A New Gaming Engine That Can Make Games More… Real?

from the Iliad-says-so... dept

The graphics in computer video games are certainly getting better and better with each generation. However, they’re reaching the “good enough” point, such that people are beginning to focus more and more on the actual game play, rather than the game look. When they do that, they notice that many games are… well, repetitive and predictable. So, is there a way to make games unpredictable in a realistic way that doesn’t require massively powerful new hardware? That seems to be the plan of Condition30, a Canadian company that believes they’ve been able to create more realistic gaming engines that involve giving the engine some basic parameters, and letting it figure out the rest – in order to ensure that the end results are a lot less predictable and (hopefully) a lot more realistic. The article is pretty short on details, and raises the skepticism alarm in the back of my head. One thing going for the company, though, is that among the founders is JD “Illiad” Frazer of User Friendly.

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Comments on “A New Gaming Engine That Can Make Games More… Real?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

online gaming

Online gaming solves much of that problem. Battlefield 1942 is a wonderful example. By playing against an ever-changing amount (12,000 players were on last night at the high time) the game is different every time – even if you try to repeat the same strategies again and again.

Another answer is an open-ended game like Morrowind. I recently tried a series of first-person shooter demos, and they were extremely boring in comparsion. Start at Point A, and get to Point B. End of story. In Morrowind, if you felt like stopping in the middle of a quest to rob a home, you could do so. And so on.

Still, will be interesting to see what this technology does…

Jonathan Grant (user link) says:

Re: online gaming

i work as an engineer in the game industry.
it’s pretty funny actually – a lot of engineers in the industry are always focusing on “the perfect engine” that (they believe) will solve all kinds of typical video game problems.
one of the reasons games have always focused on graphical quality is that it’s a (relatively) cut and dry problem. increasing polycount and framerate is an objective goal. when you’re talking about fuzzy things like “making a game feel more realistic”, you’re smack in the middle of subjectivity, and that’s where things start to break down.
back to the point. a new engine alone isn’t going to break any new ground, gameplay-wise. game engine technology is a lot like AI tech – good at solving narrow use-cases, terrible at generalizing. to generalize well you still need a human component, not an automated solution.
take a look at Call of Duty – a FPS set in WW2. the game is really, really fun. and it’s certainly not because of the tech, or the art for that matter. what makes the game fun is that a lot of time and attention has been spent on the gameplay – there’s a lot of heavily scripted sequences – just when you think you’re winning, the Germans might counter-attack with a tank bursting through a wall followed by infantry. these kind of “you’re inside a movie” moments don’t happen because of automation, they happen because someone worked hard on scripting them.
games are like anything else – there’s no magic technology button, and the industry’s focus on finding one is fetishism at best. good gameplay happens because of hard, iterative work – just like a good scene in a movie. all engineers can do is create a camera, it’s up to smart people to use that camera to make a good product.

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