Extra Punctuation: Time for Gaming's Physical

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Javarino:
I have a feeling that if Yahtzee was asked to game development meetings and developers actually LISTENED to his points, we'd be seeing a lot more unique and creative games on the market. Not to mention fun, so long as we don't get those silly processor explosions everyones worried about.

I have a feeling that if Yahtzee was asked to a game development meeting he'd hear the multitude of reasons why his game ideas were completely unfeasible/unrealistic.

He's not a professional game designer, he's a writer and a commentator, and that's it. Just because Roger Ebert knows what makes a good film doesn't mean he'd be worth his salt as a director...

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Time for Gaming's Physical

Realistic physics have come a long way, except for how game developers use them.

Read Full Article

Good point, Yahtzee, good point.

Yup, I love games with realistic physics, but no way to interact with them aside from bumping in to them. At least in Half-Life 2 you could pick things up.

I think RFA was right in not demanding anything smart, it's a fine mindless shooter but I wish it had used those destructo physics to model large enemies where destruction is actually a challenge instead of something that happens so quickly that it doesn't matter. Strategically picking bosses apart bit by bit would be much more interesting than just leveling random buildings.

Of course the "pig escape" example has been done thousands of times, the first time I've seen it was in Boom Blox (those two games are really designed to do everything that can possibly be done with physics) where I had to slowly disassemble a stack of blocks without having the people on the top platform fall too fast. That's not my kind of gameplay though, I preferred checking large constructs for weak spots and then demolishing the whole damn thing in 1-2 throws.

Also there's the good old bridge builder/pontifex series and who doesn't remember The Incredible Machine?

Reading this article, especially the second page, I'm suddenly having visions of the Minecraft Adventure update and the possibilities therein. Minecraft may not have "realistic" physics, but that's a game that knows how to break things (and how not to do so) for a reason.

comebody should make this game: Sandcastle Dweller.

It still surprises me the tropes game developers fall into. I'm loving Deus Ex: Human Revolution's open ended game play....but, wet electrified floors? We already have circuit breakers today that make it impossible that this would happen.

There's an iPhone game called "Siege Hero" that has elements of NOT destroying. It's an angry birds game but you shoot cannonballs instead, and soldiers instead of pigs. You also don't have to judge trajectory, you're shooting from a first-person perspective and just tap where you want them to hit. However there are civilians you are supposed to avoid killing so need to think about what NOT to destroy.

I'd love to see a "real" action adventure game. Like Far Cry I guess but less gung-ho and more oh-shit-what-am-I-going-to-do scenario. An 'everyman' who doesn't know how to use a gun but can MacGyver stuff together. I liked that in Alone in the Dark. Making petrol trails, and making molotovs. It comes and goes but I like games that let you trick enemies with noises a-la Metal Gear Solid wall knock. Being able to use ropes and planks to make paths anywhere. Nightmare to design and probably to slow and boring for mainstream though. You wouldn't get arm blades for a start...unless you made some with lawn mower blades and super-glue.

General Vagueness:

poiumty:
[quote="Javarino" post="6.310097.12530325"]However you look at it, there's losses involved in trying to develop the next Silent Hill 2 instead of the next Halo.

Ordinarily I'd apply what I've learned the hard way and let that drop (and maybe I still should because maybe you just picked a name at random)

I picked a name at random. I wanted to write CoD at first, but that's overused.

LOL Ezio accidentally drops bomb
blows up half of a tower, other half collapses
everyone looks at him

oh wait but at this point in the series he can lay waste to an army in about 5 minutes...
well, Altair's (lesser) level of badassery might not appreciate destructible buildings too much :p

Tin Man:

Javarino:
I have a feeling that if Yahtzee was asked to game development meetings and developers actually LISTENED to his points, we'd be seeing a lot more unique and creative games on the market. Not to mention fun, so long as we don't get those silly processor explosions everyones worried about.

I have a feeling that if Yahtzee was asked to a game development meeting he'd hear the multitude of reasons why his game ideas were completely unfeasible/unrealistic.

He's not a professional game designer, he's a writer and a commentator, and that's it. Just because Roger Ebert knows what makes a good film doesn't mean he'd be worth his salt as a director...

a person who knows what makes up a good game may nto be able to create a good gmae but he surely would make thme stay away from making extremely bad ones. also msot of the unfeasable/unrealistic doesnt exist anymore with todays technology, and the only reason why its not there is because its much easier to sell generic shooter than an actually innovating game.

Strazdas:

a person who knows what makes up a good game may nto be able to create a good gmae but he surely would make thme stay away from making extremely bad ones. also msot of the unfeasable/unrealistic doesnt exist anymore with todays technology, and the only reason why its not there is because its much easier to sell generic shooter than an actually innovating game.

It's not even about sheer technology, but, and I mean this with absolutely no disrespect, your post highlights to me that you have, at best, a very basic knowledge of game design from an actual dev/programming perspective, and I think I'm being generous. So I'm just gonna walk away from this one saying that there is a reason why Mr. Croshaw has tried his hand at game design and had it amount to fuck all.

Here is the thing - the game industry is focused too much on consoles in order for advances like this and others (procedural sandboxes and artificial intelligence come to mind) to come to the forefront.

Consoles are just limited in their ability to deliver more processing power, move data around faster and store data and these limitations don't appear to be going away anytime soon if the ever increasing console lifecycle is a benchmark.

Instead, the industry focuses on production values like story, acting, visuals, because these are things that can reasonably be improved within the limitations of the device.

