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Are non-remake games getting worse?

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More and more, it seems like the gaming industry is forgetting about the number one thing about games: not being the absolute prettiest, but being fun and replayable. But then again, if the player is frustrated with a game he feels is bad or which is not fun to replay, they are more likely to shell out more money at a later date like a junkie looking for a perfect fix, not knowing the supplier is watering down his drug on purpose. It's kind of sick. I look back at all these old games I used to love that would now be considered "outdated", which are more fun than the utter shite things they release now. Spyro, Crash, Gex, Resident Evil, Thief, System Shock, these deserve remakes, because they are good, but they also deserve sequels that still fit the feel and gameplay of the original game, albeit with maybe some new abilities or weapons, new levels, bosses and other enemies.

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Indie games. I guess I don't have to say more...

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Are non-remake games getting worse?

Yes. I don't blame the devs though, it's the audience which sucks. The "I need everything spoon fed, and don't make me think" crowd, which has absolutely zero demand anymore.

As STiFU mentioned, the only alternative are Indie games. The problem with that, though, is the budget. There's only so much you can do with the budget of most indie game developers.

I have some great (IMHO ;)) ideas for some games, which really could become nice, and exceptions of the nowadays scheme of AAA games. For example, i dream of a Zombie game which isn't like nowadays Zombie games, but rather about exploring the world, being smart about fighting zombies, and, without a mob of hundred zombies attacking you on every foot step. Or a cop simulation game, where you rise from a patrolman to a homicide division officer, based on your success in the various service grades. You know, some interesting stuff, not the bullshit which is so ubiquituous these days. Unfortunately, i completely lack the skills to do anything with it, and, i'm sure that noone sane would pick up on that anyway, because, again.... it's the audience which sucks. Such games would be booooring, because there's not one action blast after the other, and they would make people have to think a bit, which isn't really the kids forte these days.

So, IMO, it's pretty hopeless. I've outgrown nowadays' games's target audience, so, there'll be very few games which really interest me. Fallout is still great, as is Elder Scrolls. GTA is great as well. Apart from that... some adventures maybe. Prey was such a gloriously awesome game as well, but... that's the issue, innit? It sold very badly, so, that's that. A very smart game which kind of beat itself, because it was too smart for the people. Sort of like the old Looking Glass Studio games.

When i think about it, the situation with games reminds me of the situation in music production. It's all extremely loud these days, to impress the listeners, instead of making things subtle, and smart. Catering to the mainstream mostly means catering to low demand, and bad taste.

Edited by chakkman

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games being bad is probably due to people at game studio's not being permanent, they move around to different game companies taking the same idea's with them, so you end up with games being the same dull go here pick up item we will show you what you need to pick up as we will hiight it in someway with a glowing outline just like you don't get in the real world, but what you get in nearly all games because someone had this idea that it would be good and then spreads it around all the companies they will work for as it was a good idea at a previous company and so its a good idea at current company and will probably be promoted at next company as a good idea.

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IMO, it's more about the publishers/producers, which aren't willing to take a risk for their investment, so you'll end up with games which feel the same, play the same, and are utterly boring, and tailored for the masses. Where's the creativity? If you give developers a strict plan of what sells, and what you want to see in your games, so that people buy it, there's not much room for that. Already in the first hour, you need to pack so much action and WOW moments in a game these days, because, otherwise, kids are likely to quite after the first 5 minutes. And that's a shame. Again, i don't blame anyone but the audience. 

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This topic reminds me of the other one I made. Anyway, how to actually make games better.

 

* cut-scenes should be used sparingly, not every five minutes. Most of the time I should be interacting with the world and the characters in it, in real-time. My actions should actually impact things, which is harder to pull off with cut-scenes.

* Come up with more genuine, innovative game ideas. Doom was innovative. Thief was innovative. They did something new, and they did it well. I like the idea of a game where you are a police officer and you have to figure out who to apprehend. That would work well in the Grand Theft Auto world/engine. And it would be more interesting than just another mission where the player has to clear out a building.

 

* also think there should be fewer remakes. I mean, Tomb Raider has been remade like 3 times now. Doom has been remade 3 times as well, although Doom 3 was certainly very different from classic Doom. But just upping the visual quality and republishing a game from fifteen years ago is not... exciting

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On 8/4/2019 at 6:25 AM, chakkman said:

For example, i dream of a Zombie game which isn't like nowadays Zombie games, but rather about exploring the world, being smart about fighting zombies, and, without a mob of hundred zombies attacking you on every foot step.

