Do Games Get Better With Technology?

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Are Games Better Now Than They Were?

Yes, more power = better graphics, gameplay, innovation and value.
17
31%
No, developers forgot about story and heart years ago!
18
33%
Sure games have changed, but I still enjoy them for what they are!
19
35%
 
Total votes: 54

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killbot
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by killbot » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:11 pm

I don't think the argument that Pong on PSone is worse than Pong in the arcade means much. Pong on the PSone is poor because the developer didn't do a good job, not because the original arcade version inherently offered a better or purer experience.

I think it's undoubtable that technology allows us to be more immersed in our games (which is more like real tennis - Pong or Wii Sports Tennis?) but I think that the ability to replicate realistic settings and characters, combined with a global outlook and million dollar budgets, has made developers more risk averse. Most games (particularly western ones) now have a dull, samey action movie aesthetic ripped straight from the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The days when bedroom coders could make a game for peanuts and fill it with bizarre humour that appealed to their own culture (Jet Set Willy for example) have long gone, and won't come back. Hell, even indie developers avoid anything too culturally specific these days because they're looking globally.

But you're making a mistake if you associate this homogenisation with increased power under the bonnet. Games aren't becoming less interesting because they're running on better machinery - there's nothing stopping someone developing a modern Jet Set Willy on the Wii or 360 except the fact that nobody would buy it. In a sense, we as consumers have created this situation ourselves by walking past innovative titles like Muramasa or Psychonauts and buying the latest CoD clone.
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Crunchy
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Crunchy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:23 pm

killbot wrote:The days when bedroom coders could make a game for peanuts and fill it with bizarre humour that appealed to their own culture (Jet Set Willy for example) have long gone, and won't come back.
Right, I know what you're saying here but I really do feel it's important to point out that the days of the bedroom coder haven't gone. There's more bedroom coders now than there's ever been, and it's far easier to make a game than it ever was. But those bedroom coders aren't in the main commercial sector like they were in the past. Unless they're very lucky.

Our chosen hobby is far, far bigger than just what appears on the consoles. I think a lot of people would enjoy gaming a lot more if they realised that and spread their wings a little.

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killbot
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by killbot » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:36 pm

Crunchy wrote:
killbot wrote:The days when bedroom coders could make a game for peanuts and fill it with bizarre humour that appealed to their own culture (Jet Set Willy for example) have long gone, and won't come back.
Right, I know what you're saying here but I really do feel it's important to point out that the days of the bedroom coder haven't gone. There's more bedroom coders now than there's ever been, and it's far easier to make a game than it ever was. But those bedroom coders aren't in the main commercial sector like they were in the past. Unless they're very lucky.

Our chosen hobby is far, far bigger than just what appears on the consoles. I think a lot of people would enjoy gaming a lot more if they realised that and spread their wings a little.
Ah, you'll notice the wording though. I know that the bedroom coder is still alive and well, but even small-scale projects like Braid and Cave Story have one eye on mass appeal. That was my point (such as it was).

Very few one-man-band indie developers these days are willing to be so brilliantly self indulgent as Matt Smith was when he created Manic Miner. And even if they were, no publishers would take a chance on such a title today. Anyone who is still making games that way is destined to end up in the backwaters of the internet, their games played by no more than a few dozen people willing to seek them out.
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Crunchy
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Crunchy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:58 pm

killbot wrote: Very few one-man-band indie developers these days are willing to be so brilliantly self indulgent as Matt Smith was when he created Manic Miner. And even if they were, no publishers would take a chance on such a title today. Anyone who is still making games that way is destined to end up in the backwaters of the internet, their games played by no more than a few dozen people willing to seek them out.
Ah, I see what you're getting at now. So true. Games with a bit more personality behind them. They're around but not in high numbers.
We could have done with Space Giraffe selling a million tbh. Self indulgence at it's finest. We might have seen a rise in "personality" games so to speak.

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stvd
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by stvd » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:11 pm

Regardless of opinions on previous posts (& posters), do you think the original poster
will be able to use any of these answers in his research? :lol:
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lanky316
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by lanky316 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:29 pm

"In conclusion, I have found the debate will continue to rage not only fortune generation of gamers but for many more years yet. As long as video games continue to amuse and entertain people of all ages there will always be a place for them for many adults and children for years to come.
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FatTrucker
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by FatTrucker » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:32 pm

stvd wrote:Regardless of opinions on previous posts (& posters), do you think the original poster
will be able to use any of these answers in his research? :lol:
Yes.....but then again maybe not......lets discuss it :lol:
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Crunchy
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Crunchy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:35 pm

Good old Paradux though, he was a top member wasn't he? Always with the interesting threads. Shame he's gone really.

