Defining Awesome
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  • Written by . Posted at 3:44 pm on December 6th, 2009

    I made a short animation about how I feel gameplay is like in modern games:

    DIGG IT!

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    1. u forgot loading the walking animation

    2. Makron666


    3. Anonymous

      One of the not many modern games that do not work that way: Fallout 3

    4. Great music πŸ˜‰

    5. Exactly. I’m glad there is someone else out there who is not oblivious to the regurgitated crap being put out.

      Yes I like Modern Waffle 2, sure I play Battlefield 1943 and several other modern titles. I’ve never understood the achievement shit and I’m also bored by the ongoing linearity that the majority of games follow in either map design or story. The only true game that I like to play that has endless possibilities is ARMA 2, however, it has a limited fan base and is difficult to play.

      I just can’t stand, when you’re a sniper running around in a gorgeous map and you can’t get to places which would be perfect sniping spots in the real world. Why can’t I climb way high up on a crane in MW2? Why can’t I get up on the roof of that building? Because the developers don’t allow it. The maps have to be balanced (can’t disagree there… but), the maps are also made for stupid players. Just because stupid players may not have a chance at getting a decent K/D Ratio, the rest of us shouldn’t have to suffer. But, again, if the stupid players are turned off to a game – that means that the franchise will make less profit. So maps have more linear paths – leading the sheep and retard wolves into the slaughter. Maps are limited and dumbed down.

      Another problem that is rising from the constant onslaught of multiplayer shooters these days – something I’m writing an article about, which hopefully gets accepted by gamasutra – is that there are TOO MANY games and TOO MUCH technology to play them.

      Back in the day, one could fire up Quake 3 or a Half Life mod such as Counter Strike or Unreal or Tribes 1/2 and there would be a cornicopia of servers filled to the brim with players – so much so that many servers had queue’s. QUEUE’S!!?? Really? That’s unheard of nowadays. Now, apart from very popular titles such as MW2/Halo 3/TF2, many games have few servers with few players playing on them.

      10 years ago, there were only so many players. Since then, with faster/cheaper computers and powerful consoles hitting the scene, that number has jumped – but not dramatically. The number of games however has jumped dramatically. So the player/game ratio has also dramatically increased. This problem is moderate.

      Another problem is the technologies. Many mainstream developers push to have the next most advanced title – mostly in the graphics department. Eye candy is increasing everyday. “Ooooh, check out the scratches on the side of my sniper rifle scope!!! Awesome!” Physics are also being pushed hard. No problem with physics – if only you could use it as an advantage in most games. If you can take an axe and chop out a little chunk from a wall so you can spy through it, fuckin A. Instead however, most physics are implemented to help killing and explosions look more realistic and cooler. But rarely can you cut a tree down to block a path, let a boulder roll down a hill to smash a truck, blast the pillars of a bridge to weaken it so that the next tank rolling over falls through, etc. Most games today – if stripped of their eye candy and eye candy causing physics are really technically no more different in gameplay, style and layout as their predecessors from 10 years ago. Tribes 1 and 2 are still some of the most advanced multiplayer titles, because of the options that were available to the player. You could set beacons, resupply teammates on the run and even extend radar range for your team for one of the many examples. You didn’t need much to run a Tribes game. You didn’t even need a high speed connection – 28.8 baud was enough. Now to play any of the current titles – unless I play them on my xbox 360, I need a 3GHz quad-core liquid cooled beast with 4GB Ram and 4 GTX-295 cards just to play them. The majority of PC owners out there have PC’s of all different levels of power from old P3 900MHz to tons of 2GHz machines and a small handful with over 2.6GHz power.

      Yet, despite all these limits in the gamer base, more power hungry/ ultra-realisitc LOOKING games are being produced because of constant competition. What makes a game more noticable? Gameplay quality – such as what titles like Tribes offered or Visual quality?

      So, nowadays, with each game having a far smaller following of gamers than it should, there is less feedback, quality is dying and eye candy is dramatically increasing to hook as many as possible. Once a game is sold and the money is made… who cares how well the game played. Right? It only needs to be on the market for a few months anway, before a sequel with “improvements” is on the shelves.

      I’ve been starting to think about your decision Michal about making L-D mainly a 1 vs 1 game. I was disappointed before that it wasn’t going to be something like 4 vs 4 or more. Lately, I’ve been intriqued and keep following your development. I’m curious to see if limited multiplayer can be fun.

