversies that I believe it's time to pursue other genres. Shooting and horror games can still be around but I would prefer if developers can find a way to express those ideas in a different way so that the games look new and fresh again.

Other preferable changes would be to make games that are more story-driven, appealing to all ages and not another goddamn sequel. Create new IPs. Be creative!

#33 Edited by mellotronrules (1193 posts) -

at the risk of being contrarian, i'm actually feeling pretty good about the industry right now. i know it's been healthier (financially speaking), but my consumer experience has been largely positive of late. but i think that's because i'm mostly a pc gamer- steam's proven to be a really diverse, vibrant, and value-driven platform. just the other day i played xcom, then bit.trip runner, then terraria. if you're a gamer that values pretty diverse experiences, the pc's a pretty good place to be right now.

#34 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2227 posts) -

Innovation in the mechanics of the game rather than the hardware like Wii and Kinect. Day one digital releases with prices to match retail and Microsoft and Nintendo introducing their own versions of PS+.

#35 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

More of an focus on art direction instead of graphics and focusing more on creating new and interesting gameplay mechanics.

#36 Posted by Unilad (564 posts) -

No EA.

Also....where revenue is not the sole concern.

#37 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Idealist Shareholders, whom put quality games and innovation and authorship before immediate timely and maximum returns. A dying breed.

Well - Kickstarter, but that's technically more of a charity, rather than an investment.

#38 Posted by fox01313 (5074 posts) -

My thoughts to this would be for developers to cave in less to publishers on adding things that really shouldn't be there (ie. multiplayer in Bioshock2, 3d eyepopping video for working with 3d compatible tvs, ect.), they should be able to make the game they want & let it out in the world without giving in to things that might be catchy at the time yet hurt the game's longterm lifespan especially when people will go back & play something in 5 years to see how it holds up. And with EA & others killing multiplayer servers, this will be really hard on some games to go back to later if the multiplayer was put in but they kill the servers since nobody is playing it so it leaves the overall game only 60-75% there without the multiplayer.

#39 Posted by hermes (1496 posts) -

For the industry to change, the customers have to change first. You know why games cost 60$, game publishers try to homogenize every franchise and game developers are bankrupting left and right? Because people demand more graphics, more production values, more realism, more technology...

It cost so much to make a top-tier game that anyone that tries and doesn't became a massive success runs out of money it months. The pricing system is broken because the production system is broken. Games cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, so they cannot allow to be niche. No matter if they are the best horror action game ever conceived, if it sells poorly it has no future (and it probably will, if it costs the same as any other retail game).

There is a vacuum between $ 15 downloadable games and $ 60 retail games, and it has to be filled. It should be filled with games with lower production values than AAA games, but no publisher will risk lowering the budget because they wouldn't sell to the same audience.

#40 Posted by Tricky69 (299 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

Black Ops 2 was an excellent game that did player choice better than even The Witcher 2. It's a lot of fun to play, the story was engaging and interesting, the characters similarly so, and it did some pretty impressive things with choice.

You're fucking kidding right ?

#41 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3052 posts) -

Annual series releases are all that really bother me.

#42 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

Some games pumping out sequels with little to no changes that get praised, while other, lesser known, titles get flak for staying the same.

#43 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

All of you are wrong. People need to buy more games, so game companies get money. Then once they have money they'll actually try something that's not a safe bet.

#44 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Tricky69: You'll have to be a little more specific as to what your issue is, and I'm pretty sure if you just read my last response to the last guy who bothered to argue with my opinion, I'd have nothing else to say to you.

Black Ops 2 is the only game I've played that had transparent, organic choice in game play, not in a "Pick A or Pick B" kind of thing. That worked for me, and there was a lot of cool shit that happened as a result of it.

Witcher 2 was my benchmark for choice and story in games, but I think Black Ops 2 does a much better job making choice more organic, which is, in my opinion, the problem with "choice" in games. I felt responsible for shit at the end of Black Ops 2 in ways I didn't with The Witcher 2. Not to say that I didn't feel responsible in The Witcher 2, just that it was different. In one, it was "Well, I weighed the options, and I picked A." In Black Ops 2, I just reacted and acted because I wasn't given a fuckin' dialogue option sitting staring at a guy or anything like that. It was all game play most of the time, and that was awesome. Catching that guy at the resort felt really awesome. The way that the section where you switch perspectives on the Obama changes things unexpected and believably is pretty cool as well.

People are allowed to like Call of Duty. I'm a young guy working towards a career in the Marine Corps as a grunt. I also fuckin' love fantasty, but where I am, I find something like Call of Duty a tiny bit more impactful for me than high fantasy. Maybe that skewed things a bit for me, but the fact is that the choice in Black Ops didn't feel forced and kind of stupid like 90% of choice in games. It also directly attacked one of the major flaws with Call of Duty, making it feel less scripted and more dynamic, in ways that were really impressive and interesting and I believe should be examined by other developers to improve and enhance.

Online
#45 Edited by Jeust (10680 posts) -

Good will

Good will of the electric company to charge less.

Good will of the water company.

Good will of the developers' suppliers to charge less.

Good will of the sellers of the development software to make it cheaper.

Good will of the development team to make sacrifices for he sake of the game they want to build.

Good will of the publisher to defend the unique nature of the game and don't sell their ideals for the sake of a larger profit, and don't overcharge.

Good will of the consumers to buy it.

But as this is a profit run business, and no one wants to be the one to cut their profit, things will tend to cost more, and, as the economic risk increases, with games being less bold and genuine, and more of what works in industry, coupled with proven and pioneered ideas to extend the life of the product and charge more.

#46 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

The removal of Microtransactions and cutting content for preorder/DLC. That's really the only problem I have with games right now, but sadly that's never going away and will just get worse and worse. Everything else is just chalked up to me not caring very much for a genre of game or some such.

#47 Posted by Rafaelfc (1350 posts) -

To make games better, most everything that the internet brings to gaming NEEDS TO GO, from preorder bonus to online passes, microtransactions, unlockables sold as dlc... the list goes on and on.

DLC should only ever be Campaign and Multiplayer EXPANSIONS (with real effort put in it, it should be WORTH the 15-20 bucks people pay for it)

And specially in fighting games, they should get rid of DLC characters it's an interesting idea, but it makes the whole thing a mess on the online side of things, to keep players in sync with each other (or they put the characters locked away on the disc which is also terrible) and I automatically do NOT want to buy a game when a character I really like is sold separately.

#48 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@BestUsernameEver said:

@beeftothetaco said:

Less white male protagonists in their mid 20's. I know it's a relatively small grievance but it's been really bugging me recently.

Brown hair, stubble, white man in their mid thirties is 60% of action games now, it's gotten beyond stale.

I call him the everyman protagonist. He even shows up in Forza Horizon. He must be stopped.

#49 Posted by hermes (1496 posts) -

@JZ: That assumes companies know about having enough money...

#50 Posted by mcmax3000 (285 posts) -

@hermes: There is no "enough money" for a company, especially a public company, where they are legally required to maximize profit as best they can for their shareholders.