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Gaming Clichés That Need To Die 416

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-time-events dept.
MojoKid writes "The PC and console game industry is in desperate need of an overhaul. With skyrocketing costs to develop games, consumers aren't going to accept $80-$100 game titles, especially not with mobile game prices in the 99 cent — $4.99 range. Not to mention, how games are designed these days needs some serious rethinking. This list of some of the industry's most annoying gaming clichés, from scripted sequences to impossibly incompetent NPCs, and how they might be solved, speaks to a few of the major ailments in modern gameplay with character and plot techniques that are older than dirt."
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Gaming Clichés That Need To Die

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  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:29PM (#39825029)

    You want them to make games much more complex--with completely destructible environments, near limitless borders, better AI, more complex NPC's, etc.

    But you also want them to be CHEAPER? Okay.

    And you complain about how long it takes to develop a triple-A title, so I guess you also want them SOONER too, huh?

    Perhaps you would also like to have them hand-delivered to your house by Natalie Portman in a bikini? Hell, sure, why not!

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:31PM (#39825075) Journal

      I think that when Natalie Portman delivers my super-cheap beyond-triple-A game to my house, she should be covered in hot grits. And naked. And petrified.

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by 3vi1 (544505) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:34PM (#39825115) Homepage Journal

      If they are delivered that way, I don't care what they cost. But yes, sooner, please.

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:47PM (#39825327) Homepage

      I'm not an unreasonable man; you can forego the bikini if you like.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jm007 (746228)
      In the spirit of helping out, I'm willing to beta-test the delivery system for free.

      Please.
    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by S77IM (1371931) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:49PM (#39825369)

      No, he's saying that instead of spending tons of money making games LOOK and SOUND better, they should spend that money on making games PLAY better.

        -- 77IM

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:54PM (#39825441)

        That's too hard. It's much easier to just throw another few million at the developers and tell them to make more detailed models. Major publishers are terrified of making games that don't play exactly the same as the last big hit.

      • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nschubach (922175) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:49PM (#39826215) Journal

        Here, I always thought the spirit of Software was re-use... making iterations easier. Instead, we have people making all new engines every year, copyrighting their code so nobody else can use it, locking up their assets and IP in restrictive licenses, and generally making sure that it takes more money to make the next sequel than ever.

        How many times has a game studio written inventory management code? How many have rewritten code to make an NPC follow a path? How many have remade mission trackers? How many have tossed old sound management classes because "they can do it better"?

        • Instead, we have people making all new engines every year, copyrighting their code so nobody else can use it, locking up their assets and IP in restrictive licenses

          Part of this is that the system libraries of the video game consoles are licensed in a way that is incompatible with copyleft licenses. For example, the requirement of Installation Information in GPLv3 and the corresponding requirement of "the scripts used to control compilation and installation of the executable" in GPLv2 pretty much require a console to be completely open to homebrew. This issue forced a recall of Pajama Sam for Wii [slashdot.org]: Atari and Majesco apparently wanted to release the ScummVM (for Wii) sou

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        I like what old Yahtzee said at ZP about FPS games, they have all become fricking sightseeing tours! No exploration, no cool things to find, no unique weapons or cool mechanics, its just dragging the player by the nose from one fancy set piece to another in total linear fashion.

        Frankly I'd be happy to buy a game with Far Cry I or even No One Lives Forever II level graphics if it were only...oh what's the word?...oh yeah FUN! Give me crazy weapons, give me cool things to do, give me a reason to give a shit a

    • Nethack (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oGMo (379) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:51PM (#39825401)

      You want them to make games much more complex--with completely destructible environments, near limitless borders, better AI, more complex NPC's, etc.

      Like Nethack!

      But you also want them to be CHEAPER? Okay.

      Nethack is free!

      And you complain about how long it takes to develop a triple-A title, so I guess you also want them SOONER too, huh?

      Nethack will be available twenty-five years ago!

      Go Nethack!

      All joking aside, roguelikes exhibit this kind of complexity, yet it takes quite a bit of time for them to develop that complexity (tangent: are roguelikes gaming wine?), and that's with ascii art. Once you have graphics, you lose the justification for "use your imagination" and have to have different graphics for the 9000 different objects in the loot table, etc.

      Also most people don't really have the time for that kind of game unless it's the only game they play.

