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Old 08-09-2004, 12:51 AM   #21
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One of the most important reasons that violence is virtually the only language that gameplay speaks, is that it's just easier.

Violence is a very simple interaction. You click, they die. Designing other types of interaction such as talking to an interesting level is an infinitely more complex challenge. As a result, designers simply choose the path of least resistance and *click*, *click*, *click*...
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:56 AM   #22
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Hell, even a game about an assassin can be completed with minimal killing -- the Hitman games can be finished, and in fact are supposed to be finished, with only killing your specific targets and not killing anyone else in the mission. It's certainly possible to just run in and shoot everyone in sight, but that's not the way it was meant to be played. They all have some sort of non-lethal way to knock people out so you don't have to kill them.

But the real reason I'm making this post is to say that there are PLENTY of games with no violence whatsoever. The most obvious example would be to say sports games, which have a huge market -- but that doesn't really fit the point he's making. But look at adventure games.........most of those have little or no violence whatsoever. Look at all the simulation style games that do so well..........SimCity, Theme Park, Zoo Tycoon..........all of those. Of course the FPS genre will always be full of violence, because it's a shooting game............and strategy games generally will as well, because most of them involve armies and battles. But I think there are many genres which have a vast number of excellent non-violent games. The real point is that people BUY the violent games more than the non-violent games (the Sims excluded), and since they sell the best of course game companies will continue to pump out as many as possible. You're going to make what will make you the most money.
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:15 AM   #23
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Unfortunately, at this point, the Tycoon games are an example of a similar lack of creativity. Almost every game you see now is either violent or a Tycoon/Simcity clone. I think it hit rock bottom with Trailer Park Tycoon.

It's unfortunate, because the FIRST Tycoon game was really good. It's too bad Chris Sawyer didn't think to copyright "Tycoon."
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:25 AM   #24
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Have you heard of the new Peter Molyneaux game coming out called the Movies? It looks phenomenal........and I suppose it will have violence considering you can make violent movies, but you can also make comedies, drama, whatever you want. Very unique idea -- running a movie studio from the early silent movies up to the modern era.

I also can't wait for the remake of Sid Meier's Pirates!, which was one of the best if not THE best hybrid game ever made. It also has violence I suppose, but as they described it in an Erroll Flynn movie mode. You're really not out to kill people.
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:29 AM   #25
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The Movies does look good, but I'm a little skeptical about the claim that no two movies will be alike. Still, the fact that they said that one tester made his own ten-minute tribute to Vertigo makes me tingle. I wish they'd shown that one to the public instead of the lame "It Came From Neptune" movie or whatever it was called.

I hope Pirates! has insult sword-fighting. I would buy the game just for that.
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:36 AM   #26
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Yeah...............I'm pretty sure the swordfighting won't be Monkey Island-esqe. *chuckle* But honestly, I would rather play the old version of Pirates for my Apple II GS than 99% of the games that have come out since then. It was incredibly addicting -- if the remake doesn't somehow lose that, they should have a huge hit on their hands.

Honestly, I think the fact that the two games I mentioned are made by Sid Meier and Peter Molyneaux shows something -- the game industry needs more people like them who are willing to create something new instead of rehashing old games. If you look at Sid Meier, a great number of games that have come out in the past 10-15 years are copies of something he originally came up with. Too many game companies and designers now just look at what made money for other people and copy it, rather than come up with something new and exciting on their own. But I suppose that does make good business sense -- why risk something that might flop when you can just copy something else and be almost guaranteed a nice profit?
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:15 AM   #27
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Firaxis games:

Alpha Centauri
Civ 3

Upcoming:
Pirates 2
Civ 4
Unnamed project

3 rehashes, one original title, one undetermined. In other words, Sid Meier & Co aren't very out of the ordinary.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:27 AM   #28
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Sure they are -- how many games that come out now are copies/alterations of his original Civilization game? At this point, yes, they are milking what they came up with before. So you could fault them for that...........but at least they were the originators. He came up with brilliantly innovative games in the 1980s. There are very few designers/companies who do anything innovative today. Peter Molyneaux is obviously an exception............Will Wright too, I suppose. And I wouldn't be surprised if Sid Meier comes up with something else new before he's finished.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:48 AM   #29
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Firaxis also did SimGolf and the Civil War series, Antietam and... something else.

I'm still disappointed Meier never made his planned dinosaur game.
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Old 08-09-2004, 09:50 AM   #30
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Gettysburg was the other one............and it was generally considered the best turn-based war strategy game made up to that point.
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:15 AM   #31
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I forgot about SimGolf. Wasn't the Gettysburg game pre-Firaxis though?

BTW I think the games industry would be so much better off if Will Wright left EA and formed a Bay Area equivalent of Lionhead and its satellites. The man is a pure genius. As a designer I hold him in much higher regard than Sid Meier, Tim Schafer, or anyone else. It seems his genius is being wasted on new versions of SimCity and The Sims though.
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:29 AM   #32
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Must admit that The Movies game has potential to be very good, saw a trailer for it a while back and it looked really fun.
Though i wonder how much freedom you have?

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 also looks good, and it seems that they're adding more than just a 3D engine to it. Varying guest ages, groups of guests and fireworks the go in time with your mp3s


I remembere hearing somewhere that Sid Meier makes some of his games almost entirely by himself, i don't know whether its true or not, but if it is it's damn impressive
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:03 AM   #33
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Yeah, Gettysburg was pre-Firaxis. And I agree that Will Wright is a great game designer, but I still think I'd put Sid Meier above him --the Civilization series and Pirates! both fall in my top 10 PC games of all-time.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:23 AM   #34
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Gettysburg (oh yeah!) and Antietam were both developed by Firaxis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja Dodo
One of the most important reasons that violence is virtually the only language that gameplay speaks, is that it's just easier.
Easiest to design, easiest to sell, easiest to publicize. That's why there are so many violent games, and why it seems like there are so many more of them than non-violent games on the market.
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:13 PM   #35
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Were they really? I thought they were released before Firaxis existed. Probably just as Microprose products.
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:03 PM   #36
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http://www.mobygames.com/game/sheet/p,3/gameId,6/

http://www.mobygames.com/game/sheet/p,3/gameId,2657/
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:07 PM   #37
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Wow, I really thought those games were older than 1997 and 1998. Of course, that was 6 and 7 years ago respectively........so maybe my sense of time is just skewed.
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:05 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edlglide
Too many game companies and designers now just look at what made money for other people and copy it, rather than come up with something new and exciting on their own. But I suppose that does make good business sense -- why risk something that might flop when you can just copy something else and be almost guaranteed a nice profit?
You know the interesting thing about this is actually that it's not even up to the designers. Ask any designer in the games industry if they'd like to see more innovation and less sequels and they'll say 'of course'. Ask the same people if their publisher would fund them and you'll get a depressed 'not likely'.

Just an example, we had two guys from Team17 over at uni to talk about their work and one thing they said was that they have plenty of original ideas, but their publisher won't let them make anything but Worms sequels.

The problem is not so much with designers running out of ideas, as it is with publishers blocking new ones.
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:26 AM   #39
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Which is why publishers rot in hell!!
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:01 AM   #40
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The article says that almost all of true gamers' games are full of violence. But since when are those true gamers? It's like saying the only true athletes are those who enjoy parashooting from 70m tall buildings.
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