TGC '10: The Future of the Shooter

TGC '10: The Future of the Shooter

image

The question is simple: Where are first and third person shooters going? The answer, however, is much more complicated.

If you were going to ask anyone about shooters, you'd be hard-pressed to find a group much better than the speakers at this panel, a group comprised of designers from Red Storm, Atomic Games, Insomniac and Epic. Jeff McGann is a creative director at Red Storm on a currently unannounced title and has written on a number of Ghost Recon projects, most recently Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfare; Juan Benito co-founded Red Storm, but has since moved on to Atomic Games, creators of the ill-fated Six Days in Fallujah.

Shaun McCabe is a production director at Insomniac's North Carolina office, and has worked on the Ratchet & Clank games as well as Resistance 2; and Patrick Sebring is the lead technical designer for Atomic Games. The panel was moderated by John Farnsworth, who is the Director of Shared Development at Epic Games.

The panel were first asked what their favorite shooters were, and modern titles like Uncharted 2 rubbed shoulders with older games like Quake and Half-Life.

The panel was then asked what feature they thought would be most important in future titles, and interestingly, universally agreed that co-op would be vital, and that allowing players to build their own stories, within the context of the game, would be of the utmost importance.

"It's not that the game has told you have to have this very specific experience," said Sebring. "It's you guys out there creating your own stuff in the framework that we build, and that to me as a gamer, I see there being huge possibilities in that."

The panel was then asked what kinds of settings they thought would be important in the future. Benito was in favour of making use of real-world conflicts in games, saying that they could be incredibly meaningful, and meaningful shooters would be very important going forward, but at the same time, he acknowledged that you have to be careful about how you handle real world conflicts in games and that perceptions of the medium would have to change before people will be really comfortable with that kind of product.

McCabe took a different view however, saying that shooters in the future would take its cues from current events, but would stay away from depicting those events directly, saying: "There's a difference between something that is relevant and something that's real."

Finally, the panel was asked about how technology would affect shooters, especially motion controls. The panel all agreed that the next generation of hardware would present unique challenges for the shooter, as the additional power would increase the already high cost of development. Benito and McCabe both agreed that procedural content would likely play a big part in future shooters.

Similarly, the panel was united on the influence of motion controls in shooters, saying that the technology was not mature enough or precise enough to be used in competitive or hardcore shooters at the moment. McGann said that that was not always going to be true however and that over time, motion controls would get better and better, although it would take time: "The first wave will blaze a path, but a lot are going to get burned."

Permalink

Motion control shooters I can see happening...but, I dont see it really reaching out to the hard coremarket.

Its intresting though to hear peoples thoughts on this though. And great to see some people still appreciating the golden classics!

I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics." And they could spend a little of that on hiring some decent writers and voice actors.

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

Irridium:
I've said it once, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics."

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

well yeah graphics arent needed to be amazing for a game to be good but if they just dropped trying to have good graphics, we would never see an improvement.

a game like crysis (visually, and openness) mixed with black with splitcreen co-op would be epic shooter.
shame consoles won't be able to do it until about 2015, thank you natal

So if indeed this panel really is a bunch of industry bigwigs who are at least partially calling the shots, then I get to look forward to more games needlessly shoehorning in Co-Op and that are set in The Middle East (tm).

Excuse me while I go and puke into the corner for a minute.

Korten12:

Irridium:
I've said it once, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics."

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

well yeah graphics arent needed to be amazing for a game to be good but if they just dropped trying to have good graphics, we would never see an improvement.

Look at launch titles for the PS2, then look at games released near the end of its lifecycle like God of War 2. The more people get familiar with the hardware, the better looking, smoother, and less buggy a game will be.

You don't need to be on the "bleeding edge" of graphics to make a good game.

If you aimed for lower, but still nice graphics, you would spend less to produce the game, more people would be able to run it on their systems, which would mean more sales, and you wouldn't go bankrupt if the game didn't do so well.