    6. Anonymous

      EA games explain everything

    7. Snow, dude, your text and ideas are great, but for fuck’s sake man, write something that doesn’t take us 2 years to read!

    8. Hehe, nice video, Michal! Some points:

      1) Achievements are the new masturbation, and the new way to tell to the player his dick is big. Please, don’t use this shit in Link-Dead;

      2) Usually you see people saying Final Fantasy VII is “THA BESTZ GMAE EVAH!!LLOLROFLLMAO!!!!1!”. A game that is just like you described in your video – so, this tell more about players than about the industry. There’s a HUGE demand for this kind of shit: press a button and see a 20 min shining battle animation with rainbows everywhere. Man, I hate this shit. Bring me Ninja Gaiden (the NES one).

      3) The point of your video is basically the same from the parody/sarcastic game “You have to burn the rope!”. That game is gold!

    9. Lol. Sorry Tenshi.

    10. 7 Angles with 7 Plagues

      There’s no such thing as a bad game. Only bad marketing. πŸ˜›

      But seriously you’re right. I Totally get the video, and agree it’s content. There’s simply too much FPS\MMO look-a-like games out, and every sequel seems like a creappy copy of the previous release graphically tweaked (wichs is buggy and glitchy until v86.52355754 patch comes out), with no new game play elements and just a slight difference between the new and the old backstorry. I’ve been watching Link-Dead’s prgoress the day it started, and still think that when it’s gonna be out, it will be a hit. This is the only game I’m waiting for at the momment. Go MM.

      Btw: If you need any electro style music inside the game besides the ass kicking metal by any chance, I can help you.

      Peace! And good luck with the game!

    11. Biscuiteer

      I do have to say that while there is indeed alot of garbage out there, its not THAT bad. I found your video amusing, and it is true how bad games can be when you strip them of anything but gameplay. However i think at this day and age when we have plenty of computing power, gameplay is not as important as it once was. Think back to the earliest of consoles, like the Atari to the NES. There simply wasn’t enough power to compute awesome graphics, so they made what they could and put their most efforts into gameplay. The best games were the ones that could invent the most unique and fun games out there. Now it has changed, with more power to spare so that things that were once cool to have yet not as essential can be augmented. Now you have games like Modern Warfare 2. It’s true, shooting games are highly similar in the regards of move and shoot. But if you look at it that way, you are missing alot. Your perspective on gaming was great in the past, but now it is dated and old; you must examine the game as a whole and not just the ‘core’ elements. It would be saying that all you really do in Life is be born, maybe marry and have children, and then die. To properly examine a game you must look at everything it offers. Modern Warfare 2 for example has a satisfying ‘skill’ system that offers for alot of customization to provide many types of playing styles. I can understand the notion of questioning why maps seem so simple – and maybe they indeed are. Or why things were made this way when they could of been made better. I feel that the answer to this is in the practical sense. Sure you can add this and that, but how much work would it require and is it really worth it in the end? I’m sure that there are examples that are worth it but aren’t there anyway, and that there would have been some mistakes. But when time and money are always threatening to run out, not everything can be perfected. You just have to put in enough resources to reach the level of quality that is preferred, and make do with it. No matter if the quality expectations are high, there will always be some controversy about certain things, most notably in the most popular of titles. It’s unavoidable. There is also the question of new features with dubious usefulness, like uber graphics and pretty physics. One could say that physics could be made useful if it were incorporated as a life-like combat system. But the problem lies within the fact that it is insanely difficult to create perfect physics; there are so many variables and challenges that must be met for any practical level of usefulness; once again it goes back to the practical issue. It’s much more efficient to enhance physics enough so that the perception of realism is pronounced rather than attempt to emulate physics on the level of anything and everything minor. As for the graphics deal, i can clearly understand why it is considered cool but offers nothing to the table. But then again it goes back to the point that everything must be considered of a game to judge its quality. Back then everything was simple and gameplay was the primary aspect of gaming. Now you must consider the environment, the music and the mood it sets in, multiplayer aspects, finer details such as physics, and of course the important gameplay aspect.

      Basically all i’m saying is it is no longer just gameplay but the PRESENTATION of said gameplay, and all the little cool stuff in between. Everything can be broken down to clicks and button presses if you choose to, but you’d then be missing out on alot.

