FPS genre needs more technical innovation - DICE

Battlefield 3 developer says too many studios neglect pushing medium forward graphically, not just thematically.

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First-person shooters are flagging because developers aren't trying hard enough to push them forward visually, according to DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson. An Edge interview with Troedsson outlined what the Battlefield 3 developer believes is wrong with the genre, from not enough innovation in graphics and audio to overplayed settings and themes.

Obviously shooters don't look nearly good enough yet.

"If [FPS players] don't see some kind of new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary, step of rendering in every game they will start to lose interest. And I think that is what's happening," Troedsson said. Many franchises don't take that challenge seriously, he said, and that could contribute to genre exhaustion.

The next generation of consoles could help in the short term, but Troedsson worries that many studios will only shift away from the current glut of modern shooters to near-future settings. "You know, at some point dinosaurs are the hottest thing and everyone is making games with dinosaurs, but there are trends. It used to be [World War II], and recently it's been the modern era and people are now moving towards near future." This is not true innovation and will only lead to the same problem of setting exhaustion down the line, he said.

It is the responsibility of developers to always push forward the experience of games, he said. DICE's Frostbite 2.0 engine will power the Danger Close-developed Medal of Honor: Warfighter when it's released in October.

Discussion

0 comments
coolkid93
coolkid93

"First-person shooters are flagging because developers aren't trying hard enough to push them forward visually/ not enough innovation in graphics and audio to overplayed settings and themes."

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with that. It's gameplay. They should really try to take their time and come up with something new AND good. I don't give a flying crap about graphics. Go out and spend $60 for a game and it sucks but oh the graphics and sounds are awesome. 

gunnplay
gunnplay

The problem is not graphics, or setting or themes.  It's a lack of innovation on the gameplay front, coupled with greedy, selfish publishers.  

 

Look, someone makes a new property with new types of mechanics, new control systems and animation.  The IP sells like hotcakes.  Then, everyone else makes 'iterations' (BTW, iteration 'should' mean improvement, not repurposed, ) of those same ideas, for the next 10 years.  Watch how many publishers force their devs to try to copy AC3's innovative climbing system.

 

Most developers would love to sit down and create new control methods and systems.  But, no publisher is going to allow that.  Those impatient vultures won't give devs enough time and freedom to really go to town on changing the gameplay landscape.

 

And I say, again, that the biggest problem is the middleman...

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

Yet look at how much money Activision gets to this day, because of the Call of Duty franchise.

epic40k
epic40k

They can't see the wood from the trees, stop making FPS games for awhile and think about inovation in gameplay for a change.

makryu
makryu

Hmm, yeah the problem is that the graphics do not evolve enough... talk about not understanding the issue.

The truth is quite simple, actually: MAKE LESS FPS GAMES AND MORE GAMES OF OTHER CURRENTLY STARVED GENRES, SUCH AS CRPGS AND RTS!

itchyflop
itchyflop

@Blitzkrieg129 im looking to build one, but i have to admit the last time i did was around 2004, way out of touch when it comes to pc's now. Any recommendations would be welcomed. :)

adam1808
adam1808

Says the studio that makes graphical engines. Epic also think graphical innovation is important in the cover-based shooter genre. id Software made id Tech 5 and look what an innovative, forward-thinking game Rage turned out to be.

rarson
rarson

I love Frostbite 2.0, but I don't necessarily agree with this. In fact, I think John Carmack is on the right track with the 3D HMD thing. The better that graphics get, the harder it is to improve on them, which is the whole reason why we don't continually see revolutionary graphics upgrades.

Apastron
Apastron

Platinum Games' Vanquish (albeit a third-person shooter) was innovative and look where that go it.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

How about FPS genre needs a vacation?

Aria1368
Aria1368

if someone ask me what is next gen game, i'd say:  Better story line,less linear/options,Much advanced AI,MUCH better graphics,Real life physics,Much advanced Audio, Realistic animation and more innovation in gameplay. (But sadly most of which will result in a more expensive games)

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

"If [FPS players] don't see some kind of new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary, step of rendering in every game they will start to lose interest"

 SLAP FACE TO CALL OF DUTY!!