      That said, I wouldn't mind!

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:52PM (#39825405)

      Alternatively they could stop making the same tired 1st/3rd person shooters with the exact same set of escort and assault missions played out across a costly yet unimaginative set of levels, and instead come up with a new game concept that doesn't need NPC AI, complex physical simulations, and destructible environments.

      Pacman has none of those things and it is still better than 99.9% of the shit that gets released these days.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        +1

        Most modern games I find boring unless it has a really strong story (like the offline Final Fantasy games) to keep me involved. I grow tired of level-after-level of FPS that eventually blur together.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by s.petry (762400) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:44PM (#39826155)

        The problem is not just with the games being release, but what people buy and what advertizing sells.

        This is a tough problem to solve. Think about it. Long ago, you sat at your first FPS. Your heart raced as you blew things up and spent many sleepless nights beating a game.

        Well, someone today will turn 13 and get a Gaming system, and for the first time ever will get that same feeling.

        To you, it's an old feeling. To someone else, it's brand new. I think the popular mind set is that old gamers should go away and sit in a bar instead. To many of us, it's our hobby, we don't like to sit in bars. There needs to be a market for people that game as a hobby, something better than Warcraft at least.

        • by Phrogman (80473)

          So you are saying developers might consider creating titles that are oriented towards the maturity of an audience? That young teenagers will accept the latest FPS clone because its new to them or they are less critical and more adrenaline driven, but that older gamers might want something with more plot, character development, complexity etc. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.
          Developers will never build games for anything other than the target audience though, as designing for a niche audience won't have as

      • Indeed. Whatever happened to the "design your own landscape/mission" idea that was so popular in the 80s and 90s? Hell, imagine Battlefield Whatever on a Worms 3D style random fractal landscape.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Beat me to it..... yes all the suggestions would increase development time and cost.

      IMHO if the problem is expensive artists..... just have a few on staff. True the worlds my be a little more pixelated but so what? Im not paying on hundred for a game. Heck right now I only pay nineteen typical.

      On the other hand maybe Im just being too cheap.
      If NES games cost fifty then todays game would natualy be ninty one through dollar devaluation.....

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:57PM (#39825477) Homepage Journal

      >> Perhaps you would also like to have them hand-delivered to your house by Natalie Portman in a bikini?

      And tell her to bring beer.

    • Want? Yes. Expect? No.

      But just because we won't get everything we want doesn't mean we shouldn't identify common failings in games and suggest some possible solutions.
    • I get your point, but TFA actually does list at least one cliche that could easily die AND not (significantly) increase cost: NPCs without self-preservation instinct.

      I really can't remember how long it's been since I've actually seen an NPC run away.

      • by Twanfox (185252)

        Minecraft animals do this now. The monsters just want your brainz.

      • The first 2 Fallout games would do this. If an NPC got wounded, they would run away.

      • The more I think about that list, the more fond I am of the Mount & Blade series.

        The world needs more sandbox games. One makes the story with freedom and imagination. Create a simulation and let it run, tweak the fun/boring/grinding elements.

    • by sdnoob (917382)

      But you also want them to be CHEAPER? Okay.

      if the major game publishers weren't so damn greedy, they would already be cheaper -- and still make a respectable profit (if the game was worth anything to begin with).. but no.. they just have to make their money back, and then some, the first 3 days on the market, thus the $60+ price tags

    • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:07PM (#39825653) Homepage Journal

      I've mentioned this many times before. We're going to have a bubble burst here pretty soon.

      I've heard it stated the entry level for a AAA title is $15 million, with the average AAA game costing $25 million to develop. Some games like GTA IV cost north of $100 million.

      Very few console games sell more than 1 million copies. For instance, only 25 titles have ever reached that mark on the PS3.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games#PlayStation_3 [wikipedia.org]

      NES games cost $50 back in 1985, which is over $100 in today's dollars. We expect far more from a game now while we're willing to spend far less, and yet consumers constantly complain that games are too expensive.

      Now, I hear rumors today that EA is about to be bought out. Do people realize game developers often work 80 hour weeks without paid overtime? Do they realize developers keep going bankrupt?

      Sure, EA is the devil and people may relish in publishers going bankrupt, but without developers we don't have games. I'd rather not see all my favorite developers out of work.

      • O)ne problem, EA is a publisher, not a developer.