    12. You put pixar to shame

    13. Makron666

      Also, many game developers seem to overwrite one feature with another, for example Gears of war 2. You could blow a hole in a wall while playing the game to see whats behind it, who gives a shit because they make the enemies big noisy cunts so you don’t need to see then to know where they are. If said enemies snuck up on you then the need for a glory hole would be increased. So to sum up: if you implement a feature to aid in gameplay, don’t fuck it up with another feature that kills it. Also take crysis for example, nukeular brain damage causing graphics and physics, put to no use because the gameplay kills it.

    14. Looking back on the WWII fad, all we’ve been doing for the last 10 years is slaughtering Nazis with our M1 Grand rifles, playing as a brave U.S. Marine that could have been your grandfather.

      There was no variety, every game had the same political standpoint, the same weapons, the same god damn characters. I’m not saying they weren’t fun, but they were fucking repetitive.

      Sequels are easy money, they’re like “profit multipliers” that can be used on good ideas. Unfortunately, those of us who see games for what they really are, are the ones that suffer from fads.

      The good news is that the WWII fad is over, we are currently moving over to Modern Warfare, hopefully EA and Activision will learn from their mistakes in the past and make the next 10 years something to look forward to. We’ve already been through BF2 and CoD4, now it’s MoH’s turn:

      Back in 1999, it was this:

    15. Good one πŸ˜€

    16. Snow: I agree with your points. Games are purposely dumbed down to make as much profit as possible. The developers of ARMA are brave. It doesn’t work good on my computer but I used to play Operation Flashpoint a lot, its one of my favorite games.

      Cerv: the majority of people are retarded, EA just makes games for the majority to make major money. Can’t really blame them. You would have to blame human greed and stupidity.

      7 Angles with 7 Plagues: if you have some demos I can listen and see if it fits.

      Biscuiteer: the problem with games being a PRESENTATION is that there is a different medium that does that. It’s called movies, or as the brits call them films. We already have movies so why change games into movies? That’s basically what modern games are – movies with unpause features = clicking fire.

    17. You should prolly just make a game thats literraly gonna beat the crap out of the mainstream games. LD is looking sooo good already, and its not even the BETA, Cant wait to get to play the Full Released game.

      Fuck mainstream, gimme tremulous(awesome quake mod).

    18. TLD: Completely agree with you. Tremulous is awesome.

    19. People. Just play Fallout 2. Please. πŸ˜‰

    20. MM nobody cares about Digg anymore :/

    21. I don’t think you are really right here. Its actually a bad video representing a few elements you think are horrible.
      “I made a short animation about how I feel gameplay is like in modern games:” You basically just show 1 type of game, in this case a FPS.

      I agree that it seems the big sellers are made for money and there seems much less passion/love in the game then for example a way more simple indie game. But on the other hand restricting players( rules ), giving them achievements( rewards ) etc. are all really useful for giving the player his “fun”. I know its a really big definition but I am sure the game developers spend a lot of time thinking about this. Its the power to feel essential to the game. It makes you feel special. It keeps you playing. Isn’t that something you want to achieve with your games MM? Also I really don’t get your point with playing animation?! Its bullshit in my opinion, most games do offer help at a first time playing, duh! They try to spread the game over a much wider audience then you might reach.
      A lot of this behavior seems to be copied in different type of games. I think your video is a bad illustration of what you really mean. Words can express this far better.

    22. I got an achievement award in one of my games… for running across a map. I feel so special now that I got a reward for running across a map. That was like when I was a kid and I had to wear a football helmet all the time and all the students and teachers cheered as I ran the entire length of a field. It was pretty hard… I kept slipping on my drool and kept going cross-eyed.

      No one needs an award to “feel special”. If you DO, put the controller down, turn off your xbox and go find a girl.

      Could you imagine if a game like Quake 3, when it first came out, had achievements? *shudder*

      If you wanted to be noticed, you just had to be good – have skills. Not a mountain of achievements. “Oh, cool, look at that guy, he’s got the 5-headshots-in-a-row achievement. Wow, he must be totally awesome. Why does he seem to play like shit though??”