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

It's not just FPS that needs an injection of innovation. Need for Speed series hasn't changed much in the last 4 or 5 outings.

Also, improving graphics seems to have leveled off in the last few years with much less drastic improvements that we've seen with each iteration.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

Saturation will cause "genre exhaustion," not lack of graphical enhancements. At the end of the day, gameplay is what drives a video game--not the visuals. 

 

Visuals can enhance the gameplay but it won't save exhausted gameplay. 

Circlestrafe
Circlestrafe

The problem with being innovative is that some percentage of the customer base will raise hell if it's 'too innovative'.  Pushing the envelope really brings the loudest critics out of the woodwork.  Also, you simply cannot advance graphically, or improve physics when the hardware you're designing for has been obsolete for many years (360/PS3). 

 

Then there's the complaining because this was changed, or that was left out, or it's too advanced for someone's 10 year old gaming system.  (Yeah, people trying to run BF3 with onboard intel graphics, Nvidia 6000 series, single core processors, and then bitching because DICE 'doesn't know wtf they're doing').

 

How many 10s of millions of copies of MW3 did Activision sell?  Exactly, enough that they had NO reason to innovate. It looks exactly like MW2, plays the same, and compared to BF3, is pathetic.  My son prefers the CoD series, prefers not having to rely on a team to win, which he doesn't have to do in CoD, also  because he doesn't like the larger maps and vehicles in BF3,  but says MW3 looks like crap and is pretty much the same as the previous game with a few minor changes and obviously different maps.

 

Copy/paste; because why...it worked.  I'd be surprised if they (Activision) allow the devs to change much, if anything, with the next version of that garbage franchise.  Hell, they won't need to, they'll sell 10s of millions again, to those who claim they want more, but actually prefer the safety of routine.   

supermoc10
supermoc10

I think he's right. The next-gen needs to innovate not only on the graphics but also on the Physics and AI.

cheamo
cheamo

Better graphics are not going to save shooters, but I don't think they are a bad idea in any genre.

haravtar
haravtar

Says all this crap then goes to work on a MODERN DAY shooter Medal of Honor Warfighter!!. geez.

kenken2g
kenken2g

Technical innovation? How about you putting the freaking DICE servers back online. Is that too technical?

strayfies
strayfies

Weird, I thought this genre sort of comprised the vanguard of cutting-edge visuals.  If anything, I think their lack of innovation is in the repetitive, narrow span of play.  I don't dislike the genre, I just think of it as visually stunning but narrow.

xg4bx
xg4bx

says the company whose tech is powering medal of honor...

SolidTy
SolidTy

Finally we see a big name FPS dev addressing this! We weren't going to hear this from ACTIVISION, that's for damn sure.

koospetoors
koospetoors

Yes Karl, because bringing better looking shooters into a genre that already has too many fudging shooters is the best course of action here.

 

 

ME21597
ME21597

 @coolkid93 I completely agree. I still play many FPS games on my old original Xbox because half of them still have better stories and gameplay then most the stuff coming out these days.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

 @interrasteral7 that is because it appeals to a group of gamers that were not gamers to begin with. They are casuals that only buy COD because it is easy, dumbed down and popular.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

 @Aria1368 Realism and graphics don't make a game, good gameplay does. After you have been around the block over and over, you start worrying less about something as superficial as graphics and more about the gameplay. You sound new to gaming.

rarson
rarson

 @Aria1368

 

A "next gen game" is a game that comes out during a new generation of console hardware. Generations are defined by time, not by your arbitrary standards.

Spybreak
Spybreak

 @aussiemuscle Ah what, are you kidding me. Yes Need for Speed has changed with Underground, Most Wanted being different than Shift or Hot Pursuit.

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

 @Circlestrafe 0.o; BF3 runs on a 6600gt? I know it could play crysis but it doesn't have the shader to render all of it? That's news to me.

