Has Online Gaming Made Game Designers Lazy?

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  • Has Online Gaming Made Game Designers Lazy?
  • Take the Call of Duty series, each new one just seems to patch up a few flaw’s in the previous games online gameplay, add in a few new single player levels and Bob’s yer uncle. The actual ‘game’ part of it can be completed in an afternoon!

    I like the online element, but a few years ago that was just an add on to keep you ammused once the game was completed. Now the ballance is the other way?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I was looking at games the other day. Seemed like almost everything PS3 based was about running around blasting various different 3d models with various different kinds of weapon. Wtf? Creativity anyone?

    Halo Reach is still keeping me entertained. Lots of different offline game types to keep me from getting bored of it. I’m sure if I had XBox Live though, I’d end up spending quite a lot of time on it…

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    I said pretty much the same to a colleague earlier today.

    MP used to be an afterthought for PC titles, just some run and gun add-on that the PC community could sometimes modify and develop.

    But with consoles offering a more accessible way to play online the balance has shifted towards the SP seemingly becoming second fiddle.

    I don’t know if it’s made the developers particularly lazy, it just seems they’re too keen to rush out new titles far too often.

    Maybe because the shelf life of the online content is far shorter without the modding community being able support and carry it.

    Oh for the good old days!

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Sometimes you want a good single player game.

    Admiralable
    Member

    Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas!

    Premier Icon Haze
    Subscriber

    Sometimes you want a good single player game.

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Torminalis
    Member

    Sometimes you want a good single player game.

    In the olden days you could just rehash the same chunks of game over and over, Doom 1 looks the same throughout pretty much. They also now have to have actors carry out all of the action for the cut scenes and the dialogue which increases production cost no end so it has become much more expensive to make games of any production quality. Could that be the issue?

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Sold my PS3 recently, ‘next gen’ games seem more concerned with the technical aspects (graphics/gameplay mechanisms) than story and playability. I find them really easy as well and therefore boring. The only ones that kept my attention were Arkham Asylum and Red Dead Redemption which were brilliant but still not that challenging.

    FPS have become ridiculously easy, there’s no element of risk if all you have to do is hide behind a wall for 5 seconds for your health to regen or use a first aid kit. Have been playing Black on the PS2, minimal save points, minimal ammo, minimal health and great AI mean that every level has tension that builds.

    IMO!

    King-ocelot
    Member

    As gaming has come of age games have evolved and will always do so. Looking back at the 16-bit era when consoles really started to sell, limitations in both hardware and software ment games lacked sophistication and realism. There was not the funding at hand that there is now so game engines became multi title affairs, sega realiseing Golden Axe 1,2,3 Alien Storm, Streets of Rage 1,2 For example. All those titles were based on the same game engine and forced the developers to use it to it’s fullest, ok a fantasy game, sci-fi and beat rm
    up all from one engine. Now a game engine is utilised mainly by the modding community who take it different genres. Exceptions like Red Dead being built around GTA still exist but developers now chase the online game of the moment. The sucsess of the current shoot em up franchises will push developers to bring an almost annual release with fewer limitations than the last. I don’t think developers are getting lazy just forced by profits to produce more titles into the best selling genres.

    King-ocelot
    Member

    Lifer I agree I love Red Dead but it’s too easy. The only challenge was finding 5 racoons to hunt, spawning almost randomley that relied on luck rather than skill or judgement

    deluded
    Member

    Online games evolve and are refined over time just like mountain bikes.

    I was never much taken with Xbox Live but I signed up a little while back and am loving Halo Reach online at the mo.

    Agree regarding how easy they can be nowadays. Reach on Legendary wasn’t too much of a struggle.

    If you want a good single player game I’d recommend Oblivion.

    It’s all well and good getting all misty eyed about the old retro games like Manic Miner but put one on now – they’re shite 😀

    billybob
    Member

    Also what’s happened to 2-4 player multiplayer games like Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Perfect Dark etc on the N64 when you & your mates could sit round in one room having a few beers & shoot the crap outta each other?

    anonymouse
    Member

    Goldeneye is back, mariokart never went away.

    billybob
    Member

    but in my opinion Mario Kart peaked with either the N64 or DS version & the re-run of Goldeneye is hardly forward looking – it’s bad enough hollywood remaking films without games developers starting as well.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Seems to me like every game currently is (something) 2.

