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Games Entertainment

On The Trendiest Concepts In Game Design 50

Thanks to the Guardian Gamesblog for its post discussing some of the 'trendiest' concepts currently infusing the world of videogames. The author notes: "Like every other entertainment sector, the videogame industry is prone to sudden fads and fashions that seem to spring out of nowhere, take the scene by storm, and then disappear only to be replaced by more advanced technologies, or better ideas, or something really silly", before pointing out trends such as 'sandbox gameplay' ("Sandbox is the new 'non-linear' - a favourite buzzword for open-ended game design... the dole office is full of unemployed end-of-level bosses") street racing games ("All the big driving genres - arcade, rally, F1 - have been done to death, so developers, already fascinated by crime and edgy urban themes, have turned to street racing"), and 'historical accuracy' ("Once the preserve of sad PC strategy titles, history has become a major videogame theme.")
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On The Trendiest Concepts In Game Design

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  • by IshanCaspian ( 625325 ) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @08:25PM (#10018656) Homepage
    Most of the items on the list seem to be the inevitable result of our current progress with respect to graphics technology...we are advanced enough for moderately complex real-time physics, but not so advanced that we can swing real-time ray-tracing, etc.

    I'd say the real trends are things like episodic gaming, MMORPG's, the leveling treadmill, the limits of player interaction, etc. In short, the things that we actively choose, not those that are dictated to us by the limits of our technology.
  • Re:Sandbox? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gauauu ( 649169 ) on Thursday August 19, 2004 @09:18PM (#10018916)
    Is sandbox really a good term to use for video games? Maybe it's just me, but when I think of sandboxes, I think of something that's gritty and irritating to my eyes, usually full of crap, and that after you're done playing in it you haven't accomplished anything.

    In that case, it's ABSOLUTELY a good term to use for video games.
  • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Friday August 20, 2004 @02:55AM (#10020295)
    Ever hear of a game called Tresspasser? It was released back in 98 (same year as HL), and had a far more detailed "physics engine" than anything at the time. Only problem is, the game was a horrible, buggy, steaming pile of dog feces (i've seen it on more than one "worst games ever" list). But physics were semi-possible back then.
    The crappy thing is, Tresspasser kind of scared developers away from doing physics engines, lest they pull another tresspasser and completely fuck up their game. It wasn't until recently (starting with UT2003, AFAIK) that the big boys of the industry said "no, we can do this right". Suddenly, physics is a buzzword and a 'new thang' instead of being 5 years old and still evolving.
    I suppose the only good news is that detailed physics are probably here to stay now, and should get better as the industry keeps fueling their evolution.
  • Easy games? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Friday August 20, 2004 @06:35AM (#10020969) Homepage Journal
    I think the biggest trend in recent years, particularly from US developers, is to make easy games.

    It seems like a lot of people just want a game that they can play through and finish without too much effort. More like an interactive movie than a game. If you get stuck, the mags are full of cheats to help you. Some games even have a special cheat menu now (Tony Hawks, Turok Evo etc).

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...