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Rant Start.

Game or Simulation?

To get where some folks want to be realisum-wise the developers have to move from a game developing mentality to simulation developing mentality. This takes the mass market appeal factor out of the equation... it also means the price would likely go way up for the end user.

How "real" do we want it to be? Do you want to walk or run for an hour or two from your insertion point to get to the objective? Do you really want to feel the grit and fear of combat, I don't think I really do? The technology to bring a true simulation of ground war fighting doesn't exist yet in my opinion, you can get closer with a flight sim but it still lacks the true fear of death. In the end it's all about the fear, the fear of getting killed. The fear of your buddies or even innocent bystanders getting killed. Instilling that fear is the real hurdle in simulating realisum.

P.S.

Let's not forget the gore factor... A true simulation would be quite messy... lots of dead things of all ages, shapes, and sizes. In various states of char and togetherness as well... easier to simulate in a game than fear is but still a challange.

Rant end.

Edited by chilly-willy
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and likely Blackfoot, now?.... 2) direct shares in the profits, rather than a guarenteed lump salary - My own observations, folks from Blackfoot can tell me different, of course.

Devs don't always get a lump sum deal with a publisher.

A development studio comes up with a game idea, and pitches it to the publisher, looking for financing.

Publisher says "sure, we'll put up $x00,000 to you guys to develop the product, then when it goes retail, we take X0% of each unit sold."

They also want a ton of creative control, thinking they know best what will sell the most.

The dev studio also has to pay for engine licenses, to the tune of $100K.

And if you want to port the game to the 360, you're going to pay Microsoft another licensing fee, AND more X0% of each unit sold.

S0, the devs still get a percentage of the sales, but eveyone else has taken a huge chunk of it.

Any start up dev studio will typically seek publisher support, because they cannot move forward without the financing. But they pay a heavy price, in control and dollars. There does seem to be a trend of development studios having a go at it, and pulling it off, which to me is a very good thing.

And yes, BFS is currently moving forward without a publisher, which gives John complete creative control, which is also a very good thing.

Edited by MONOLITH
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They say, "war is hell." There are a few of us that post here on GR.net that know, all too well, how true that statement is. If you want the ultimate realism... enlist. If not, keep buying and playing these "tactical simulators" and "tactical games" that people make.

The average person doesnt want true realism. They know not what they ask for. Anyone who's been in actual combat knows better than to want this so called realism.

Its a rush, but its not all fun and games.

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and likely Blackfoot, now?.... 2) direct shares in the profits, rather than a guarenteed lump salary - My own observations, folks from Blackfoot can tell me different, of course.

Devs don't always get a lump sum deal with a publisher.

Sorry if I was being misleading with my statement - I was referring to an established company, with employed developers on their payroll. They get their salary from their company rain or shine as opposed to free devs who pitch to a publisher on their own. And yes, all that other crud applies to the developer, but the already established company isn't paying out royalties to its developers, the IP belongs to the dev company, who sold it to the publisher, yes? This is what I was referring to, abject apologies.

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Rant Start.

Game or Simulation?

To get where some folks want to be realisum-wise the developers have to move from a game developing mentality to simulation developing mentality. This takes the mass market appeal factor out of the equation... it also means the price would likely go way up for the end user.

How "real" do we want it to be? Do you want to walk or run for an hour or two from your insertion point to get to the objective? Do you really want to feel the grit and fear of combat, I don't think I really do? The technology to bring a true simulation of ground war fighting doesn't exist yet in my opinion, you can get closer with a flight sim but it still lacks the true fear of death. In the end it's all about the fear, the fear of getting killed. The fear of your buddies or even innocent bystanders getting killed. Instilling that fear is the real hurdle in simulating realisum.

P.S.

Let's not forget the gore factor... A true simulation would be quite messy... lots of dead things of all ages, shapes, and sizes. In various states of char and togetherness as well... easier to simulate in a game than fear is but still a challange.

Rant end.

*sigh* You will have to forgive me if I come across as harsh, but I am really tired of hearing this one...