        EA just sets the Profit margin of 75% and the deadline of "Yesterday" so devs have to cut things short.

        • I stated that EA is a publisher. And as a publisher, they turn a profit currently. I stated that people see them as the devil and don't care if they might potentially fail.

          The problem is that developers don't work unless a publisher funds it. Hoping that EA dies means all the developers lose their jobs first.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        It is pretty clear that there is Hollywood style accounting going on in the game industry. When we ask for better graphics, we are told that the graphics are the majority of the development cost, so you'll have to pay a lot to get them. We are told that all of our advancements in computer hardware and software doesn't bring the price down. When we say that we want the games on more platforms, we are told that the cost of porting is way too high because most of the cost of a game is in the coding/testing/
        • Developing 3D models aren't easy. The more assets you need, and the nicer you want them to look means you need to pay more artists for their time. Having a faster processor doesn't really reduce the time it takes artists to make these models.

          Making better looking games year after year with the same console hardware means paying developers to creatively eke more power out of those consoles.

          And I've never seen a developer state that porting costs more than art assets. Porting can be expensive, and sometimes i

    • by Dishevel (1105119)

      Cars get faster, safer, cheaper.
      Computers as well. Even if the game stays the same on better hardware it should run better and do more with less effort.

    • I sir, love your company!
    • His point is that the vast majority of the budget on most games is spent on art and voice acting. Some of his problems could be solved with simple better writing, and that's all but free compared to a lot of what's spent on art. The rest would require a lot of coding, new algorithms, thought, etc. That does cost money, but you could skimp a little on the ultra-ultra-high-res graphics that only people with super high end systems will see and maybe drop some of that cash on programers. It just requires th

    • by Jim Hall (2985)

      I'd be happy if shooters stopped with the cliche of "The rest of the heavily-armed squad will stay here to guard this safe area, while you go ahead and clear out the millions of bad guys on your own." Seriously?

      It's like if they made the original DOOM today [youtube.com], no one would play it. It would be kind of lame.

      The article also mentioned "Conveniently Indestructable Objects", and I'm with them on that. If you don't want the glass to shatter, give me a good reason: bulletproof glass, force field, ... something. I t

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You want them to make games much more complex--with completely destructible environments, near limitless borders, better AI, more complex NPC's, etc.

      But you also want them to be CHEAPER? Okay.

      No problem. Just play NetHack.

    • I always tell people : Fast, Cheap, Good... You can have any two.
  • by finlandia1869 (1001985) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:35PM (#39825123)

    I'd say that burning too much time and money on graphics, sound, FMV, and voice acting at the expense of mechanics, plot and bug-freeness has become a cliche in and of itself.

    Obviously the solution is to go back to text-based gaming. OK, fine, EGA and the PC speaker.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It always surprises me how big budgets are for "AAA" titles when those budgets involve huge outlays for things like licensing technology (the notoriously bad Havok physics engine, graphics engines like Unreal, or audio engines like FMOD... Hell, there are even engines for MENUS... and guess who owns Scaleform? Autodesk! Enjoy haggling licensing terms with those sharks). Frequently all these huge cash expenditures look like checking items off a list without even questioning whether or not it would be cheaper

      • by Swarley (1795754)

        Physics engines. I've seen too many otherwise excellent games absolutely crippled by their lazy reliance on a physics engine for things that don't actually work well that way. Watching enemy corpse ragdolls fly across the room is hilarious. Watching your valuable health, ammo, XP pickups sail over impassable barriers because some retarded dev decided that it would be "so super cool if those things had physics" is much less awesome. It's so easy to just click the "apply physics" check box without even th

  • Right, that'll work. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cinder6 (894572) on Friday April 27, 2012 @03:57PM (#39825483)

    Show me a $5 mobile game with the depth and length of a good AAA title, and I'll agree there's no point in spending $60 for games (where did the $80-$100 figure come from? Only collectors' editions cost that much, and even they are often less). Also, it has to have good controls. Not "well, this is pretty good for a mobile game", but actually good. I've bought all of five games on my iPhone. Two were terrible (Scribblenauts, Angry Birds), two were ports (Chrono Trigger and Vay), and one was a decent time-waster (7 Words). Certain types of games can work pretty well on a phone or tablet, but it's a small subset of what works on PCs or consoles. And, unfortunately, the games that work well on mobile devices don't seem to be the same games as the ones I actually want to play.

