Videogames

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Dr Raskolnikov
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Re: Videogames

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:31 am

Mirthomaniac wrote:A thought: as graphic and sound capabilities increase, pretty soon in the future we will be able to produce entire films (never mind games yet) with ultra-realistic CG people. This will enable directors and visionaries to put whoever they want in a film. Famous Hollywood icon dead? No problem, just put them in the film anyway. Nobody will be able to tell the difference after a while. Prepare to see Arnie or Sly Stallone leaping about on screen many years after they die, with serious legal battles going on over the 'rights' to use a person's likeness without them even participating. Be prepared for Humphrey Bogart and other Golden Agers to make a return to movies, if there were a market for it. Even be prepared to hear critique of not just dialogue and cinematography, but also how well the CG Brad Pitt lives up to the 'real thing'.

I base this on the fact that, thirty years ago, it was fairly revolutionary to play a videogame in colour. Twenty years ago it was revolutionary to represent the human figure on a 16-bit machine. You get the idea.
I know what you mean... having watched the graphics processing capabilities of computers evolve through four-colour CGA pixelated, polygon-style 3D to what we have today, I sometimes wonder how we accepted those earlier attempts as being top notch. But the best available graphics at any point in time was always considered amazing, because we had nothing better to compare it to.

I remember playing "Elite" on an Amstrad PC1512 for months in the late eighties (8086 processor pushing out 8 MHz, 512kb RAM, black and white monochrome monitor, no hard drive but two 5 and a quarter inch floppy drives)... Elite was the original space exploration / piracy / trading game, set in an essentially infinite 3D Universe, and it was absolutely cutting edge in its day. Essentially it was just a load of grey blocks incrementing around with a few blippy sounds punctuating the occasional dog fight, but it holds a much firmer place in my memory than hundreds of other games that have been released since then.

Imagine what it would have been like, at the time, to have had a sneak preview of a contemporary game from 2011... Some of our technology that we take for granted would not have been believed by people only 15 or 20 years ago.
Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know. Important things. - Ned Flanders
Ygern
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Re: Videogames

Post by Ygern » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:24 am

I sometimes wonder how we accepted those earlier attempts as being top notch
I don't know if we ever really did. Graphics have never made a game good, and very few people have ever hailed a game as excellent because the graphics were the best tech available.

Games have in many ways been responsible for driving the development of computers as studios increasingly strived to design each new game to make use of the best technology available at the time. Gamers in previous decades tended to be aware of the current limits (gaming tended to be the domain of computer lovers only until the early 90s) of the hardware and would be impressed with what the studios achieved with the available tech of the day. I doubt anyone ever thought that this was as good as it would get and that things would not get better. Rather, it was expected that graphics & gaming would become more interactive & more photo-realistic at some sage in the future.
Prepare to see Arnie or Sly Stallone leaping about on screen many years after they die
Not at all impossible from a technical point of view, but I am not sure that it is that likely to become the norm. For one thing very few actors retain legendary status & remain box office gold after they die. For example, as Arnie & Sly get older fewer and fewer people will be interested in seeing them in action films and fewer and fewer people will associate their names with Action Hero. They are already eclipsed by younger actors who can do anything they did and in 20 years time only a certain older generation will remember them, and the next generation of viewers & film-makers will regard them as history if they have even heard of them.

Humphrey Bogart is quite rare in retaining some of his status by virtue of belonging to an era where there were relatively few "stars" - plus in a field of very few stars, he was one of the bigger names. The field of competition widens as time goes by (see what I did there) and fewer if any actors are likely to stand out as icons 10 years or 50 years after their deaths.

In short: the ability to re-create an actor & voice is one thing, but re-creating dead stars will probably remain a gimmick rather than the norm. Rather it will be used to make better special effects & stunts for new actors.
Mirthomaniac
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Re: Videogames

Post by Mirthomaniac » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 pm

Ygern wrote: Not at all impossible from a technical point of view, but I am not sure that it is that likely to become the norm. For one thing very few actors retain legendary status & remain box office gold after they die. For example, as Arnie & Sly get older fewer and fewer people will be interested in seeing them in action films and fewer and fewer people will associate their names with Action Hero. They are already eclipsed by younger actors who can do anything they did and in 20 years time only a certain older generation will remember them, and the next generation of viewers & film-makers will regard them as history if they have even heard of them.

Humphrey Bogart is quite rare in retaining some of his status by virtue of belonging to an era where there were relatively few "stars" - plus in a field of very few stars, he was one of the bigger names. The field of competition widens as time goes by (see what I did there) and fewer if any actors are likely to stand out as icons 10 years or 50 years after their deaths.

