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  1. #1
    Elder Member Black Atom's Avatar
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    Default The Next Step in Gaming?

    Inspired by the PS9 thread, what's the next step in gaming? Games are more immersive and realistic than ever. The Wii seems to be an attempt at taking immersion one step further, utilizing (hopefully) intuitive, realistic controls. But not everyone seems to want this.

    Most of the VR gimmicks in the 90s fizzled horribly, but you could argue that was due to poor execution. Arcades, which used to get by offering more immersive games than what was available at home, are doing worse than ever.

    It's made me wonder: do gamers really want to stand up and interact with virtual environements through body movements, or just with our thumbs? The question is where do you want to see gaming go?
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    OMG!!! INTERNET! Agent Helix's Avatar
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    I think the next step will revolve around persistent worlds with player made changes. Sort of like fully interactive MMOs.

  3. #3
    Made for you and me. DrewTheXenocide's Avatar
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    I think with the PS3 and 360, gaming evolution has hit a plateau of some sorts. The safe money on the next step would be the PS3 or the 360 with better graphics.

    Go Nintendo!

  4. #4
    Member Leslie Lee III's Avatar
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    I don't want non-games or Duck Hunt/Track and Field rehashes. Games are more immersive without the gimmicks for me. I'll take games with better graphics, increased depth and fun gameplay.

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    That one guy. Serik's Avatar
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    I agree with Helix. MMO's, hopefully, will become more interactive and grow beyond the sterile “theme park” worlds we have now.

    But the biggest shift in game design, I think, will be toward procedural content and user-created games in general. Think of it as Web 2.0 for games (I hate that term with a passion, but it works for my explanation).

    Look at Spore, the upcoming game from genius game dev extraordinaire Will Wright. Content creation in the game is very easy for the player; you can create your own creatures, buildings, etc. with minimal effort.

    Most of the game’s programming hasn’t been focused on content so much as the algorithms and systems that allow us to create the content. Wright thinks that as development costs become ever higher, more games will take this approach because it’s cheaper.

    Your creations are then uploaded to a main server so other players can download them into their Spore universes. So if I create a predatory creature and some guy in Wisconsin needs a predator to balance out his game’s ecosystem, he could end up populating his world with my creation.

    I hate to make this sound like a sales pitch for Spore, but what Wright is pushing here is nothing short of revolutionary. You can have a virtually unlimited universe of content to explore by constantly downloading other people’s planets and creatures into your game. Spore will be the first game, I think, that you can truly explore and find something new and different every time.

    Even if Spore ends up sucking, others will hopefully learn from this content creation and delivery system.
    "Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson

  6. #6
    OMG!!! INTERNET! Agent Helix's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's really what I was trying to say.

    Like, I envision, say, a persistent fantasy MMO where if a player works at it, he can decide to become the bad guy with a big castle and an army of the undead, and other players can thwart his plans. Or, if he wants, he can run a merchant train from town to town, hiring other players as mercenaries to protect him from player run bandit groups.

    Granted, the biggest problem with my starry eyed vision is that people, in general, are terrible.

  7. #7
    Beware Asparagus! The Fury's Avatar
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    The vision of MMOs ruling the market seems odd to me. Yes it is the next step, and possibly a good one (except for those who need more exercise), but is that all we have to look forward to?

    I think games that learn beyond that of Black and White, games where every single choice you make will determine where the story ends. A RPG game could have like 50 different endings or something.
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  8. #8
    registered meethraa's Avatar
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    I predict an expansion of the auteur status in games, and people looking for games from a specific designer more than they do now.
    P-Man "Does no one remember the NES? Flashing grey screens? Hmmm? Cartridges you had to blow so much that you expected there to be a fifty dollar bill on the nightstand in the morning?"

    Wannabe "It worked better if you slightly licked the game. I know it sounds odd, but it works really really well. At least on N64."

  9. #9
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Despite just getting my own boardgame published, I believe that boardgames have already peaked and will be dropping in popularity in the coming years. CCGs are almost dead, and in fact the word "collectible" is chasing off most gamers these days. RPGs, or at least D&D, got a big boost from LotR, but I think they are fading now. Live-action rpgs are dying off quickly as the fanbase has hit middle age.