    The first poster did a good job pointing out that the added complexity the article wants will cost more, not less. I would like to point out that these cliches aren't universal, but there are problems with trying to "solve" them. I'll use "mandatory missions" for my example, alongside the article's example of Wing Commander.

    Wing Commander allowed you to progress through the story while failing every mission. Your ending would suck, but that should be expected. It was a neat idea. There were a two major problems with that, though. Orion discovered that most people never saw the "failed" paths, because people would restart missions until they succeeded. People want a sense of accomplishment, and failing a mission doesn't give that. The other big problem was the added complexity. When they set out to make Wing Commander II, they wanted a much larger, more expansive plot. It became much too difficult and costly to create all the possible branching paths, cutscenes, and script if they followed the same formula as Wing Commander. So they cheated. There are less branching paths than in the first one, but the result is a game with a better-structured story.

    There's also a side issue with allowing players to fail missions: You can game the system. If you just want to see the good ending of Wing Commander, all you have to do, IIRC, is play four missions. For every other mission, just eject as soon as you have control of your ship. Want to see the bad ending? Just eject on every mission! You can finish the game in just a few minutes, this way.

    I also feel like allowing a failed mission takes something away from the experience. It's more realistic, but what's the point of beating that really hard level if you can just fail it and move on to the next one?

    In the end, as I mentioned earlier, and as others have as well--I'm not sure how adding complexity is going to somehow magically drop down the price of games, or make them shorter to develop. I would also like to point out that games right now are cheaper than the SNES or N64 days. Heck, even NES games retailed at $50, and that's before you take inflation into account. I'm not sure where this "gaming is too expensive these days!" myth came from.

  • Original NES (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:00PM (#39825533)

    from scripted sequences to impossibly incompetent NPCs, and how they might be solved

    You must be under the age of 30 to say that. The original NES, the first major standard ever created, thrived on making games that were cheap, painfully difficult (Battletoads, anyone?), and wasn't advertisement supported. The reason the industry is suffering is the same reason everything turns to crap: Money.

    Producers have gotten the notion in their head that they don't just expect profit, that it's an inalienable right. Take linux for example; There are hundreds of command-line based programs that are there, for free, that can be combined and manipulated to perform almost any basic function. In the windows world, I'm expected to pay $30 for an application that can rename multiple files at once. It gets worse when they see dollar signs in advertising revenue.

    Imagine Super Mario Brothers if it were made today; The entire first level would be a tutorial where it cheers everytime you press 'A', gives you an 'achievement unlocked' after you stomp 10 goombas, and at the end of the level asks you to 'upgrade' to a Premium Mario that would start every level in 'fireball mario' mode for only $9.99. Especially in MMOs -- microtransactions now mean you can buy levels, gears, whatever you want. Some guy who slaved through all the levels gets no respect when some 14 year old with daddy's credit card comes in, curb stomps him, and then steals all his hard-earned equipment, which he just drags to the trash anyway, because hey, I can just buy it with real money. ha ha!

    Good games are about personal achievement, and being difficult enough to be a challenge without becoming tedious. Good games are intuitive and don't require a three hour introduction, and they are immersive experiences; You're thinking about your next move, not wondering if there's any way to unlock that next level without spending a weeks' worth of groceries on upgrades.

    No... Money is what ruined games; Businesses don't look at it as providing entertainment anymore, it's revenue, it's eyeballs for advertisers.. they aren't selling a product anymore: You are the product of the modern game. And it shows: The quality of modern games is shit.

    • Re:Original NES (Score:5, Informative)

      by Yosho (135835) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:23PM (#39825849) Homepage

      Imagine Super Mario Brothers if it were made today;

      I know it doesn't make as good of a strawman argument, but I think it'd probably end up a lot like, oh, New Super Mario Bros. [wikipedia.org]

      • Ah yes, New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo really fucked up on that one. It's a game for a portable device, but allowing you to save after completing a single level is unlocked after defeating the end boss.
        Also, 6 buttons available... but only 2 used and you have to use the touch screen to deploy your saved powerup.

    • Producers have gotten the notion in their head that they don't just expect profit, that it's an inalienable right.