    Last game I played through was Final Fantasy 13 though, so I can’t complain too loudly.

    King-ocelot
    Member

    Best Mario Kart was Super Circuit on the Gameboy Advance, underated gem. Nothing like linking up 4 gameboys on a train journey. It had the pace of N64 M-kart but was simpler like The original.

    Jim_Kirk
    Member

    just played through halflife 1 and 2 again, really enjoyed it. I havnt really bought anything new that lives up to them….

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Yes Jim! Half-Life is an excellent series

    Omar Little
    Member

    It is partly designer and developer led but they are also probably shifting to what gamers are wanting too.

    From my own perspective I’ve had my PS3 for about 3 years now, never thought i’d ever bother using it to play online (and didnt even try it for the first couple of years) but after dipping my toes in last year i now rarely bother completing the single player game and head straight online with it. That preferance is probably all to do with the type of games i like though – football and first person shooters – games where in the single player games the computers ai can become too predictable making it a bit easy.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Surely you need online mates to play online games? Or do any of you just use public stuff?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Is it such a radical concept that some of us on here have friends?

    billybob
    Member

    I have a ps3 these days & have the problem that I’m sure I’m being beaten by an 8 year old at fifa & if whenever I’ve taken the lead the opposition mysteriously vanishes..

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    I loved the first two Ghost Recons.

    samuri
    Member

    Lifer I agree I love Red Dead but it’s too easy. The only challenge was finding 5 racoons to hunt, spawning almost randomley that relied on luck rather than skill or judgement

    Nah, there were a couple of places where you could find loads, usually round the backs of houses. Good game though but as you say, not particularly challenging.

    I lost interest with online shoot ’em ups a long time ago, nothing ever changes. The single player missions are all that’s held my attention with these types of games since HL2. And Red dead and GTA4 have provided most interest in single player for me.

    GW
    Member

    The actual ‘game’ part of it can be completed in an afternoon!

    Can it?

    I’ve had MW2 for a good few months and don’t think I’m close to completing the single player campaign. I don’t really play it online either.

    Quake 4 from a few years ago was pretty good as a single player game. I can’t even get past the first few areas on the hardest setting. Even on the kids/grandmas setting (what ID used to call “Easy”) you had a lot of play-time and the baddies were often very challenging to defeat.

    Never played multiplayer online that much as our internet has always been to poor, but I have noticed that newer generation games are getting way too easy:

    Tomb raider 1-5:
    Mind-wrenching and hair-pulling at times, required serious thought.

    6:
    I’m going to pretend it doesn’t exist

    Legend onwards:
    Engine is pretty cool but the puzzles are WAY too simple and even I cleared the game with only a handful of deaths. Way too short as well.

    I think the market has changed a fair bit, which to an extent explains the problems we get. “Cool people” never used to play games, but they’ve become more mainstream over the last few years, and thus games developers have the opportunity to make games that appeal to everyone (and thus make more money by selling more copies). This has logically led to dumbing down and more of an emphasis on online play, as it allows you to be “sociable” and thus it’s more acceptable to the mainstream.

    my 2p

    nockmeister
    Member

    GW – Member

    The actual ‘game’ part of it can be completed in an afternoon!

    Can it?

    I’ve had MW2 for a good few months and don’t think I’m close to completing the single player campaign. I don’t really play it online either.

    yep….i’m crap and completed it in about 8hrs!

    I lost days to playing UT and made some great interweb friends

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    You come up with a game format that makes you a cool million, a few tweaks and some nice improvements will net you another million.

    Games now have budgets bigger than many blockbuster movies now and rake in more than they do, if you have a winning format then no need to change.

    I’ve had MW2 for a good few months and don’t think I’m close to completing the single player campaign. I don’t really play it online either.

    Took me about 5 hours it was very short.

    dirtbiker100
    Member

    Saw this image today:

    fisha
    Member

    I think for the most part, especially first person shooters, the online gaming takes the precedence, with the story line of a single player cmapaign being an after thought once they have nailed down what they are going to do with the multiplayer.

    COD just looks like more of the same … I cant say I would pony up for it at the moment … I dont see whats so new about it. The last game which had a reasonable campaign I liked playing through as assassins creed ( yet to play the 2nd one )

    I was having a similar discussion about this with the joiner who is doing our extension at the moment. I reckon that a lot of fresh ideas get stiffled by the publishers … a bit like how the music industry has gone. In the older days, it was easier for an upstart/independent to create a fresh game play and get it out there. Now as things have progressed, there are now major developer / publisher houses which control what hits the market.

