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VIDEO: Top 10 AWESOME simulation/strategy games 2018-19


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#1 NeonsStyle

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 02:49 PM

Includes TDM

 


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#2 chakkman

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 03:34 PM

You rated Bus Simulator higher than The Dark Mod?  :P 


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#3 NeonsStyle

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:32 PM

LOL

 

You rated Bus Simulator higher than The Dark Mod?  :P

 

I would've made it #1, but it's been out too long. LOL


Edited by NeonsStyle, 18 May 2018 - 08:33 PM.

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#4 Abusimplea

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:42 PM

The Bum Simulator and Project Hospital look like they could be fun. Anno 1800 and Jurassic World Evolution look like the typical AAA (probably shallow game and lots of eye candy).

I never would have expected to find TDM in the simulation category though...



#5 freyk

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 01:29 AM

Technical:
It almost feels right, on this one
Imho,
The tdm part needed/needs your voice-over (also some other game parts) and
the viewtime of the scene "feels" longer then the other ones.
(I didnt timed the scene)

Content:
A great selection of games.
but TDM looks a bit dated, between the other games. :(

Edited by freyk, 19 May 2018 - 01:44 AM.


#6 demagogue

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 04:44 AM

Looks like a good year for this kind of game.
 
Interestingly, on my daily commute I often play an old C64 game on my phone called Rags to Riches which starts off as basically a bum simulator. You start on the street and have to get yourself fed, get a haircut, get a job, get a room, then start going to high school, then college, then a profession, then investing and up and up until you're a millionaire.
 
Edit: Cool one just came out today I was thinking of getting.
Far: Lone Sails. Reminds me of the platformer INSIDE with a bit more sim, crafting/maintenance, and point & click puzzle to it.

trailer video:
 
Spoiler

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#7 Abusimplea

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 07:36 AM

but TDM looks a bit dated, between the other games. :(

That is just because in TDM nothing has fresnell :P

 

Before i played the new Thief i was somewhat hyped on the visual quality of the trailers. but then i completed it and the repetiveness of their tilesets was way too obvious. Most TDM missions feature hand-crafted geometry that does not repeat too much and different mappers create maps featuring different styles.

So TDM indeed lacks on the technical side without use of physical based rendering, tesselation and ambient occlusion. But it still has the best mechanics and is steadily improving - now we even have soft shadows and will maybe get parallax-corrected cube maps too.



#8 chakkman

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 09:27 AM

I don't care much about the technical side of TDM. The missions look gorgeous, with the lighting, and the tech which is possible with the ID tech engine. In general, i believe that, nowadays, people bother too much with the visuals. For me, it's definitely the content, and atmosphere which makes a good game, not the great graphics, or bombastic sound fx. E.g., some weeks ago, i played through Thief Gold and Thief 2, and they're still in a class of their own, in terms of gameplay. The graphics are functional. Nowadays, you often get confused about what you can operate and what you can't, in the game world, because there's so many details that you need a magical vision, to show the objects you can interact with… i found earlier games to be much more "streamlined", and to the point in that regard. Shiny is not always positive.


Edited by chakkman, 19 May 2018 - 09:27 AM.

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#9 NeonsStyle

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:46 AM

Technical:
It almost feels right, on this one
Imho,
The tdm part needed/needs your voice-over (also some other game parts) and
the viewtime of the scene "feels" longer then the other ones.
(I didnt timed the scene)

Content:
A great selection of games.
but TDM looks a bit dated, between the other games. :(

 

Thanks for the feedback. I agree about TDM, however in looking for Simulation games, I came across Thief Simulator, and I never really liked the look

of it, and I thought hey, my favourite game is a Thief Simulator. So I'm happy to help it out even if it's just a little bit. TDM was quite a lot longer than the

rest of the videos, however that was because my love of the game, and respect of Goldwell, I didn't want to cut up his work. I thought TDM looked great

even next to them, because of how slick the TDM trailer is. 

 

I like nice visuals too, but I'd much rather have solid gameplay and TDM gives that in droves. 


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#10 Petike the Taffer

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:44 AM

I bet Bum Simulator started out by someone thinking of puns on Bus Simulator... :P :rolleyes:

 

Also, the voice of the Plutocracy trailer narrator is a bit... weird.


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#11 Obsttorte

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:55 AM

Nowadays, you often get confused about what you can operate and what you can't, in the game world, because there's so many details that you need a magical vision, to show the objects you can interact with… i found earlier games to be much more "streamlined", and to the point in that regard.

That is indeed a downside of the capabilities of modern graphics. However, I would not say that graphics are completely unimportant. A considerable high texture resolution, soft shadows and a proper level of detail are good things to please the eye and help to get immersed. What I don't need are exaggerated stuff like lens-flares or motion blur in FPS games. I mean, I wear glasses, but I never see lens flares when staring towards a light, and I may not be the fastest person in the world, but I fearly doubt that even that one will notice blurring effects when running (except the Flash, maybe :D).