The sandbox mode that Project Zomboid offers might be something for you if you don't mind a top-down perspective. The 'normal' game mode is pretty hardcore and makes it very difficult to escape from the zombies (as that is the vision of the developers, to kill you). In the sandbox mode you can change pretty much change all the settings to your liking though, such as speed, sight and the amount of zombies and a lot more. Whatever your preference, you still have to be smart fighting zombies, as one bite usually means the end (which can be adjusted as well).

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It seems like an interesting game, but, as you mentioned, the top-down perspective is something i don't really like. It also shows the issue with most indie games: Technically, they're very rudimentary, which is in the nature of the thing, of course, as they can't afford to spend much time and effort in things which have a big focus in AAA games, the visual presentation, and the tech side. And AAA games lack on the gameplay side... which sort of leaves me inbetween. :) 

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You could always download the demo and see if it is something that you can get into or not. I'm not sure how up to date the demo is, but it will atleast give you an idea what to expect. Yeah, visually it's very basic, but as long you find the gameplay good I think you should be able to enjoy it. I've had lots of fun with it and still play it sometimes (have the game for years now), even though top-down isn't my favourite perspective either. Development of the game is pretty slow (on the feature front), but they release new updates quite often.

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A lot of times they don't put out a demo. It's like they know the player can judge the movement and look of the game on whether they'll buy it, and as such, will only show photos or video of gameplay without showing how clunky the controls are.

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Yeah, it's a shame really. I remember playing the demo of Thief 2 endlessly while I saved enough money to buy it. Demos are a perfect showcase of your game. If they would have released a demo for Anthem though, it would have sold even worse I think, so it's probably a strategic choice to not do it.

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demo of games have been replaced by streamers on youtube/twitch who get access to a nearly finished version of the game about two weeks to a week before a game is released, then you have to rely on the fact that they haven't been paid by games company to say nice things about what they are playing.

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The problem with that is that you also get a opinion served on top, and, lots of people are going by those opinions these days, and don't make up their own minds. So, you're not only getting the gameplay spoon fed, you're even getting your opinion spoon fed. Silly times.

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Talking about indie games, after it was recommended here by someone a while ago (i don't remember who), i started to play Ghost of a Tale today. Now that's what i'm talking about! That's how a game should be. No spoon fed "i play myself" game, it doesn't explain a whole lot, you need to learn or anticipate things, there are no quest markers, and there are also no ridiculous "one chest after every corner with 5 gold in it" moments. Really nice. And, even though it is a indie game, the graphics rock too. I can only highly recommend this thing to anyone remotely into RPG's/action adventures of that kind. Unless you have a problem playing a mouse buck of course. :D

Edited by chakkman

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OK I kinda disagree with the source of the issue discussed here. I don't think indie games today are bad. Some are really phenomenal, aka Firewatch, Edith Finch, Abzu, Inside, Solus Project, To The Moon, Braid, The Witness, etc. I think it's us that's adapted to the higher and higher quality of games and more and more common game styles, that new releases are simply compared to older releases and deemed not as innovative or as fun, when possibly, had the current new game been released 10 years ago, would have been praised and lauded as "all that". AS an example I tried to go back and play some really great games that were simply amazing in its time; Tomb Raider 2 and 3. I totally loved those games in the early 2000s, but today I find them pretty unfun and unplayable. I have adapted to newer expectations of quality and depth of todays games. Those games seem pixelated now, and picking up all the medpacks seems really tedious now, and the fighting seems kinda lame.

You can't go home again, and that's even true for gaming.

 

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Yeah, i agree for the early Tomb Raiders. I just can't play them anymore too. :) Too blocky graphics, too blocky and woody controls... I vastly prefer to play the early Crystal Dynamics parts too.

To be fair, though, there are games which age well, and the ones which age really badly. For example, Thief 1 and 2 still play great, if you can look past the graphics (it's so dark you won't notice it much anyway ;)), or System Shock 2, or Deus Ex. Just imagine, though, what modern games could be like if they still had the depth the older games have. And that's my main issue with them, they all play like Assassins Creed. That's a bit too much of the "Don't make people think" maxim. It's a shame that the publishers or producers just don't give the devs creative freedom anymore. Prey, for example, showed what happens if you do. A laudable exception.

Edited by chakkman

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3 hours ago, chakkman said:

Talking about indie games, after it was recommended here by someone a while ago (i don't remember who), i started to play Ghost of a Tale today. Now that's what i'm talking about!

I'd love to hear your opinion after you've finished the game. As I've read several reviews that said that the later part of the game (after about 5 hours) isn't as good as the first part (like the developers ran out of money). Some of these reviews are more than a year old though and quite a few patches have been released since then, so I wonder if it has improved.