Pixiu
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Pixiu » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:41 pm

Perhaps he'll return one day with his next thread: "What is Retro?"
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FatTrucker
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by FatTrucker » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:45 pm

Its not very often, but sometimes I just love you all so much. 8)
Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:I've played all the Bratz games and Barbia Horse Adventures, due to having two girls and they are not rubbish in the slightest.
Feel free to add me on XBL.
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ToxieDogg
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by ToxieDogg » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:55 pm

Crunchy wrote:The thing is, if I'm looking at a vintage car and a car made this year ... when I look at the modern car I know I'm looking at a better car.

Even if I prefer vintage cars and can't stand modern cars I still know I'm looking at a better car. The subjective experience of driving the cars doesn't change anything.

It's the same with games for me. I know what I'm looking at.
Do you? All you're saying is that you take things at face value. If it looks visually more impressive to you and has higher production values/horsepower/whatever, then it's 'better', apparently.

Do you not think that the experience of driving a car is important at all? Would you prefer to drive one car with sh!tty steering because it looks nicer and is more powerful than another? Mind you, I'm only asking hypothetically because I don't drive myself. And cars aren't really an entertainment medium for most people so it's a strange strange comparison anyway.

One way I can relate more is to think of it in terms of films. I may watch an old film and really enjoy it. That film may then be remade with a massive budget and an all star cast....but have it's script rewritten slightly so that the storyline or ending is ruined. Either way, there's no way you can just automatically say it's 'better' by it's appearence without having experienced it.

And that's how games work for me. Whether it's something like Uncharted 2 on the PS3, or Monster Maze on the ZX81.
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Crunchy
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Crunchy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:14 pm

ToxieDogg wrote: Do you? All you're saying is that you take things at face value. If it looks visually more impressive to you and has higher production values/horsepower/whatever, then it's 'better', apparently.
Do you not think that the experience of driving a car is important at all? Would you prefer to drive one car with sh!tty steering because it looks nicer and is more powerful than another? Mind you, I'm only asking hypothetically because I don't drive myself. And cars aren't really an entertainment medium for most people so it's a strange strange comparison anyway.
One way I can relate more is to think of it in terms of films. I may watch an old film and really enjoy it. That film may then be remade with a massive budget and an all star cast....but have it's script rewritten slightly so that the storyline or ending is ruined. Either way, there's no way you can just automatically say it's 'better' by it's appearence without having experienced it.
And that's how games work for me. Whether it's something like Uncharted 2 on the PS3, or Monster Maze on the ZX81.
When I say "look at a car" I don't mean just take in the visuals. I'm talking about the whole thing. The modern car, whether I like it or not, does what old cars do and it does it better. I can fully enjoy the old car for what it is, I may even prefer it, but that wouldn't stop me realising that the modern car has a better engine and steering and is safer to drive and goes faster and uses less petrol and pumps out less toxic gases and has a much comfier seat and so on. My experience of the car doesn't change the advances that have been made. The modern car is improved. Even if I don't like the new safe and comfy way of driving and prefer the battered old cranky vintage vehicle.

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Budly Moore
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by Budly Moore » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:59 pm

The simple answer is yes, if the progress of games ended with Atari 2600 would we still be playing them?
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snigfarp
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by snigfarp » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:10 pm

I'm firmly in the Yes And No camp :-)

I agree with what Jonathan and others have said earlier about development for modern machines needing more resources, meaning less individuality and innovation, and less willingness on the part of publishers to take risks. The higher cost of commercial games probably means that some consumers are less willing to take that risk nowadays too. I really don't think playability gets much if any better with technology, though it doesn't get worse either. Someone complaining about yet another FPS today just echoes someone complaining about yet another 3D Isometric adventure 25 years ago.

But the other side is right that technological improvement has allowed games that wouldn't have been possible before. I'll avoid mentioning graphics as that's been done to death already. But controls: some of the more modern RTS games would not have been possible without a pointing device of some sort (not to mention a reasonably speedy processor). And storage: doing a graphical adventure of the Monkey Island type was difficult if not impossible on systems that didn't have a decent amount of disk storage. What sort of games would be possible on a Sinclair MK14 or Acorn 1, with their calculator style LED display? And the introduction of computers themselves into gaming has allowed older games to be played more often, due to the provision of an opponent.

On the other forum Paradux mentions, there's a lot of talk about realism. Personally, I don't necessarily think that realism equates with fun. Sometimes a cartoon is more fun to watch than a film. And I enjoy playing a game of backgammon (with a wooden board no less) more than I'd enjoy running a race :-)
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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Do Games Get Better With Technology?

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:11 pm

The simple answer is yes
And I gave that simple one word answer back on page 2, everything since has been completely unnecessary.....

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