    I believe there is still a strong market for console and pc games, but the newer games haven't really grabbed my attention for the most part. I suspect that sales are not as strong there, and development costs have been rising.

    So I think that the MMORPGs will continue to increase for the forseeable future. The creators of Eve just merged with White Wolf, so there will eventually be a major World of Darkness MMORPG, conveniently around the time that White Wolf's main fanbase enters their peak earning years.

    After that? I think that smaller online RPGs could be big, if somebody comes up with a highly customizable platform and a friendly interface, so that anybody with creative ideas can run a game for a group of friends or two. That would combine the best features of PC games, online games, and tabletop rpgs.
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  10. #10
    OMG!!! INTERNET! Agent Helix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury
    The vision of MMOs ruling the market seems odd to me. Yes it is the next step, and possibly a good one (except for those who need more exercise), but is that all we have to look forward to?

    I think games that learn beyond that of Black and White, games where every single choice you make will determine where the story ends. A RPG game could have like 50 different endings or something.
    I think you're misunderstanding what I mean by the "next step". I'm not saying that in the future, MMOs will dominate the market. I'm saying in terms of actually how games are played, that might be a viable evolutionary path, in addition to the forms of gameplay we already know.

  11. #11
    Senior Member hoffmandu's Avatar
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    Minitures........stay with me............on a board..........with........DICE! Full circle baby!

  12. #12

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    I think games that learn beyond that of Black and White, games where every single choice you make will determine where the story ends. A RPG game could have like 50 different endings or something.
    Star Ocean 2 had 80+ endings. It sounds cooler than it actually is

    I believe there is still a strong market for console and pc games, but the newer games haven't really grabbed my attention for the most part. I suspect that sales are not as strong there, and development costs have been rising.
    Sales aren't as strong as what?

    So I think that the MMORPGs will continue to increase for the forseeable future.
    Nah. Most MMOs that aren't WoW sell like crap and fold pretty quick. They don't draw in new players. It's just the same ones that jump from game to game (again, before WoW). Unless they learn from Guild Wars, drop the monthly fee and stop demanding all of your free time, it's probably not going to change much.

    After that? I think that smaller online RPGs could be big, if somebody comes up with a highly customizable platform and a friendly interface, so that anybody with creative ideas can run a game for a group of friends or two. That would combine the best features of PC games, online games, and tabletop rpgs.
    Neverwinter Nights

  13. #13
    Member Leslie Lee III's Avatar
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    I don't see MMORPG's getting bigger or innovating more (it might be the laziest genre in the history of gaming), I see more standard games adding in increased online features.

    Quote Originally Posted by meethraa
    I predict an expansion of the auteur status in games, and people looking for games from a specific designer more than they do now.
    I see no signs of this happening. All attempts at this have failed to deliver in any memorable way. These guys come with great ideas, but average to horrible execution. Video games are just a different beast than movies.
    Last edited by Leslie Lee III; 11-15-2006 at 02:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Beware Asparagus! The Fury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Helix
    I think you're misunderstanding what I mean by the "next step". I'm not saying that in the future, MMOs will dominate the market. I'm saying in terms of actually how games are played, that might be a viable evolutionary path, in addition to the forms of gameplay we already know.
    Ah...interaction. Gotcha.

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  15. #15
    That one guy. Serik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Lee III
    I see no signs of this happening. All attempts at this have failed to deliver in any memorable way. These guys come with great ideas, but average to horrible execution. Video games are just a different beast than movies.
    The only dev I know who's put his name in a game title is American McGee (American McGee's Alice). His most recent game, Bad Day LA, got TERRIBLE reviews from almost every major site and probably sold only a few copies...

    It's interesting that the general consensus is that future games should focus on interactive gameworlds/storylines instead of gimmicks (VR goggles, control pads) and graphics (the same game we've played 1000 times only with a higher poly count).
    "Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences." - Robert Louis Stevenson

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