Whenever this topic comes up, someone invariably goes to this extreme on the other end. First of all, as previously explained, I can't enlist even if I wanted to, to those who say enlist. I'm a cancer survivor, if you must know and more, I don't really want to kill people even if it is sometimes necessary in the course of whatever. My hat's off to those who have had the opportunity and temerity to serve their respective countries. We're well aware that true warfare is not fun and games, thank you. Yet, here we all are, playing games that simulate death and carnage, and lets just not open up that particular can of worms, okay? I think of games like these more like airsoft or paintball, just more graphically simulated. Next, when we as tactical GAMERS are referring to realism, what we want is generally well-employed tactics, bounding, covering, an AI that knows not to fire a GL at 5 feet from target, an AI that knows not to cross a fire lane or shoot right past your character's head, an AI smart enough to respond to tactics presented to it and plan accordingly to make a decent but not impossible challenge, realistically rendered weapons, damage effects on continuing to play the game for player or AI alike, realistic call signs, radio traffic, hand signals, group formations, entry methods, etc.

No, not a single one of us wants to deal with watching our friends get blown to hell, or being alone in the bitter cold or heat night after miserable night, starving, low on ammo, behind enemy lines, the stink of rotting corpses of some children that got hit by a stray shell, etc. So please, folks, don't bother bringing those elements even into the conversation. That's just plain rude and insulting our intelligence - or at the very least mine. We are speaking of realistic elements of tactical warfare that make a good GAME. You can call it a sim or a game and split hairs if you wish on the definitions, but what we - in this forum, thread and context - are referring to is a GAME.

"Rant off".

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OK, let's keep this more or less on topic, I would hate to lock this thread.

We all want a game that plays a certain way and feels a certain way.

While I like what BFS is doing, we need to be mindful of the fact that we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to game IPs we like. I have said this before. By asking for some features, and then getting them, we change the way a game is played.

It costs money to get games made and it costs money to add more features to a game. If a dev doesn't have any funding, I would rather have solid gameplay over features that do not add anything to gameplay. That will allow a game to get published and be a hit faster than a game with tons of features and shiny graphics, but no gameplay.

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OK, let's keep this more or less on topic, I would hate to lock this thread.

We all want a game that plays a certain way and feels a certain way.

While I like what BFS is doing, we need to be mindful of the fact that we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to game IPs we like. I have said this before. By asking for some features, and then getting them, we change the way a game is played.

It costs money to get games made and it costs money to add more features to a game. If a dev doesn't have any funding, I would rather have solid gameplay over features that do not add anything to gameplay. That will allow a game to get published and be a hit faster than a game with tons of features and shiny graphics, but no gameplay.

This is the heart of the discussion, truly enough. There is such a thing as too much, there is too little, there is not enough of this or that. But it all falls flat without a solid backbone to work with first.

What I've always found great about the R6/GR franchises, frankly, is the fact that after market, we (and by we I mean those brilliant folks who like to tinker around with the guts of the product) can modify it to suit our desires for more/less/better/tweaked. This is the overriding reason I choose to get R6/GR games on PC rather then 360 - because we can change it to suit us later on down the road. That's magic, boys and girls. Is it hard to do? Yah, you betcha. And sometimes the tools are difficult to use, or hard to come by. But someone out there with a lot more time, money or both than I have has gone to trouble to figure it out and make a change. Good, bad, whatever, they do it and figure out how to make it work.

To the modders: cheers, lads. Thanks for your work.

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and likely Blackfoot, now?.... 2) direct shares in the profits, rather than a guarenteed lump salary - My own observations, folks from Blackfoot can tell me different, of course.

Devs don't always get a lump sum deal with a publisher.

A development studio comes up with a game idea, and pitches it to the publisher, looking for financing.

Publisher says "sure, we'll put up $x00,000 to you guys to develop the product, then when it goes retail, we take X0% of each unit sold."

They also want a ton of creative control, thinking they know best what will sell the most.

The dev studio also has to pay for engine licenses, to the tune of $100K.

And if you want to port the game to the 360, you're going to pay Microsoft another licensing fee, AND more X0% of each unit sold.

S0, the devs still get a percentage of the sales, but eveyone else has taken a huge chunk of it.

Any start up dev studio will typically seek publisher support, because they cannot move forward without the financing. But they pay a heavy price, in control and dollars. There does seem to be a trend of development studios having a go at it, and pulling it off, which to me is a very good thing.

And yes, BFS is currently moving forward without a publisher, which gives John complete creative control, which is also a very good thing.