In short: the ability to re-create an actor & voice is one thing, but re-creating dead stars will probably remain a gimmick rather than the norm. Rather it will be used to make better special effects & stunts for new actors.
Consider, though, the amount of money that's to be made in ruining franchises. Look at Star Wars and (though I'm not entirely in agreement on this one) Indiana Jones. Nostalgia is a big, big factor these days. Everything is a remake or a reboot, with millions going into CG in order to accomplish it. Want Optimus Prime in full realistic animated form? It can be done, and you will draw the kids who watched Transformers (not me, though I did love the show) as well as a new audience (my six year old nephew).

Now imagine they made a prequel to Indiana Jones, all done with the same style and with a young CG Harrison Ford. Or if they dabbled in the (extremely silly and unecessary IMO) Star Wars EU. You could have a sequel to Return of the Jedi with actors fully intact as they were in 1983.

As for the Bogie example, well I'm a fan obviously and it's just something I'd check out. I reckon that we'll be dealing with 'golden oldies' Brad Pitt and George Clooney by the time the technology is sufficient to be indistinguishable from reality.

Yes, few actors remain significant to the 'general public' once their peak is passed. Good examples of this are the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme, who was once ahead of Arnie. He probably won't get the CG treatment, but James Cameron's Terminator 3 (the real one) with 1992 peak Arnie? Who knows.

AND for games, which was the original point of discussion: there would be absolutely nothing to stop them from making a game that feeds into your subconscious like a movie does. I know, gamers already experience this, but think of your parents and your baffled non-gamer friends who'd shun Mario, but would scream about who Keyser Soze is at a T.V. screen. L.A. Noire is already moving in that direction, and for current gen it looks amazing. They will usher in the end of the HUD. There will be no more 'dialogue trees', no Fallout-esque blank faces staring back at you...
Mirthomaniac
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Re: Videogames

Post by Mirthomaniac » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:24 pm

I just noticed something while browsing through the thread:
Ygern wrote: Pokémon (hides in shame)
I'm 19 and what is this?

But seriously, even though I haven't played a Pokémon game properly since G/S/C era, I can't overstate how important those games were to my childhood.

I'll always go back to them, I think. Age is a non-factor, especially when you consider how many people enjoy Disney films or play somewhat 'cutesy' games like Earthbound. No reason to be ashamed of things that you like.* 8)





*unless it's Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, in which case, you can go right ahead. :wink:
aZerogodist
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Re: Videogames

Post by aZerogodist » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:41 am

I started on arcade games, '1942' name of game, I hav'nt been around that long, I could pass it two or three times.

The best game I ever played was Douglas Adam's 'Starship Titanica' they should remake that game.

Liked civIII but got tierd of having to end up nuking everyone just to win.

Last few years my little LT wasn't up to gaming, did enjoy Max Payne, and Broken Sword 1&2 but the LT couldn't play BS3, or the last Tomb Raider, now that I got a new PC, the discs for those games are ethier badly scratched or half missing :(

But there's some good suggestions here to look into. :)
bipedalhumanoid
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Re: Videogames

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:45 pm

I was playing world of warcraft for a while. Time seems to fly past while you're playing the game. I think people assume that if time is moving fast that you're necessarily enjoying yourself. Nothing could be further from the truth. The feeling of 'time flying' is something that occurs on retrospective reflection. You think back over the memories of the past x amount of time. If you can think of lots of things you did, it will seem like time went slowly, if you can't, it will seem like time went quickly.

What I found is that because the game was so repetitive and held your interest only because you were looking towards achieving certain goals, despite having to do repetitive and boring things to achieve said goals, it felt like time was very quickly.

It's sort of like watching big brother on tv. Time seems to fly past because you spend the entire time anticipating something interesting happening, but it never does. When nothing interesting happens, you don't build a strong collection of memories against which you can reflect upon in retrospect.

That's my analysis. Playing World of Warcraft is as boring as watching paint dry, but the anticipation of something happening retains your interest and your reflection of what happened tricks you into believing you enjoyed yourself while you were playing.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: Videogames

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:48 pm

There are a couple of DOS based games I still return to every couple of years and replay. The saying "they just dont make them like they used to" really applies to some such games. "UFO Enemy Unknown" was the best.

Have to entirely agree on graphics not making a game. some of the funniest moments in games like "Monkey Island" and "Day of the Tentacle" were done with graphics so bad that it really was only context that made you know what the designers were trying to do. However when you are engrossed in the context they can be incredibly funny. I remember, for example, a few times when they broke the "fourth wall" as they say, and the main character turned and looked at the player and moved his eye brows up and down....

... without context you simply would have no idea that that was what the character was meant to be doing, the graphics were that bad, but it was still done so well that you really got the joke. Essentially the skill used to be to see how much you could do using limited graphics. Nowadays I guess they see how little they can do, with as much graphics as possible. They just do not engage the imagination any more, and I think using the users mind to fill in the gaps really works. The writers almost wrote these games like they were thinking their hard ware platform was hard disk, ram, graphics cards and the users brain and they used all that hardware so well. Many current games seem to have forgotten the human brain is part of the hardware the game can run on.