1 hour ago, Shadow said:

AS an example I tried to go back and play some really great games that were simply amazing in its time; Tomb Raider 2 and 3. I totally loved those games in the early 2000s, but today I find them pretty unfun and unplayable. You can't go home again, and that's even true for gaming.

There are expections like chakmann said. I still love to play the Soul Reaver games, the story is just amazing. I have a potato laptop, so graphics are always last on my list of priorities. The Tomb Raider games you mentioned were great games because gameplay-wise that was kind of the standard at that time. I wouldn't mind playing them if it was just the graphics, but IMO they haven't aged very well on the gameplay part either as there were a lot more limitations at that time.

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11 hours ago, Carnage said:

I'd love to hear your opinion after you've finished the game. As I've read several reviews that said that the later part of the game (after about 5 hours) isn't as good as the first part (like the developers ran out of money). Some of these reviews are more than a year old though and quite a few patches have been released since then, so I wonder if it has improved.

Sure, will do. I really hope it doesn't get worse later, because, so far, it's a real winner. :)

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Indie games are where it's at.  That's where I find stuff that is technically and mechanically interesting, sometimes story-wise as well.  With respect to larger developers, I stopped being bitter about this when I realized there's no good reason to expect them to produce anything different anyway.  That would ultimately mean expecting the cultural norms of the masses to change ... and good luck with that.  Did Thief 2 even break even in its day?  Also can't expect indie developers to produce content at the scale of modern developers either.

I'm personally more invigorated by gaming than I've been in many years with VR and that's about as indie as it gets.  Insofar even the higher budget content that FB has commissioned is pretty/polished but rather uninteresting compared to the works of indie devs

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Thief wasn't indie back in the day, and it cost a lot to make. It might feel indie because of today's technology, and because today's boards and CFOs are much, much less willing to take any creative risks than in the 90s.

Indies actually went that safe road too. How many times throughout last year or two did you see reviews starting with phrase "[title] is a procedurally-generated, retro/pixel art [genre] on Steam."? ;)

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27 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

Thief wasn't indie back in the day, and it cost a lot to make. It might feel indie because of today's technology, and because today's boards and CFOs are much, much less willing to take any creative risks than in the 90s.

Indies actually went that safe road too. How many times throughout last year or two did you see reviews starting with phrase "[title] is a procedurally-generated, retro/pixel art [genre] on Steam."? ;)

I didn't mean to say that Thief was indie but rather that its patient form of gameplay may not have been financially successful even in its time.  I personally had a lot of trouble finding anyone that could tolerate it.  But it was posed as a question because I'm genuinely not sure.  LGS shut down due to financial issues but the Thief 2 wiki indicates the game sold 220k copies by Nov 2000 and this was considered ""commercial acclaim."

There are of course plenty of indie titles that are taking a generic route but it doesn't change the fact that this is where developers are trying new things.

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2 hours ago, woah said:

Indie games are where it's at.  That's where I find stuff that is technically and mechanically interesting, sometimes story-wise as well.  With respect to larger developers, I stopped being bitter about this when I realized there's no good reason to expect them to produce anything different anyway.  That would ultimately mean expecting the cultural norms of the masses to change ... and good luck with that.  Did Thief 2 even break even in its day?  Also can't expect indie developers to produce content at the scale of modern developers either.

 I'm personally more invigorated by gaming than I've been in many years with VR and that's about as indie as it gets.  Insofar even the higher budget content that FB has commissioned is pretty/polished but rather uninteresting compared to the works of indie devs

You're absolutely right... maybe i should just accept how odd i am. :D

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LGS got shut down because of a game not made by them but ion storm's game DaiKatana that turned out to be rather crap Edios published both games companies, and helped build games by supplying both with money, Eidos decided to sink their money in Daikatana and not what ever game LGS was working on. (new game engine for their version of thief 3) Hence LGS ran out of money. Something like that.

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If I could play the devil's advocate... I do not think it's the matter of remakes and indie games and whatnot. I think people who make the game has to have passion for what they do. My favourite example is Zelda: BotW (unless you count it as remake?). There was care and style in the game, everything felt vibrant and engaging. So, if the developers actually care, it doesn't matter if the studio is small or big, they will do a good job. Of course, indie developers usually display more passion than the big companies, but I wouldn't paint it all with a single brush. 

There is also Divinity series, Red Dead, Witcher, DmC - many of them belong to series, and developer has time to adapt and change things, but I do not think they can be counted as remakes, just sequels. And as stand alone, I believe they are an example that big developers can release a great game, they just need to give a damn.  

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