Graphics are amazing, and have improved greatly, but at what cost? 10 years ago games were cheaper to make, cheaper to buy, longer, less buggy, and incredibly diverse and unique. Most games actually played differently. And if you release a game that isn't successful, its curtains for your company.

Give a developer from 10 years ago 1/4 of the budget of todays games, and they would make a masterpiece unlike anything that you've played before.

So the problem with shooters *IS* the game developers after all!
Why do they think we all want realistic, modern war settings in our games? Give me a serious sam or duke nukem instead.

Irridium:
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics." And they could spend a little of that on hiring some decent writers and voice actors.

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

Yup, totally agree with this. Aside from physics (and even then only marginally), graphics haven't really changed shooter gameplay since the switch to true 3d with Quake.

Although procedurally generated content sounds like it might be interesting. Imagine multiplayer maps that changed every time you played them...

DoctorNick:
So if indeed this panel really is a bunch of industry bigwigs who are at least partially calling the shots, then I get to look forward to more games needlessly shoehorning in Co-Op and that are set in The Middle East (tm).

Excuse me while I go and puke into the corner for a minute.

AC10:
So the problem with shooters *IS* the game developers after all!
Why do they think we all want realistic, modern war settings in our games? Give me a serious sam or duke nukem instead.

Haha, both these posts are funny, yet so true...

boholikeu:

Irridium:
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics." And they could spend a little of that on hiring some decent writers and voice actors.

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

Yup, totally agree with this. Aside from physics (and even then only marginally), graphics haven't really changed shooter gameplay since the switch to true 3d with Quake.

Although procedurally generated content sounds like it might be interesting. Imagine multiplayer maps that changed every time you played them...

DoctorNick:
So if indeed this panel really is a bunch of industry bigwigs who are at least partially calling the shots, then I get to look forward to more games needlessly shoehorning in Co-Op and that are set in The Middle East (tm).

Excuse me while I go and puke into the corner for a minute.

AC10:
So the problem with shooters *IS* the game developers after all!
Why do they think we all want realistic, modern war settings in our games? Give me a serious sam or duke nukem instead.

Haha, both these posts are funny, yet so true...

Haha, well don't get me wrong! I liked CoD4 a lot, and Crysis was a lot of fun though I don't really know how "realistic" you could consider Crysis to be. Hell even tactical shooters like some of the Tom Clancy games I really like - so realism has it's place. The thing is, every game DOES NOT need to be realistic. I, for example, LOVE Unreal Tournament and have purchased every single one they have put out on the PC (even 2003 which was... well, bad). And I'll probably keep on buying them, because when games are stupid over the top and CLEARLY just taking a piss and having a good time I, by extension, also have a good time.

what needs to be in future shooters

FUN

Logan Westbrook:

"the first wave will blaze a path, but a lot are going to get burned."

Truer words may not have ever been spoken.

*Sniffle*

Irridium:
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics." And they could spend a little of that on hiring some decent writers and voice actors.

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

the achilles heel of that argument is that if game companies DO focus on the game and dont try for epic graphics then people focus on that fact alone and never play the game. take mag for example, nevermind that its easily one of the best online shooters in years and is an amazing spiritual successor to battlefield 2 (one of the greatest fps ever), everybody for months after the first beta could only talk about the graphics and focused on bashing the game for that instead of looking at the fact that the devs focused on making a GAME and not a TECH DEMO (see killzone 2 for the complete opposite). sure youve got games live tf2 and portal, but those that break the mold are developed by some of the most respected companies is game development. its something i agree with, id rather have a bad looking game as good as deus ex or half-life, that a mediocre game with graphics that make my eyes bleed, but its a double edged sword here, if the graphics arent up to par with the best on the market a vast majority will simply overlook it.

So we should expect more generic brown shooters about generic brown U.S. Marines fighting in generic brown Middle-Eastern cities.

Stonking great.

Irridium:
I've said it many times before, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics." And they could spend a little of that on hiring some decent writers and voice actors.