Having said that Tell Tale Games who are now doing Monkey Island, Sam and Max, and have recently done a franchise of games based on Back to the Future... really are managing to mix good graphics with still holding much of the old skills, writing and humour that made the old games what they were. They will never quite match I think, but they are doing a better job than I could have expected.

These days now I am RPG all the way, much like Ygern, though it sounds like I enjoyed Assassains creed and Dragon age more than her, especially the latter which is one of the top games for some time for me. Mass Effect is also up there. In terms of just good voice acting, good story line, good game play and more however the two "knights of the old republic" are the best games in that genre for me so far.

In my teens I did lose a large portion of my life to Lucas Arts Xwing games, of which there were a number.
Mirthomaniac
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Re: Videogames

Post by Mirthomaniac » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:17 pm

nozzferrahhtoo wrote:Essentially the skill used to be to see how much you could do using limited graphics.
I couldn't agree more. One of the best games I've played is Super Metroid on, surprise surprise, the Super Nintendo. If you look at its intensely devoted fanbase you'll find amazing players completing awe-inspiring speedruns through the game. That's cool to watch, but the reason I loved the game is because it is a prime example of limitations making a game better. The graphics are still amazing for 16-bit, so it's not so much a 'graphical' limitation. The real limitations come from how simple the whole premise is - it's just you and the planet you're exploring, with a short story sequence at the beginning and a single task to complete. Imagine putting in a game today and being given a single task to accomplish, with no further explanation offered. Imagine never encountering a dialogue spewing NPC, not once! It just doesn't happen, even in Metroid games. The older ones had it right, and Super Metroid was the pinnacle of the series for that reason.

nozzferrahhtoo wrote:These days now I am RPG all the way, much like Ygern
Quite a few RPG players here, and yet I haven't heard much love for the JRPG. I can see why people'd be put off playing Final Fantasy, and the genre as a whole, but I suppose you do need to have the proverbial cherry popped. Final Fantasy X did it for me. Most people my age would probably cite Final Fantasy VII, with the slightly older crowd referring to Final Fantasy VI (also known as III).

...

It's the nerdiness isn't it? Is it the nerdiness?
Wened
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Re: Videogames

Post by Wened » Fri May 27, 2011 11:26 am

When i was a kid i owned PSX (since mid 90') and super nintendo before that (but i barely remember it).

On PSX i played all good stuff there was (piracy in eastern Europe :) )
And i remember these games fondly. NFS3, Resident Evil, Tekken, Duke Nukem 3D, Warcraft 2, Suikoden 2.

But somewhere around 1999 or 2000 i got my first PC and then i discovered one genre that im addicted to until now. RPG! (the real one not that Japanese crap).

Baldurs Gate, Fallout, Arcanum, Torment.

I loved all of these. Unfortunately as time and technology progressed many studios decided to abandon old formulas and started making less old-school, more accessible games. I still like stuff like Mass Effect or Dragon Age (first part) but they are nowhere near as entertaining as Planescape Torment!

The only hope for me is in the Indie developers who can't afford hype graphics so instead they need to focus on story and dialogues.

Recently i played
"Avadon: The black Fortress" http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/avadon/index.html
"Knights of The Chalice" http://www.heroicfantasygames.com/
"Desktop Dungeon" http://www.qcfdesign.com/?cat=20


And i'm waiting for a real treat:
"Age of Decadence" http://www.irontowerstudio.com/

AoD is basically like Fallout set in fictional world based loosely on Roman empire.
So you walk around in a alchemically enhanced Praetorian Armor insted of Power Armor
and you take part in a struggle between noble houses who survived the fall of
Maadoran empire.
Im so excited i even created excel spreadsheet that allows you to create your own character
(Stats, Skills and all that other stuff) exactingly as in the game, so i could plan different builds
before they publish it. http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/in ... 074.0.html

There is a Combat Demo to download on their site (Cool if you like turn based combat)
but it has different skill system than what they will put in finished product.
http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/in ... 259.0.html
"They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth." - George RR Martin
paolovf
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Re: Videogames

Post by paolovf » Fri May 27, 2011 1:21 pm

I love the old NES and SEGA games and play them so often - Super Mario, Streets of Rage 2, Sonic, Golden Axe are my favourites.

Lately I've been playing Minecraft and Escape Velocity: Nova for the PC. These are quality games.
Minecraft is a sandbox game that is still in development but there are some amazing things you can do in it if you have the will and imagination. There are some insane youtube videos of what people have built, from replicas of the Starship Enterprise, to theme parks, wonders of the world, and even fully functional ALU's (arithmetic logic units, as used by computers).

I've realised I like simple graphics and good gameplay. :D
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