I've been having a think about the games Ive enjoyed in the past compared to how I feel about some of the games available today. I looked at some of the history of those games developers, and I think it compliments some of the points you have made. I also think it gives quite an insight into what typically happens to developers who make a name for themselves. Typically, they get bought out by publishers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Looking_Glass_Studios

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_Software

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Storm (IMHO Ion Storm made the ultimate RPG pc game - Deus Ex)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Storm_Entertainment#History

Its interesting when you see it put together like that - you can see the pattern.

I dont see publishers as evil. They are in business to make money. I do however see gamers/consumers as stupid and gullable. After all the console is only here because gamers buy the games...

Looking on the bright side though, there are these companies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethesda_Softworks ( Elder Scrolls series)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2K_Boston/2K_Australia (BioShock)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valve_software

I know none of these do tactical shooters but it is at least a spark of hope.

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Once again this thread has moved into an interesting and highly contradictory area of gaming.

GRAW, like many others, makes a game of an aspect of human behaviour that, in reality, most of us find unpalatable!

If we couldn't bring ourselves to actually go to war and kill other humans, what exactly do we get from playing GRAW and like games?

For myself, I have never been in that situation and I can only hope that I wouldn't kill anyone else without a totally compelling reason. On the other hand the question makes me think about how the world would look now if others hadn't taken that responsibility and risked and lost their lives defending the free world in the 1939 - 1945 conflict.

I certainly don't condone all the various killing sprees that have occurred since that time and sincerely hope we don't see a third such event but the gaming question is interesting, don't you think?

Mike.

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Once again this thread has moved into an interesting and highly contradictory area of gaming.

GRAW, like many others, makes a game of an aspect of human behaviour that, in reality, most of us find unpalatable!

If we couldn't bring ourselves to actually go to war and kill other humans, what exactly do we get from playing GRAW and like games?

For myself, I have never been in that situation and I can only hope that I wouldn't kill anyone else without a totally compelling reason. On the other hand the question makes me think about how the world would look now if others hadn't taken that responsibility and risked and lost their lives defending the free world in the 1939 - 1945 conflict.

I certainly don't condone all the various killing sprees that have occurred since that time and sincerely hope we don't see a third such event but the gaming question is interesting, don't you think?

Mike.

It is an interesting question, but again, a can of worms best left unopened, or at least, a tad off-topic for this thread. Feel free to start a thread on it if you see fit, but not in this particular discussion, please?

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[sarcasm]Dont stop there. While were at it we can just discuss the social, political, and geometric ramifications of Ghost Recon in its entirety.[/sarcasm]

But honestly. Knowing why we play these first person tactical shooter games/sims is what all of this boils down to. No matter what platform it is played on and no matter who or what age group plays them, there has to be some defining characteristic that draws us to the PC or console every night to play a FPTS. Not sure if it is just one characteristic or many combined. But there has to be something. If and when we find it out, the games we love will never stop coming. And they will only get better.

One thing I can surely tell it's not, it is not because of the graphics. [GR] has been played since release in 2001, and looking at it now, omg are the graphics horrible compared to GRAW or GRAW 2, but [GR] is still the better of the two based on pure gameplay adn flow.

Why reinvent the wheel??? Just make improvements. :thumbsup:

Edited by SierraNovember6
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But honestly. Knowing why we play these first person tactical shooter games/sims is what all of this boils down to. No matter what platform it is played on and no matter who or what age group plays them, there has to be some defining characteristic that draws us to the PC or console every night to play a FPTS. Not sure if it is just one characteristic or many combined. But there has to be something. If and when we find it out, the games we love will never stop coming. And they will only get better.

Healthy expression of a violent and/or aggressive impulse, demonstration of power, etc. The psychobabble is endless. Numerous stories and theories exist, studies have been conducted and so on. Numbers don't lie, but they can be shaded to twist facts, too, remember that when looking at a survey and the like.

I could say something like this: inside every one of us - male and female alike, though more concentrated in the male - is an instinctual predator waiting to cut loose. Everyone has the potential to be a monster just as much as a saint or a pacifist. In a video game, only pixels die and are reconstituted over and over again. In reality, well...

But is this what it all boils down to? I don't know about that. There's a hundred different factors going on in any one individual as to why they play a video game to begin with, then a shooter, and then an FPTS. Is there a common denominator? For many, perhaps, but it doesn't play through for everyone.

Difficult question, I'll admit but fundamental to the success or failure of this genre of computer gaming, which is what I thought we were discussing?