Nice argument, but it manages to fall flat for me of all people. Graphics in some modern games are so good as to render nostril hair. It does not seem like that big of a deal... but seriously! Nostril hair! I wish i had some games with such good graphics, just to see for myself. The complete awesomeness of anything is far more noticeable when you cannot possibly have it.

Then again, it's not only a question of graphics. They can only work if there's also good visual design in play.

The future of the modern shooter seems to be on the rail corridors...... look to Jericho to see what all modern FPSs must comply to level design wise.....or at least so it seems.....

Logan Westbrook:

Atomic Games, creators of the ill-fated Six Days in Fallujah.

I read that the game is completed, and Atomic Games has just a skeleton crew operating. Basically, the game is just looking for a publisher. Do you know anything about that?

This games story is really sad. US Marines asked Atomic to make a game about the battle, and their stories were made into actual missions in the game. Their publisher (I believe it was Capcom) dropped the game because it was "too controversial." I don't understand the problem. Some whiny anti-war people complaining about it? Screw them. I hope this game gets a publisher. It deserves to be made. The Marines story deserves to be known, and the developers work deserves to be seen!

Very odd.. the favorite games listed: Quake. Half-life. Uncharted 2.

Realistic? Not a one of them. Taking their cue from today's events? Again.. not a single one.
So what do these bright guys think we want? Games that are realistic or take their cue from today's events.

Personally, I enjoy fighting monsters more than people. So do a lot of other folks. And I sure as hell would prefer to see somewhere exotic and fantastic on my computer rather than realistic. Hell, half the draw of Bioshock and Bioshock 2 is the setting. Why don't these guys get that?

Kwil:
Very odd.. the favorite games listed: Quake. Half-life. Uncharted 2.

Realistic? Not a one of them. Taking their cue from today's events? Again.. not a single one.
So what do these bright guys think we want? Games that are realistic or take their cue from today's events.

Personally, I enjoy fighting monsters more than people. So do a lot of other folks. And I sure as hell would prefer to see somewhere exotic and fantastic on my computer rather than realistic. Hell, half the draw of Bioshock and Bioshock 2 is the setting. Why don't these guys get that?

Totally agreed. I actually would trade a realistic shooter for a sci-fi/fantastic shooter any day of the week. And maybe its personal taste but shooting monsters, aliens, dragons or dinosaurs seems more appealing to me then shooting people.

Kwil:
Very odd.. the favorite games listed: Quake. Half-life. Uncharted 2.

Realistic? Not a one of them. Taking their cue from today's events? Again.. not a single one.
So what do these bright guys think we want? Games that are realistic or take their cue from today's events.

Personally, I enjoy fighting monsters more than people. So do a lot of other folks. And I sure as hell would prefer to see somewhere exotic and fantastic on my computer rather than realistic. Hell, half the draw of Bioshock and Bioshock 2 is the setting. Why don't these guys get that?

I think they do get that. Problem is, the number say that people want realistic modern day shooters. Yes, i'm looking at MW2 and the likes. They do sell like sliced bread.
The simple truth is, Joe Average wants to shoot soldiers and blow up (semi) real buildings.

AC10:
So the problem with shooters *IS* the game developers after all!
Why do they think we all want realistic, modern war settings in our games? Give me a serious sam or duke nukem instead.

See above. Because it's true. Developers are not to blame, the consumer is. We are not force-fed to what developers like most, we are given what according to sales figures works best.

DoctorNick:
So if indeed this panel really is a bunch of industry bigwigs who are at least partially calling the shots, then I get to look forward to more games needlessly shoehorning in Co-Op and that are set in The Middle East (tm).

Excuse me while I go and puke into the corner for a minute.

Dibs on the other corner.

AC10:
So the problem with shooters *IS* the game developers after all!
Why do they think we all want realistic, modern war settings in our games? Give me a serious sam or duke nukem instead.

MortisLegio:
what needs to be in future shooters

FUN

QFT x2!! FUN fps titles are progressively harder to find. The last i played was Painkiller, to be honest. Good to know People Can Fly are working on a new title, it seems. Let's see what comes out of there :)

ramox:

Kwil:
Very odd.. the favorite games listed: Quake. Half-life. Uncharted 2.