    If you think about it, what area has of gaming has shown the most fresh originality recently?

    mobile phones.

    why? cause small developers can actually develop a polished product and get stuff distributed quickly out there to get it seen without a major publishing house getting in the way.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    You may have it there fisha, check out steam for the big guy helping the little guy though. There’s lots of quirky games on there and it’s heading to the PS3.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    FPS is all about on-line play for me, OK I played a bit of Black Ops single-player last night and thought it’s actually done really well but it’s not why I bought the game. I also recently bought Civ 5 but have no intention of playing that on-line as it’s the type of game I prefer just playing single-player against a fairly dumb computer AI. FPS games though IMO have very little replay value single-player (even for those that want to complete them in hardcore mode).

    Although I’d agree with many FPS games the trend is little or no single-player now I can understand why. Even back in Quake 1 & 2 days although they had decent single-player ‘campaigns’ the vast majority of people’s game time in them was on-line. I’m actually more surprised that games like MW2 and Black Ops even have a single-player game, it would seem a huge portion of development effort needs to go into it for what’s only a tiny proportion of real-world game time, if you just do on-line only then you don’t have to worry about AI and all the story cut-scene/mission stuff, you just focus on great maps and a good exp/upgrade system to give people a sense of progression.

    King-ocelot
    Member

    Samuri- I got frustrated and resorted to google, YouTube could hardly find any racoons in the hotspots. Eventualy when I got five the critters were common and everywere. My mate couldn’t find any big horn, which for me had been common place all over tall trees, If I remember I bagged the Elk and Big horn in about 10 minutes, so I suppose it made up for the Racoon hunt. Still one of the better games this year, I loved the original too, but it feels slow and dated now. You can see Capcom’s infulence in the first, and were Rockstar took over.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    I like the online element, but a few years ago that was just an add on to keep you ammused once the game was completed. Now the ballance is the other way?

    The problem is that for a lot of FPSs, a huge percentage of the target audience are buying only for the online multiplayer, so that mode tends to get the most attention – making sure that the maps and weapons are balanced, making sure that there’s all the obligatory modes (deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, etc).

    The single player mode only needs to hit the publisher’s magic number: 8 hours. Lengthy single player FPS campaigns tend to get abandoned by a lot of players, keep it short and the player can complete it easily – normally they try and encourage replayability by having the collectibles, achievements and additional difficulty levels.

    Premier Icon pypdjl
    Subscriber

    Now as things have progressed, there are now major developer / publisher houses which control what hits the market.

    That’s down to how much it costs to make a modern game, the vast expenditure required restricts it to the major publishers. Also makes them very risk averse,which doesn’t help innovation.

    OP – Possibly a true statement, but they are just reacting to consumers requirements.

    Secret of Monkey Island anyone?

    I enjoy playing two types of games, FPS and racing sims.
    What i’ve found with these are that while the FFS single player can be enjoyable the AI is very predictable. I completed MW2 on the hardest level recently and when I got stuck on a certain section I found it didn’t take long to work out the AI of the enemy to clear the section. Even on that level it only took me about 6 hours.

    I recently bought F1 2010 too and while there are flaws in the development of the game I have found the career mode to be the most challenging I have ever experienced in gaming. The concentration required to complete a full race without falling off the track is very high, well for me anyway, which adds to the tension and enjoyment.

    What i have also found the online experience is so different with these two types of games.

    The online gaming is more playable with FPS than with racing sims.
    I’m online all the time with COD but I never play online with racing sims. I have tried but each race is the same. Flat out out he straight brake, get shunted off by some idiot behind. Over take get shunted off again at the next corner. Repeat til end. 👿

    GW
    Member

    nockmeister – Member

    yep….i’m crap and completed it in about 8hrs!

    hmm.. Had a look at my stats and it turns out I’ve only actually played it for 6hrs in all the months I’ve had it and I’m on level 15 so nearly finished.. oh, well it’s still been pretty good value for me.

    I do think that MW2 had possibly the best gameplay of any game ever for me – some of the sequences (racing through the slums in Brazil/escaping the island) were breathtaking.

    Hardly played it online though (compared to going Prestige twice over and having days and days online gaming on the original MW).

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