Graphics So Good, Video Games Have To Rely On Stories And Gameplay

from the it's-about-time dept

For years people would judge part of how good a video game was based on how good or realistic the graphics were. However, that may be changing. Now that the graphics are so damn good all the time, there’s little advantage to pushing the graphics boundaries much further, and, instead games are actually going to be judged on their content a lot more. This seems like a good thing. As the article points out, many people would buy the latest version of a game simply to see the better graphics – but if the gameplay doesn’t get better they might not bother in the future. So, the next big hits in the gaming world aren’t expected to be touted just for their graphics, but for innovative ideas and gameplay. It’s about time. Update: Here’s another article suggesting a similar conclusion. In it, someone argues that most games today are focused on impressing the hardcore gamer – meaning that it’s more complex. The games that take gaming to the next level will focus on gameplay that isn’t impossible for the “non-gamer” to pick up – but which is still engaging. I think the success of games like Myst have shown this for years – but most of the gaming market is still focused on more complex games.

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Comments on “Graphics So Good, Video Games Have To Rely On Stories And Gameplay”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Chris Taylor, we need you!

This phenomenon was a long time coming, and the cluelessness and apathy of the average (american) game shopper was the only thing standing in the way of some consumer-driven shift toward quality for which we all yearned – I’m glad to see an inkling that it’s coming, even if I doubted it completely!

Would that the sheer number of sheepers out there could wise up and consign UbiSoft and similarly bland developers to the same blast furnace in which cavedog(‘s playability) incinerated long ago, we’d be far better off.

The coming year or two promise to be interesting, as these new games finally roll out of development and onto the shelves, and we can all spend our brown bills (C$100=1Game) with glee. Chris (‘TA’) Taylor’s new (non-TA-named) game will be the most interesting to watch, imho, as most of this 4-year cycle’s RTS gamers have had to deal with Westwood’s good-but-mediocre/shallow products for a while and may not understand a truly layered RTS for its worth. Let’s hope that project managers (who may still resemble accountants in their current role) don’t stifle the devel on this much-anticipated gas-powered gem.

(Ironically, ‘TA2’ is due out soon, too, some video upgrade to the same old ’97 phenom, which, while it may well still have enough Chris in its strategy to make it a contender against its new step-brother, I’m hoping the New Chris is better than Chris Classic in this regard)

In all, I’d be ever so pleasantly pleased if, truly, the equalization of graphics quality in games DOES actually support better depth (‘cooking’) in games. I’m just pessimistic enough to doubt it’s going to happen, but at least the alternative (games that are better because they permit much modeling/creation by the hacker niche at learge) seems equally as appealing in the long run, while still penalizing the truly evil and stupidly litigious companies (blizzard, FINALLY [cf bnetd]) while benefitting the better and more community-minded companies (Gas-Powered, recent EA, some Activision, etc).

And this, too, will make Chris Taylor a better-paid man in the long run, and a bigger paycheque’s sometimes a bit more fun than merely winning consecutive game-of-the-year trophies with the same game.

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