Yes and no. We're more discussing the marketing, developing, publishing, and design fundamentals that go into the development of the FPTS genre games, and the impact of the consoles upon development between the arcade-feel games and more 'tactical' feeling sims, directly leading to the question of different development between console and PC platforms. Admittedly, why we play these games directly impacts marketing and design, but still, that question in and of itself is one for its own thread, IMHO. Because it's like asking: why are we here? It's more philosophical and abstract than a concrete question, and I'm sure everyone has their own theories, religious implications, moral views, psychology, sociology, anthropology, telepathy from outer space, whatever, about it.

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NoQuarter's got a very good point! :P

For me anyway, 80% of television is virtually unwatchable here in the UK and I understand, even more so in the US.

(A high percentage of programming is imported from the US)

I don't pretend the gaming question is an easy one to answer but are we suggesting that the devs and publishers know nothing about the psychology of the market and blindly copy what's gone before? I would have thought that knowing what motivates us to play the genre is the secret for success!

One last comment in response to SierraNov's input.

If GRAW's graphics were no better than [GR] I would not have bought GRAW!! Graphics quality is VERY important to me in any PC game and especially flight sims. IMHO, good graphics are an essential basic ingredient for realism.

Mike. :huh:

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One last comment in response to SierraNov's input.

If GRAW's graphics were no better than [GR] I would not have bought GRAW!! Graphics quality is VERY important to me in any PC game and especially flight sims. IMHO, good graphics are an essential basic ingredient for realism.

Mike. :huh:

I agree wholly with you, graphics are very important, and lend them selves to the immersion affect a game has. But when a dev, sacrifices gameplay design time for graphics design time, thats where I have a problem (not that that is what GRIN did with GRAW 2, it is however, what they did with GRAW1). How much time went into the Physx stuff? How many of those who bought GRAW still do not have a Physx board? I wager to say many if not most.

For instance, if [GR], had great graphics, which it did for a 2001 title, but no gameplay core (everything we enjoy about it) to back the looks up, [GR] would have failed miserably. [GR] didnt survive based on looks alone. It took great gameplay for it to survive.

Take the R6 series as a prime example. When they sacrificed game play for eye candy, the series took a dramatic hit. Everything we enjoyed about the game was dropped so they could make it look good for a new console platform. Ubisoft directly targets the younger players who can learn to adapt to any new game quickly and all they care about is how cool it looks when they frag an enemy. These kids have the mindset, just as I used to before I grew up, that once you have beaten a game its done and over. "Time to go trade it in on the next game. MOM!.... can we go to the mall???"

What is needed is the devs to have a steadfast belief that both are the most important, not either/or. Without both at the highest importance, the game is doomed from the word go. The story and game playe grab your attention and the graphics make you feel the story is real. Its like watching a B-Movie with a cool plot. If they only had the time or money to turn out a better visual presentation. Its just the opposite with games these days. All graphics... no game.

How many times have you opened a game booklet up and found a two paragraph back story page, if any at all, and then, you flip through and find a 3 or 4 page section on the TvT multiplayer aspect of the game??? These companies know what they are doing, and they market their games to appease what sells, and my friend... what we want, those little details we crave, everything we think that makes an FPTS great, is not what sells.

So, your "essentially, graphics are why I bought this game" argument, while compelling, is not only oh-so true and frequent, but it is exactly what Ubisoft and the like, want to happen.

Buy a game because it will be a good game and give you enjoyment through game play, not because it looks cool. If we continue to buy games that just look cool, they will stop making games that play cool. If I want to see something CG and cool, I'll go watch Transformers again.

And on the TV subject. TV sucks! Watch a movie or play a PC video game!

Edited by SierraNovember6
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Sierra, I didn't say I bought GRAW because of the graphics, I said I wouldn't have bought it if they had been no better than [GR] ;) Nor would I have bought if the gameplay had been poor!!

BTW, IMO Transformers is a prime example of shallow, comic book futuristic gaming that gives computer gaming a bad image. I agree the CG is cutting edge though. :P

If your interested and as Keyfox suggested, I've started another thread THE GRAW DRAW in General Off Topics. :)

Mike.

Edited by tecmic
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Replay value and moddability are big points for me when getting a game. Graphics - everybody loves the eyecandy. Gameplay - without solid gameplay, I won't play it. Simple as that. But if a game is good and I had a good time with it, I'll come back to it years later and play it. Likewise, if there's the ability to add mods and a good active modding community, playing is virtually endless. Look at Oblivion, for example. And certainly the R6/GR series'.

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