 

In the end the technical possibilities of any engine only provide the fundament, and it is really important how the game designers use it.


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#12 stumpy

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 03:59 AM

lens flare is probably because the player is represented as a camera, and therefore the games makers have thought along the lines of its a camera so lets add lens flare, when in reality its not a camera its representing the player, and so doesn't need all the camera stuff like lens flare or motion blur like you would get if constantly viewing the world through a camera.



#13 Judith

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 06:28 AM

It might have something to do with modern controllers, analog sticks do feel like you're guiding a virtual cameraman, using a steadicam or a dolly. That said, AAA games are way too obsessed about everything cinematic, thus so many lens effects.

 

So TDM indeed lacks on the technical side without use of physical based rendering, tesselation and ambient occlusion.

 

I don't think so, it lacks better craftsmanship when it comes to models, textures, materials, and lighting, but having all these skills is very hard.

 

Engine features don't solve problems that much, just look at this screenshot from DXMD:

obraz.png

 

That engine has all the nice tricks of a PBR engine, but it still looks like crap made by a first-day intern. Because there's nothing here.

 

TDM still has a lot to show, for example the game uses a lot of tiling textures on models, making them look flat. You can use modern approach and make the whole mission out of models that are custom-painted, with much better definition and shading, because of unwrapped textures, hi to low poly baking for normalmaps, and finally some baked AO to give the model more "grounded" look (you can do that regardless of dynamic lighting in the level, to some extent). There's a lot of untapped potential here, but it also requires "3d generalist" skills, a level designer in a more "classic", old-school sense (pre AAA-specialisation era), who is also capable of making models, textures, materials, and even some animations.

 

Believe it or not, but there are at least a couple of missions like that in the works :) they're just like 10x times harder to make.


Edited by Judith, 22 May 2018 - 06:48 AM.

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#14 Abusimplea

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 02:10 PM

I mean, I wear glasses, but I never see lens flares when staring towards a light, and I may not be the fastest person in the world, but I fearly doubt that even that one will notice blurring effects when running (except the Flash, maybe :D).

The Flash does not experience motion blur as his vision and processing is as fast as his motions and reflexes. But he certainly experiences a color shift towards blue when looking ahead and towards red when looking behind.


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#15 NeonsStyle

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:45 AM

I really don't like those secret sigh you get in games, where you need to switch to a secret hunter vision to see a trail or something. I find it is lazy game design. Early

games never did this, and there are clever ways you can give the player the same information without having to resort to magical sight. Just looking at how lazy most

AAA games are today when it comes to player navigation. There's floating markers everywhere, Splinter Cell is the worst at this I feel. However, you look at

the Thief series and the way Looking Glass Studios handled player navigation, and it's simple, elegant, inspiring for the player, and immersive. Give us a map,

and a compass and let the player use his brain. Everything today is spoon fed to players, as if they are complete morons. I guess that's the problem, many devs today

pander to the most stupid of gamers leaving the rest of us bored! 

 

As for GFX, I am a sucker for lens flares lol, blur though I can't stand. 

 

@Abuseimplea, re Flash, I guess that's why he's suits red-shifted. ;)


Edited by NeonsStyle, 23 May 2018 - 05:47 AM.

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#16 Judith

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:18 AM

Unfortunately, some games are almost impossible to play without objective markers (first Dishonored, I'm looking at you). Luckily things like seeing through walls or usable object highlight can be skipped or disabled, and you'll still have fun. Both Dishonored and new DX titles are playable without those. I think devs actually forgot that it's fun to miss some things at first and spot them the second time when you're nearby. Not the plot items, of course, but things like loot or ammo.


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#17 NeonsStyle

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 12:06 PM

Dishonoured is a good game. I enjoyed it. Things that really piss me off though are floating markers and the fact that in every bloody game we play, 

the player is 3 feet tall, or there abouts. Definitely chest height to all AI. Given I'm short, it pisses me off, I get enough of chests in real life LOL. 


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#18 Abusimplea

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 02:15 PM

I really don't like those secret sigh you get in games, where you need to switch to a secret hunter vision to see a trail or something. I find it is lazy game design. Early games never did this, and there are clever ways you can give the player the same information without having to resort to magical sight. Just looking at how lazy most AAA games are today when it comes to player navigation. There's floating markers everywhere, Splinter Cell is the worst at this I feel. However, you look at the Thief series and the way Looking Glass Studios handled player navigation, and it's simple, elegant, inspiring for the player, and immersive. Give us a map, and a compass and let the player use his brain. Everything today is spoon fed to players, as if they are complete morons. I guess that's the problem, many devs today pander to the most stupid of gamers leaving the rest of us bored!

I too like it when secret doors have an actual gap between them and the surrounding wall, when moving stuff leaves marks on the floor, or when there are actual foot prints or stains to follow. Some TDM missions feature such deliberately added hints that can be found by an observant player.