      The video game industry has always been about maximizing profits. Nintendo games weren't that cheap back in the day and people would waste money on crap all the time.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Those NES games had their origins in painfully difficult arcade games that rewarded memorization and pattern recognition. Why did they do this? So they could suck down quarters faster. Your specific example, Battletoads, was patterned after the TMNT arcade games which were notorious quarter-munchers.

      It's always been about the money.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Imagine Super Mario Brothers if it were made today; The entire first level would be a tutorial where it cheers everytime you press 'A', gives you an 'achievement unlocked' after you stomp 10 goombas, and at the end of the level asks you to 'upgrade' to a Premium Mario that would start every level in 'fireball mario' mode for only $9.99. Especially in MMOs -- microtransactions now mean you can buy levels, gears, whatever you want. Some guy who slaved through all the levels gets no respect when some 14 year old with daddy's credit card comes in, curb stomps him, and then steals all his hard-earned equipment, which he just drags to the trash anyway, because hey, I can just buy it with real money. ha ha!

      Well now, let's take a look at that. Last Mario game I played was Galaxy - since then, there's been Galaxy 2, and maybe 3D Land, in the main series, but I haven't played them. The first level was indeed primarily a tutorial and story introduction, but there was no cheering or achievements. Next level was essentially the same as any level of Super Mario 64, save for the whole "walking on spherical surfaces" thing, which mainly boiled down to the camera.

      There are no microtransactions, although you can spend i

    • Re:Original NES (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IntlHarvester (11985) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:50PM (#39826229) Journal

      The original NES, the first major standard ever created, thrived on making games that were cheap, painfully difficult

      NES games were modelled on the arcade experience, where the games were designed to be endorphin-fueled quarter-suckers. Ultimate success was having a crowd gather around as you mastered the game, publicly acknowledging your superiority.

      Game developer eventually figured out this approach doesn't work when the customer was sitting home alone in their basement. There was no great penalty for failure, nor reward for success beyond personal satisfaction. So modern games usually are not very much of a skills test, and (as the article noted) more of an interactive movie where the player is 'rewarded' with plot-points and virtual trophies.

    • I, however, dislike the very difficult games If I play a single-player game, I want to see the ending, to get the full story. This is why I listen to all the audio logs I can find. If I have to redo a sequence more than 10 times I get a bit frustrated. If it's 50 or more times the probability that I'll drop the game starts approaching "1". Especially if I can only save at checkpoints or the reloads take a long time. I dislike repetition and while you can say that, say, a shooter is repetitive in that most

    • Imagine Super Mario Brothers if it were made today; The entire first level would be a tutorial where it cheers everytime you press 'A', gives you an 'achievement unlocked' after you stomp 10 goombas

      Let me guess: you saw that on Zack Hiwiller's site [hiwiller.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:01PM (#39825567)

    DLC is fast becoming a gaming cliche and needs to die off. Everytime you buy DLC you tell developers.....

    I want to pay more than 60 dollars for my game.

    I want to buy something that I will never own. I will pay for content I cant trade, sell, or give away.

    I want my games chopped into small pieces and sold me to seperately over the MSRP price of the main game.

    I am fine with paying for a inferior product because DLC is never as good as the original.

    I want to pay for something that more than likely wont be availible to me in 5 or 10 years if I want to go back and play it.

    I want features sold as dlc. Like how tecmo is selling a difficulty setting for ninja gaiden 3 as dlc.

    I want endings sold as dlc. Like how square is selling the ending for final fantasy 13-2 as dlc.

    I want content on my game disc I paid for to cost me extra. Like how capcom sells on disc dlc as extra.

    I want content on day 1 that should be a part of my game I bought. Like how bioware put content out on mass effect 3's first day.

    Every single time you buy DLC you are telling developers and publishers that. Now DLC is almost expected for everything and becoming its own cliche.

    • by residieu (577863)

      Preorder bonuses and special editions

      Everyone knows there will be plenty of copies available on release day, so there's no reason to preorder. But Gamestop needs to lock people in (and collect a bit of cash early) so they get the developers to add special preorder bonuses. Preorder today or you won't have all the shiny gear to show off in multiplayer. While you're at it, why don't you pay an extra $50 for a poster, and some dogtags and a cheap statue, all in a bigger box with foil highlights.