This is why you hear game studio heads or publishers saying outrageously stupid things like "We don't really need better consoles" and claiming to have reached the pinnacle of what they need to deliver - the benchmark they are using is one purely around production values.

As an older gamer and a computer scientist, I find it really frustrating to see how the game industry is (d)evolving. When the PC was the primary vehicle for home gaming, the games themselves improved much more evenly across many different areas, not just graphics and production. Increases in things like storage size, or processing speed, or more available ram, meant that in the competition between game developers, there were always new areas to explore for improvement. That just doesn't exist any more.

For me, I sit back here at 2011 and wonder why we don't have procedurally generated sandbox games like GTA or Saints Row, or RDR, where the environment is different every time. Or games where each actor in your sandbox has it's own AI thread that simulates a real life person, with jobs, meeting people, getting married, having kids, going insane and shooting up a mcdonalds, whatever.

This stuff is all entirely possible. It's not like the knowledge of how to do this is beyond us. It's not even that it's incredibly time consuming to do (just look at what the guy who develops Dwarf Fortress has been able to do with that game). It's just that the focus is not there because the primary delivery platforms (consoles) were built at a time around the assumption that the only thing that really mattered was production values.

I know it may sound like "I hate consoles" here, but that's not really it. I'm all in favor of people being able to game cheaply. I just hate the fact that the development philosophy for the entire games industry is so intrinsicly bound to a stagnent piece of hardware. I honestly feel like it's been killing innovation in the industry as a whole (When was the last time a new "genre" for gaming was invented? What was the last major gameplay element to be added to a genre like the FPS - chest high walls??)

Ultimately if things continue like this, the only thing that will seperate the vast majority of commercial games will be the size of their marketing budget and when that happens then gaming will be just as shithouse as movies and television are.

It's so bloody depressing to think about....

A WWII themed turn-based strategy game called Silent Storm kind of did what you're talking about, way back in 2003.

Floors, ceilings and walls were destructible, allowing you to open up a path directly through a house or even under it. The catch was that you could end up blowing the floor out of a building you needed to get through, for example.

That was a really good game.

Jake Martinez:
Here is the thing - the game industry is focused too much on consoles in order for advances like this and others (procedural sandboxes and artificial intelligence come to mind) to come to the forefront.

Consoles are just limited in their ability to deliver more processing power, move data around faster and store data and these limitations don't appear to be going away anytime soon if the ever increasing console lifecycle is a benchmark.

Instead, the industry focuses on production values like story, acting, visuals, because these are things that can reasonably be improved within the limitations of the device.

This is why you hear game studio heads or publishers saying outrageously stupid things like "We don't really need better consoles" and claiming to have reached the pinnacle of what they need to deliver - the benchmark they are using is one purely around production values.

As an older gamer and a computer scientist, I find it really frustrating to see how the game industry is (d)evolving. When the PC was the primary vehicle for home gaming, the games themselves improved much more evenly across many different areas, not just graphics and production. Increases in things like storage size, or processing speed, or more available ram, meant that in the competition between game developers, there were always new areas to explore for improvement. That just doesn't exist any more.

For me, I sit back here at 2011 and wonder why we don't have procedurally generated sandbox games like GTA or Saints Row, or RDR, where the environment is different every time. Or games where each actor in your sandbox has it's own AI thread that simulates a real life person, with jobs, meeting people, getting married, having kids, going insane and shooting up a mcdonalds, whatever.

This stuff is all entirely possible. It's not like the knowledge of how to do this is beyond us. It's not even that it's incredibly time consuming to do (just look at what the guy who develops Dwarf Fortress has been able to do with that game). It's just that the focus is not there because the primary delivery platforms (consoles) were built at a time around the assumption that the only thing that really mattered was production values.

I know it may sound like "I hate consoles" here, but that's not really it. I'm all in favor of people being able to game cheaply. I just hate the fact that the development philosophy for the entire games industry is so intrinsicly bound to a stagnent piece of hardware. I honestly feel like it's been killing innovation in the industry as a whole (When was the last time a new "genre" for gaming was invented? What was the last major gameplay element to be added to a genre like the FPS - chest high walls??)

Ultimately if things continue like this, the only thing that will seperate the vast majority of commercial games will be the size of their marketing budget and when that happens then gaming will be just as shithouse as movies and television are.

It's so bloody depressing to think about....

I agree with your point. There is a part of me hoping the modding community continues to grow to the extent that it somewhat has a similar influence as the multiplayer feature in games.

Why?
Because its not only proof that those with limited resources mold whatever they can get and make an inspiring addition to the series (suggesting those corporates feel they can follow this example) but I also hope it will push the trend of creative use of gaming mechanics via threatening to lose sales if they fail to either become creative or allow the public to do it for them. That and its beneficial for the companies and public. Being replay value for us, idea generation and popularity (possibly boost in sales) for them.

It doesn't seem to incorporate much in the way of physics, but Introversion Software's upcoming game Subversion is based around procedurally generated, detailed cities (down to the level of motion-sensing doors being made up of motion-sensors, doors, mechanical motors and wiring). It seems to be shaping up into a sort of corporate espionage game, where you form a team with various specialties and equipment and attempt to accomplish objectives via whatever methods you can succeed by.

Seems like something Yahtzee might like

dinggledoser:
Um, Yahtzee... there have always been physics in video games. Duh.

Read the article, for christ's sake.

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