Circlestrafe
Circlestrafe

 @supermoc10

 Prefer to play against humans than AI, humans will always be more challenging.  Battlefield has always been about multiplayer so they should focus on that, leave the AI for other single player shooters like Crysis. 

 

Physics, however, could use some work.  Jets bouncing off of buildings and trees, light posts stopping an APC dead in it's tracks, tanks getting stuck on a wooden fence post, infantry walking away from a tank shell to the face, C4 jeep destroying a tank but not leaving a scratch on the detonator standing 10 feet away. 

supermoc10
supermoc10

 @haravtar MoH: Warfighter is being developped by Danger Close. DICE works on BF.

Circlestrafe
Circlestrafe

 @kenken2g

 They're rarely down, and usually for a very short time during software updates. They were rarely down with BF2, 2142, and BC2 for that matter.   As far as questioning DICE's technical abilities...I've been playing all day, so what exactly are you referring to when you ask they get them 'back online'?  They have been all day and are right now!

supermoc10
supermoc10

 @xg4bx DICE's engine is pretty innovative IMO since it has great graphics on large terrains and Destruction.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @SolidTy Actually, I think Treyarch said this very thing a few weeks ago, which is almost exactly like Dice saying it (instead of EA).

Circlestrafe
Circlestrafe

 @eric_neo3

 " people trying to run BF3 with onboard intel graphics, Nvidia 6000 series" 

 

 Did I say it ran on a 6600gt?  Even if it did, it would be slow as hell.  Which is exactly my point as to why devs shy away from graphical and/or highly demanding 'innovation'. 

quaker04
quaker04

 @Circlestrafe Agreed about the Physics. Yesterday I was playing and I fired a RPG on the foot of the enemy, we were closer to each other, neither of us died. And with a jeep, I hit in the column that hold the fence, my jeep exploded and the fence stood intact. Pretty annoying. However, a better AI is interesting for coop missions, for example. 

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

 @PixelAddict The only issue with that is the fact that DICE made an exceptional engine (Frostbite 2.0), while Treyarch is making an engine that will run games at 60 FPS on consoles. One's really impressive, the other, not so much.

eric_neo3
eric_neo3

 @Circlestrafe No you did say " people trying to run BF3 with onboard intel graphics, Nvidia 6000 series"

 

But the Nvidia 6000 series was released 2004-2005. You mean the Nvidia 600 series then.

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

 @sirkibble2 Correct, which is something next generation consoles should all be able to do. Minus the Wii U. 

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

 @sirkibble2 Depends on the power of your system. In my case, I have a Nvidia GTX 680, so running any game at 60 FPS with everything maxed is no problem. But in the case of consoles, you're absolutely right. Frostbite 2.0 (BF3) is far ahead consoles, and thus, has to run at 30fps in order for BF3 to even be playable.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

 @Blitzkrieg129 Sorry, I meant to say polygons. You can't have as many polygons on screen or high resolution textures at 60fps compared to 30fps which is where all the detail comes from. The pixels do stay the same but the polygon count will not be the same nor the texture maps. 

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

 @sirkibble2 The resolution stays the same throughout. Depending on your monitor or tv, it may be 1920x1080 (or just 1080p). The pixels stay the same, the FPS is what changes. 

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

 @Blitzkrieg129 You're right. It does look amazing on PC's. I'm not disputing that at all. What I am saying is that, even PC's it couldn't hold that same visual strength at 60fps. You can't have as many pixels on the screen at once at 60fps compared to 30fps. 

Blitzkrieg129
Blitzkrieg129

 @sirkibble2 Hardly. BF3 looks amazing on PCs, where it matters. It doesn't look that great on consoles because consoles are around 7 years old or so. CoD looks relatively the same on high-end PCs, so, it makes no difference. 

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

 @Blitzkrieg129 One is impressive visually while the other is impressive technically. BF3 wouldn't be able to have that same visual power at 60fps. It's the pro and con based on what a dev is looking for.