What happened to game design?

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Avatar image for borgrel
#1 Edited by borgrel (25 posts) -

In an era where every time you walk into a bank, they have a new piece of hardware to 'help' you out; where voice recognition in telephone systems actually work; where cars can practically drive themselves; where military software makes people say 'holy shit, that cant be possible'; in an era where computing and programming is maturing in leaps and bounds and the results they can produce seem almost magical; what has happened to the gaming industry???

Where EVERY field of programming/computing is moving forwards so fast that it almost takes longer to keep up to date with innovations than it is to actually USE the awesome breakthroughs, Why does it feel like gaming is sliding backwards?

Look at Age of Wonders 3:

  • What is the point of a new alignment system, when races are now unaligned
  • What is the point of the new race/class units if there is no penalty for multiple races in the same party
  • Why reduce 20+ races to 5, Why reduce 12+ hero classes to 6
  • Why is the 'customization' capable of changing less than 15 out of 100+ skills ...... I remember when "Air mastery" actually had meaning
  • Why is every race now identical .... archer -> infantry -> irregular -> pikeman -> cavalry -> support -> blah. Orcs used to have 3 cavalry units and the halflings had none. Now every race is a carbon copy .... just pick if you want poison or holy damage.

Look at Mass Effect 2:

  • What happened to all the weapons, what happened to all the armours. Why can't players chose if they want lots of shields or lots of damage reduction anymore?
  • Why take the only modern game with a logical interesting balanced working ammo-less system AND ADD THE AMMO **BACK**??

Look at Oblivion:

  • They took a game with over 44 skills and a freeform magic+enchanting system and replaced it with what ?12? skills and a dropdown list for item enchantment.
  • AND they limited primary stats so that every char over lvl 20 has maxed everything ..... to what point?
  • I didnt even bother to look at Skyrim ..... and that is a fast growing trend.

Look at Diablo 3:

  • They took the premier RPG of all time and made a sequel THAT WAS AN ARCADE GAME. "No dont worry people, you dont have to place stat points, all characters will be the same, dont worry about choosing skills and lvling them up, all skills are available to everyone, just reach the unlock level."
  • They removed item hunting, ...."Dont worry everyone, now you can just craft anything you will possibly want, no luck, no grinding .... just pick up enough crap and the weapon smith shits out a gun with max DPS"

Do I even need to mention Dungeon Siege 3?? ..... btw; did anyone even manage to even FIND a dungeon (or mythological creatures to fight) in that aborted seal cub they clubbed to death??

The current market:

Gamers are forking out tons of money for the latest releases, playing them for 2 hours (maybe 6 is they REALLY good) and then returning to the games that are a decade old. I call that the most poignant of slaps in the faces of current programmers. And yet ... the trend is continuing.

  • How do gaming corps consider these games a success, when even there prequals are more popular
  • Why is every game being over simplified and getting all the neatest niftiest organs carved out with chainsaws? Why does the sequel (currently) always seem to have half as many guns, half as many quests, half as many exciting tricky battles?
  • Why when computers are becoming exponentially more powerful and programming languages geometrically more flexible and usable are games coming out simpler than draughts played by the color blind??
  • Why cant you even jump in FPS's anymore? Why cant your units autocast in RTS's anymore? Why cant PC's level in RPG's anymore?
  • I remember when FPS's had 3 guns on EACH numeral. Now, if you have a pistol and something else you feel lucky.
  • I remember when RPG's needed a manual, just to play on the easiest setting without dying inside an hour. Now they dont even ship RPG's with tooltips, forget about manuals.....
  • I remember when saying "I finished starcraft without cheats" actually meant something

........... why is gaming the only computer technology that is devolving????

  • I want to see an FPS with P.O.P. like movement Dual- (or Tri) -fire weapons like Unreal and tournament modes like HQ from COD
  • I want to see an RPG where even though i've finished the game 40 times, it is STILL surprising me and there's still skill combos i havent tried.
  • I want to see an RTS where the units act intelligently enough that I think its a scripted movie.
  • I want to see new games that take the best of old games and improve them.
  • Even better ...... I want to see something NEW

Is that so much to ask??

Avatar image for SovietsUnited
#2 Edited by SovietsUnited (2457 posts) -

I wouldn't say that the situation is that severe, but yeah, blame it on publishers appealing to a wider audience and following the leader. Also, games are rushed most of the time and thus feel very uninspired.

There are still plenty of well designed games today, however, you just need to know which games to pick

Avatar image for Lulu_Lulu
#3 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

Despite what your issues are with Mass Effect 2... Its still way better than Mass Effect.

Also to answer your question... The medium is devloving because Gamers are morons !

Avatar image for turtlethetaffer
#4 Posted by turtlethetaffer (18695 posts) -

Didn't read the whole thing but if you look beyond the most hyped games you'll see that there are still a lot of well designed games available.

Avatar image for bussinrounds
#6 Edited by bussinrounds (2863 posts) -

@borgrel said:

Look at Diablo 3:

  • They took the premier RPG of all time

Diablow was a decline and casualization of the RPG genre itself, trying to widen it's demographic to more ppl than just the hardcore CRPG fans. It was really more akin to the old arcade game Gauntlet. Just running around, hacking thru endless waves of enemies in mindless real time click click click click combat. Not really engaging gameplay or much of an RPG for that matter. I guess not terrible to kill some time with a few friends.

The first one did have some good music/artstyle/atmosphere, I'll give it that. But the premier RPG of ALL TIME ?? That's pretty funny.

And the only good thing about Dungeon Siege is this..


I'll agree with you about the industry going downhill and it's all style over substance now (for the most part) but that's old news already and some incline is on the way (for RPG fans at least) with games like Original Sin, Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, Dead State, Age of Decadence, new Torment... Thanks to kickstarter and being able to ditch the shitty publishers that are pushing all the garb.

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#7 Posted by Archangel3371 (23873 posts) -

I really can't agree myself. I've been an avid gamer for 35+ years so I've pretty much seen it all and in general overall I find it to be better. Mass Effect 2 and 3 were better then the first one, I like Diablo 3 the best, and Skyrim is my favourite Elder Scrolls game. I can't really recall any FPS games where you can't jump so I don't really know where that came from.

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#8 Posted by Syncotic (83 posts) -

I don't think their catering for a bigger audience. I think they are just making every game in the series different and fresh. Some people expect the same game but different story with a few little features added but whilst could be appealing to you, some people might want something different. I agree that they are taking out some features that was nice in the other games, but in the end of the day. They are only hurting themselves if they take a risk that doesn't pay off.