There also are TDM missions, wich have superhumanly perfect secret doors, that you just can't spot no matter how carefull you look because they perfectly seal with their environment. Sometimes you have to click-scan the whole geometry like in the old point 'n click adventures until you hear the click sound of a tiny secret button you only see the frob glow of if you exacly know where to look.

But in TDM most missions indeed use lighting, geometry features, placement and decals effectively to allow the player to find stuff without needing some secret vision or click-scanning the environment.

 

I don't think, the root cause of plot markers and secret vision are the casuals. It might as well just be the consequence of games having ever-increasing game worlds leading to division of work into specialized teams and less time budget per point of interest.

Having a plot pointer system means you don't have to care about written directions and matching world details. And secret vision means you don't have to care about somehow hinting at special stuff by level design.

 

@Abuseimplea, re Flash, I guess that's why he's suits red-shifted. ;)

His suit looks only red when he sprints away from you. While he is running towards you, it looks somewhat blue. But us mere humans probably never see him long enough to actually get a conscious visual impression anyway - making the (probably not) percieved color shift of his suit a purely academic thing...


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#19 chakkman

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 04:21 PM

Unfortunately, some games are almost impossible to play without objective markers (first Dishonored, I'm looking at you). Luckily things like seeing through walls or usable object highlight can be skipped or disabled, and you'll still have fun. Both Dishonored and new DX titles are playable without those. I think devs actually forgot that it's fun to miss some things at first and spot them the second time when you're nearby. Not the plot items, of course, but things like loot or ammo.

 

It's an audience thing, i guess. Typical nowadays players get bored when they have to search 10 seconds for something. I guess that's why games like Assassins Creed are so popular. It almost plays itself.



#20 Judith

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 04:47 PM

And yet they're not bored with repetitive open worlds full of meaningless busywork. You really have to hate yourself, if after a long day at work, you come home to perform mundane work in a virtual world.


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#21 NeonsStyle

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:42 AM

And yet they're not bored with repetitive open worlds full of meaningless busywork. You really have to hate yourself, if after a long day at work, you come home to perform mundane work in a virtual world.

 

Like GTA Online, which I adore, which is mindless grinding for mindless crap, but it's the stuff in between the grinding and mindless crap that makes that game fun.


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#22 chakkman

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 05:45 AM

GTA Online felt like a MMORPG to me (yep, including those always repeating tasks), and, i really hate those. Loved the single player though. :)



#23 Judith

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:17 AM

If there's anything from books or movies (especially "high" literature and ambitious movies) I'd like to see more in video games, is that every single sentence, shot, or cut is deliberate, has weight and meaning, values your time. AAA games went too far into Skinner-box and psychology of addiction territory, just so they can have high "dollar per hour" ratio. I don't care about any of these things. I'd rather see more games like Senua's Sacrifice: much shorter, cheaper, and yet more meaningful titles, doing interesting stuff, but with AAA graphics and animation.



#24 Obsttorte

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:55 PM

Indeed. When reading reviews of modern games I often encounter comments like "this game is good, but way too short. Would buy it if it is on sale". I've read this about Frostpunk for example, just because people seem to expect that a game like this needs to keep you busy for houndrets of hours. It doesn't, that is true, but the 20+ hours that I've spent with the game were much more dense and well thought then many other games of that genre.

 

 

I really don't like those secret sigh you get in games, where you need to switch to a secret hunter vision to see a trail or something. I find it is lazy game design. Early

games never did this, and there are clever ways you can give the player the same information without having to resort to magical sight.

That is exactly the point, and the culprit. There are at least three FM's released within the last half year or so where I was not able to finish the mission, because I missed something. And I did not give up after 10 seconds only.

 

A clever provision of information means that the information is easy enough to find so the player won't miss it, but hard enough to find so that the player still gets the illusion that he achieved something special. This is extremely difficult considering the different kind of players forming the audience, especially with AAA titles where we are talking of several million people. The fact how often people come to the forum asking for where to find something in the FM threads illustrates this very well (and my own failure mentioned above). So I can easely understand the decision to make things more failsafe, even though I am no fan of those modern mechanics either.


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#25 Abusimplea

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:11 PM

That is exactly the point, and the culprit. There are at least three FM's released within the last half year or so where I was not able to finish the mission, because I missed something. And I did not give up after 10 seconds only.

It almost always boils down to impossible to spot (because geometry perfectly seals) secret doors and nearly invisible tiny buttons in absence of usefull hints about their location.

No need for any dumbing down. Often a single decal or a bit of proofreading would fix the issue.

 

That said, the Internet is here to stay and every player sometimes misses something. So it is not really a requirement, that each player has to be able to finish each mission on first try without some searching or a visit to the forums. It only gets ridiculous if you have to be a clairvoyant or need to clicksearch entire rooms to be able to finish the mission without cheating.






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