Realistic? Not a one of them. Taking their cue from today's events? Again.. not a single one.
So what do these bright guys think we want? Games that are realistic or take their cue from today's events.

Personally, I enjoy fighting monsters more than people. So do a lot of other folks. And I sure as hell would prefer to see somewhere exotic and fantastic on my computer rather than realistic. Hell, half the draw of Bioshock and Bioshock 2 is the setting. Why don't these guys get that?

I think they do get that. Problem is, the number say that people want realistic modern day shooters. Yes, i'm looking at MW2 and the likes. They do sell like sliced bread.
The simple truth is, Joe Average wants to shoot soldiers and blow up (semi) real buildings.

And this is the crux of the matter, really. Now, i don't want to sound like a PC elitist or something, but there are two reasons why MW and MW2 reached mainstream appeal. One of them is not new, the military theme. It has always been prevalent in FPS's, but older gamers probably got saturated with it at some point, 'cause there was just too damn many. What is new, however, is the structure and design differences of post-Halo fps's, which combined with the increased prevalence of consoles in households, given their media capabilities, makes for a much wider and fresh market to revitalize the war theme into.

Throw in a bit of situational interest due to the US's last 10 years of history with 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, and you kinda get the picture. The good news? Those folks can very well be wrong. in an immediate future, it will still sell, but i don't know how many more years can they milk that cow...

Jaredin:
Motion control shooters I can see happening...but, I dont see it really reaching out to the hard coremarket.

Its intresting though to hear peoples thoughts on this though. And great to see some people still appreciating the golden classics!

i think they've got a long way to go before they satisfy the average gamer with a motion shooter. ive always found theres either too much lag or too many ways you can cheat the system (for example; another person, tampered equipment and so on)

Playing a first person game is all about the experience of being there more than any other game.

Just give me good atmosphere like in Bioshock and Fallout 3 crossed with good shooter mechanics like in MW and I'll be good, up till now it's been one or the other.

ramox:
I think they do get that. Problem is, the number say that people want realistic modern day shooters. Yes, i'm looking at MW2 and the likes. They do sell like sliced bread.
The simple truth is, Joe Average wants to shoot soldiers and blow up (semi) real buildings.

I'd argue that it's more because that's what came out. Look at the games that have the fantastic in them. Bioshock 2, Arkham Asylum, Infamous, Prototype, Fallout 3. These didn't sell? No, all of those sold damn well as well. I tend to think that if they had brought out a shooter with the game-play advances of MW2, it could have been set anywhere/anywhen and sold just as well.

Irridium:

Korten12:
[quote="Irridium" post="7.187081.5709210"]I've said it once, and I'll say it again.
Imagine the millions you'll save by not focusing on "epic graphics."

I hope people will take that into account for the next generation... but most likely not sadly.

Give a developer from 10 years ago 1/4 of the budget of todays games, and they would make a masterpiece unlike anything that you've played before.

Well the "throw more money at it to make it better" theory is not true.
Most of the time it works the other way around.

Its struggling with the budget and and being low on money which makes some great games.

Team Fortress 2 is my past, present, AND future of shooters. It is the *perfect* multiplayer shooter, profoundly because of the constant support from its developer who never asks for an extra dime.

And also in a world of matchmaking and statistics I have a love for something I can jump into and play, get in and out of servers I do/don't like without penalty, and not have a bunch of people looking at my profile going "oh what a n00b, I have level bajillion prestige e-peen because I play only this game eight hours a day".

in short: "We will do everything in our power to make sure that everything shitty about modern shooters continues to get worse". Why people are allowed to make a living doing this beggars belief.

karpiel:
in short: "We will do everything in our power to make sure that everything shitty about modern shooters continues to get worse". Why people are allowed to make a living doing this beggars belief.

Uwe Boll's allowed to make a living making shitty movies, I think that's far worse than a few generic shooters.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here