    23. Spkka: I want to play a game because it’s fun, not because every other minute he tells me “You killed a guy! So you must totally have a big dick!!!”. And I think the video doesn’t show only one type of game (FPS): actually, I think it satirizes other genres like MMORPGS, JRPGS and even third-person shooters. We are living a “Michael Bay culture” in our videogames: shitty games with lots of explosions, tits and instant-gratification to keep the short attention-span of the players, who are being treated like retards – as Snow exemplified perfectly.

      I think probably everyone who reads this blog also plays Soldat. So I ask: why? I’ve never seen a 20 minute battle animation in Soldat. I never unlocked an achievement. Hell, Soldat doesn’t even have tits! So, we play Soldat because it’s a fun game, and our reward is just have a fun time with some friends – no instant-gratification-bullshit. I don’t have the attention-span of an epileptic dog, and I am not retarded – I don’t need a fucking game telling me I am special. I just want to shoot some virtual gosteks in the head.

    24. Biscuiteer

      MM: I don’t see that as a problem; in fact i find it to be a natural evolution of games. Don’t get me wrong – i am fond of instant-action games without the hassles other games may have. Yet game is art. When the capabilities of computing power increase, so too can the amount of creativity can be forged in. Why make a straight forward game when you can add in style? Virtually any ‘useless’ feature such as physics or even the story line itself offer style in a way that cannot be replicated if you don’t add them in. There will always be good and bad games, but adding a bit of creativity in the mix will always make the game more one of a kind and ultimately become a heartier game.

      There is a place for both straight-forward games like Quake 3 and not as straight-forward games like Modern Warfare. Both have their upsides and downsides. It is up to the gamer to decide which one they prefer.

    25. Yeah, fuck this shit. Ima go play Dwarf Fortress.

    26. @Cerv: You don’t get my point. A lot of people love to have a for example that says “Headshot!” It first rewards you for precise aiming, and secondly you get some message on screen to every player you made that headshot. Doesn’t that make you feel proud? Doesn’t that give you some reward as well, some recognition? Don’t you want to make the most kills in a round? If a game would be pissing you off all the time instead of rewarding you in some way, would you still play this game? I do not play Soldat actively anymore I just watch this blog because I am a developer my self, and interested in MM’s philosophy about gaming. He sure does have a point, but I think its rather silly and a bad constructed opinion.

      @Snow: We are talking about video games not about real life, in a video game you also want to have the “feel special” feeling. At least I do, and a lot of people do. I agree some achievements are silly, but its fun for kids, and in the main while it works for other ages as well. In my opinion they have a good reason to put in achievements for players. They extend the game play for a lot of players for example. Did you ever got so pissed off because the achievement was too easy that you stopped playing this video game?

    27. Spkka: I think I get your point now, but remember that saying “Headshot!” or giving a “Greatest Killers list” on a game is entirely diferent from achievements. Why? Because they are integrated into game play. The entire gameplay in Soldat consists into killing other guys, so you would be doing that even if there was no list; and eventually, you would shoot one guy or two in the head. But the most important diference is: the list (or just saying “Headshot!”, instead of giving an achievement badge) is dynamic. Every time a new round begins, I will try again to kill a lot of guys again. Because the list changes each round. It’s the result of a competition. Not achievements: if you get one, it’s there forever (except if you uninstal the game, hehe! =]). There’s always two kinds of achievements: the ones who make you feel retarded (“now I am getting an achievement just because I headshot that guy? But I do that all the time!”) and the ones that aren’t directly related to the gameplay (if you play Team Fortress 2, you’ll see “Achievements servers”, wich are servers where players aren’t really playing; they’re just cooperating with each other to get the most absurd achievements. So, next time you see a guy with a 999-headshots-in-a-row, he probably isn’t even a good player). So, I prefer to just not have achievements. This shit is so new, we didn’t had that until this actual generation of consoles; why do we need that, anyway?

      I am playing, right now, two games: Megaman X6 (playing the entire series) and Ninja Gaiden 3 (played 1 and 2 last week). These games were made just to piss the player. Megaman X6 has goddamn 1-hit-kill spikes everywhere, and Ninja Gaiden 3 has the dreadfull “Game Over, go back to the first stage!”, and enemies who throw you from the cliffs. But still, I feel rewarded by these games. How? Through my progression. Each time I finish a level, I know my skills are improving. I don’t know, maybe I am just too old-school, but I just don’t understand all this bullshit.