  • leaving aside the fact that it argues for more realism and complexity that consumes less resources and costs less (i.e. MAGIC), it also rails against a lot of the elements that make games, games. be careful what you wish for.

    do you really want open-ended plotlines where the player truly controls the direction of the plot? there are real problems to that approach. dramatic fiction (which is a huge element to the appeal of, say, RPGs) depends on a cogent story being told. one thing must logically lead to

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dcollins (135727)

      "incredibly dumb article"

      ^ This is the most accurate thing that can be said. The article was the dumbest thing I've read about gaming in a long, long time. The thesis: "Games are too expensive so you should add exponentially more complexity to make them cheaper" is obviously a non-starter. And yes, the indestructible objects item was a low point:

      "Ideally, let's just get rid of invulnerable structures, period... Giving players the freedom to re-shape terrain does create certain challenges, but not as many as

  • by deweyhewson (1323623) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:13PM (#39825723)

    People seem to forget, or never learned, that the gaming market has crashed before; in the 1980s, to be precise. And why? Because loads of shovelware titles were being released to capitalize on gamers' increasing willingness to buy them, while development costs were skyrocketing, and every other game was a ripoff of another title that came before it. Sound familiar?

    Eventually all the bloat collapsed in on itself and the market for video games nearly died.

    Personally, I'm of the opinion another video gaming crash may not be such a bad thing. The price of games is already many times over that of other forms of media (would you buy a typical book or movie for $60?), while development costs are starting to outpace even most big studio movie productions. Ingenuity and creativity are among the casualties, while developers and publishers are trying every way under the Sun to extract as much money as possible from customers, from activation limits, to invasive DRM, to serious considerations to kill used game sales (a first sale right that extends to every other product on the market, yet gaming companies seem to think they, somehow, should be a special exception). Financially, the market is booming, while creatively, it is dying.

    Without the gaming crash of the 1980s, we never would have had Nintendo. I'd like to see what major boons would come out of another crash.

    • by JDG1980 (2438906)
      I don't think there was a video game crash in the mid-1980s. There was a console crash, which is not the same thing. What happened is that for a couple years, after the Atari VCS wore out its welcome and before the NES arrived, the Commodore 64 was the "game console" of choice. People thought the industry had fundamentally changed because the C-64 was also a home computer, but it really hadn't. When the NES supplanted the C-64 as the home gaming device of choice, things went back to normal.
  • Something that's escaped all of the online courses is learning through gamification [wikipedia.org].

    In real life, learning is growth - we learn something, it's useful, then we incrementally learn something more useful. There's a reward at every stage.

    In online courses, there is no reward - instead of pursuit of goals it's a continuous escape from penalties. It's the exact opposite of what makes a game fun. The MITx "Circuits and Electronics" course is exactly this way: it's a continuous stick instead of a carrot. Get the h

  • $ apropos cliché
    cliché [] (1) - I used to be a game developer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:35PM (#39826031)

    How about overly short paragraphs interspersed with lots of pictures spread over an unholy amount of pages, simple to get more pageviews for ad driven revenue.

  • by Mojo66 (1131579) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:52PM (#39826265)

    Game clichès that need to die that are not mentioned in the article:

    - The US are the good. The <insert other nation here> are the evil.

  • by JDG1980 (2438906) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:55PM (#39826297)

    The linked article misidentifies the problem. If you look at the greatest games of all time (e.g. Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger) they often use the "cliches" mentioned in the article. That is because these cliches are a necessary part of a well-designed game, especially if it is an action adventure or a JRPG.

    The problem is a monoculture of game genres. Just as hip-hop has pretty much taken over music to the exclusion of everything else, so have two specific game genres (FPS and MMORPG) basically colonized the entire PC/console gaming industry. These were never very good genres to begin with, and they're totally overdone and worn-out now. I, personally, will not play any game that has a first-person perspective because I simply can't feel comfortable or get used to it. Good 3D games need to have a third-person camera angle.

  • Prices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bickle (101226) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:58PM (#39826343)

    consumers aren't going to accept $80-$100 game titles, especially not with mobile game prices in the 99 cent â" $4.99 range.

    Does anyone actually believe this? It gets repeated over and over, but it makes zero sense. There isn't a single gamer that can't recognize the difference between the complexity of a mobile game and something like Skyrim. I get the feeling that this statement is just being repeated over and over in a lame attempt to brainwash people into believing it.

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