      On other note, “Achievement Unlocked” is a very nice game/parody! =]

    28. I concur with this video.

      Battlefield and Operation Flashpoint are excellent especially dragon rising and BC2 (Ive played the beta). Sandbox is so much better. I hate linear with a passion, yet I like Halo 3’s linear sandbox (paradox!).

      You could put some cool headshit indicators and double kills etc. But I just want some prolonged firefights of justice.

      MW2 bored me after 3 hours of multiplayer. Back to Halo, Soldat and Battlefield it is…

    29. @Cerv: Sweet thoughts, can’t say differently. Your right, still I find the video a bit silly/disturbing. I wasn’t even right on a game that pisses you off, would you play that? I remember playing “I wanna be the guy”, and I came pretty far. Pretty simple game but still I had lots of “fun”. Its hard to tell whether or not achievements are a nice addition to a video game. I feel like they expand the duration a player might play this game. Personally I don’t try to reach achievements, I can’t be bothered by them and have little time to play so much games anyways. But I do not mind them though. Your probably not too old school, the achievements weren’t made for you in the first place maybe. I think they try to grab a much wider audience by implementing them and thus having more “features” or what ever you like to call it. Interesting discussion though, I really love to think about why they did this/that and if it was a good decision after all.
      @MM: Did you play batman dark asylum by any chance? I really think that fits so well in your “That’s basically what modern games are – movies with unpause features = clicking fire.”
      It is true on some certain point but I enjoyed it big time. Maybe I spend more time in watching cut scenes then playing the real game. The experience for me was stunning.

    30. system shock 2 and deus ex are legendary beasts compared to modern games

    31. Cerv: I just want to shoot some virtual gosteks in the head.

      You are the man. That’s exactly it, this is why I play games and why I make them. Modern mainstream games deprive us from the pure enjoyment of actually shooting a dude in the face. Instead we have dialogues, tutorials, death animations, DEATH AND KILL PRESCRIPTED SEQUENCES, NPC’s that can’t be shot in the face cause of PG13+ rating and other bullshit that goes in the way of game enjoyment that developers throw in thinking that we need it.

      Biscuiteer: limiting player choices is NOT EVOLUTION. This pisses me off cause game were more evolved 15 years ago!

    32. That music… it was the most beautifull masterpiecie i have ever heard! It spoke of beauty and pain, wisdom and great heroic long lost times. It made me calm as a lamb and it filled my heart with anger when I realised the true meaning of glory that we have lost – should we seek vengance ? No. This soothing song of elven maidens made me realise my place in cosmic order of all things. I am now Enlightened. Thank you mm πŸ˜€

    33. “owever i think at this day and age when we have plenty of computing power, gameplay is not as important as it once was.”

      You can’t be serious? If I’d wanted to watch a movie, I’d go to the freaking cinema. Games should be ALL about gameplay. Graphics shouldn’t have to matter, but apparently people still fall for that one. Now THAT is stupid.

      Buying games that were designed for casual gamers is a double no-no for me. No way I am going to support that crap.

      Same goes for Modern Warfare 2 which really ISN’T as great as it’s hype. In fact, it’s basically the same game as it’s prequel. Even down to the graphics and overrated multiplayer. You still can get spawn-camped and all that, it has major gameplay design flaws from here to Tokio and back. Oh, and then I haven’t even began about the 5 hours it takes to finish singleplayer which is an insult to my wallet.

      It’s easy to dismiss all this thinking games evolved into interactive movies, but wake the .. up, they shouldn’t be! Thankfully the better games still got SOME gameplay left, but for crying out loud, what happened to hardcore gamers demanding a little more skill for their ‘rewards’.

      Then I’m talking about succeeding to the next level and not the achievements crap that you’ll get without even trying.

      It’s like those snowboard and skateboard games. If you don’t initiate a run for a specific achievement, what’s the point of getting them? You’ll get all kinds of rewards by accident which is stupid.

      I could write a 60 page essay on how this stupidity evolved into MMO games like World of Warcraft, but it would ruin my mood. :p

      I’m out.

    34. We don’t need the game to tell us how to kill dudes, why to kill dudes, or that we have in fact just killed a dude, because we already know.

      We need the game to provide the dudes and the means to inflict death, then _leave us alone_. We can figure out the rest.

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