Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Sphinx2000, Jun 6, 2019.
This picture speaks many words for me...
* With the incredible hardware we have at our disposal today
* With the rapid development tools that make game creation easier than ever before
* With the commoditisation of 2D, 3D and audio acceleration to create any story-telling vehicle you'd care for
* With the Internet and it's ease of finding documentation to solve common problems
* With the ease in which developers can publish their games
Why does gaming today just not *feel* like it did then? Is it my "old fart" nostalgia? Is it the hyper-commercialisation and made-to-a-formula change of the gaming "industry"? Is it the fact that nearly unlimited resources have meant that nobody needs to be creative to overcome limitations any more? Am I just wrong, and games are just way better now than they were then?
Somebody who's not a cynical curmudgeon, lend me your opinions.
I have that exact mug, my mother in law bought it for me.
elvis, Some of this is your nostalgia colored glasses, and believe me I have a pair on myself. My opinion is that you needed some imagination on older games, not only to make them, but to play them! I was, and am a huge sim fan, be it cars or planes or 'mechs, but with older games, you needed to imagine you were stomping around in a 80 tonne machine while tapping on a keyboard listening though the headphones you stole from your sisters discman. Perhaps in this ultra-realistic vr world, that's what we lack. I don't really play new games much, i think the newest game I've played recently is Witcher 3 (and Elite Dangerous), but yes, we have traded gameplay for graphics to put it simply, and why should a game company make good games, when we buy shit FIFA every year for squillions? </industry rant>
Game makers needed to have polished, "good" (inverted commas intended) games pre-internet because once it was out there, you are done, no way to push a patch like today. Game execs have openly admitted that the launch of a game is no longer important, its the "live-service" and the "long-tail" of games development. It makes me sad that once great developers are now pushing out shit like Fallout 76 and Anthem, where they are broken, lifeless messes, with no end in sight.
I'm going to play some old games tonight mate. I need to get started on my write up as well, and this rant has just inspired me.
Whoa, blank CD spindle. I wonder if they're the re-writable CD's. Also, no Theme Hospital box art?
It could be an age thing, but I too feel like the golden age of gaming is well past.
I feel the same about movies. Take Terminator 2,It had very good but limited CGI that was a support to a great story line. If you watch the preview for Terminator 735 or whatever number we’re up to coming out later this year, it appears to again be all CGI and a very mediocre story. The story is secondary to the CGI in movies these days...
For me, I reckon gaming doesn't feel like it did back in the day for the same reason I'm not scared of the dark anymore - my imagination is going / seen it all before / tired / real life worries. We're also overwhelmed with great hardware and content in these modern times so that takes away the magic a bit for me; having a limited set of games forced you to compromise and find the good in what you had. And while fighting outdated hand-me-down hardware to get a game to run always drove me nuts, again it made me appreciate what I had and forced me to get to know it inside out.
I listen to the HG101 Top47K podcast in the car, and there's regular talk on there about this. They often compare a given game they're talking about to other media too - whether or not a game does a particular story better than, say, a novel or a film would. And it's no a one-sided affair either - often the discussion does conclude that a particular game would have been better as some other format instead of a game.
But the topic of old games and imagination comes up. I certainly think similar to novels, older games were more "descriptive" of a given scenario, rather than blatantly showing you something. And perhaps why that's why I love pixel art so much - it's less about realism, and more about an abstract hint at something, where you as the viewer need to fill in the blanks for yourself.
In the "Retro display solutions" thread, I posted this image, which somewhat illustrates not only the way old technology used it's limitations to interpret visual definitions of things, but also meant we had to fill in the blanks to build a bigger picture of what was missing:
Somewhere along the lines these abstract collections of blurry, low resolution dots become our avatars, our nemeses, and the worlds they inhabit. Compare and contrast to modern high resolution graphics where everything is so much more blatant.
And perhaps that's also why I enjoyed film more in the pre "VFX to excess" days than today? Or why a novel or graphic novel does a better job of capturing a story than a high bdget film? What's not shown we can fill in to the best of our imaginations, rather than the limits of technology. And that way, whatever we imagine is always the best for us, defined by us, rather than someone else's interpretation? Similar to the philosophy of ideal forms that exist only in our imagination, and never in the real world where they are inferior instances (Plato uses the simple idea of "the perfect chair" that we can imagine, but never come across in real life).
Or perhaps it really just is as simple as something being of far greater impact to a young mind than an old one, and inevitable that our young 10-15 year old experiences imprint us far more than any other time.
Whatever the case, I look forward to talking to my own kids about their favourite media in another 10 years time. It'll be interesting to see how their own nostalgia is formed compared to mine, and whether their fondness is of equally abstract things, or if they prefer media simply because it was new at a given age in their life.
i also have that mug.
i think CS is a bit past the golden age of gaming though.
Lots of good games on that OP pic. Lots I've played back then, and a bunch I've never played. The reasons you guys are saying is why love playing the old skool games.. BUT... I think our brains are amazing things as they make you think that some games were better than they actually were, or maybe we've just been so dialuted. Eg: GOG had a huge sale on a few weeks ago, and even though I previously purchased the old SSI games back when they were new, I have zero idea where they are now, so I bought them again. No Biggie.. but after booting them up.. eg pools of radiance , I was shocked at how absolutely rubbish this game played and I couldn't bear to sit through a game I've in the past played to the finish.
Several others are like this, untill I rebooted Buck Rodgers.. so I am not sure how it works. Brains are wonderfull things, and make your reality different than it might have been..
Clearly needs the MBs to save their school/tafe/uni homework .doc files . They aren't re-writable they're verbatim CD-Rs exact same brand and type i used to buy.
I know every game there (as i'm sure many here do) but good to see under a killing moon in there, probably hasn't aged well but was state of the art at the time in the age of multimedia PCs
For me I think adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it has done much to kill my interest in new games. I generally don't have the time these days to sit down and put 100 hours into a game, to learn it inside and out, to beat it. And it really annoys me when I put a few hours into a new game and don't enjoy it (looking at you, Red Dead Redemption 2). So when I do make some time these days it's usually games I played as a kid that I know I enjoy.
Also something about having lots of money and too many options kills my interest too. Growing up (as a 90s kid) it would take me a month or two to save up $20 or $30 for a new game and that's what I'd be playing. Nowadays $20 doesn't mean much to me, and thanks to Steam you can often get games for literally just a few dollars. If a game is just an impulse buy then I don't tend to give it the play time it deserves. Sometimss they never get played.
Also just on RDR2 this video captures a lot of why I didn't enjoy it, which kinda relates back to what you guys are saying about using your imagination. What really pisses me off is that RDR is one of my favourite games, which makes my disappointment in number 2 all the greater.
Oh man, I'm so glad this exists. I hate those memes/articles too.
That's a really good point. I do remember (now this is really eating the 'member berries) emptying my Dollarmites account, going down to to Grace Bros in Blacktown and picking up the only C64 copy of F-15 Strike Eagle with my mum and a fresh $50 paper bill, (~$114 in today's money), in the late 80's. I played that so much, my folks used to physically pull me away from the computer. Fast forward to 2019, and I could buy most of the GOG and Steam catalogues and not max out a credit card, not that I ever would. We have threads on this very forum about our "piles of shame".
Nowadays of course we can emulate just about every pre 2000 system effortlessly, however in my opinion this just makes it harder to play a game, given the sheer amount!
This thread got me thinking. I had a look over at all of my 80/90/00's game boxes on my bookshelf. I have no desire to actually play them again. In my memories they will stay I think. I'll probably play some again one day of course, most will just stay there as they have for the last few decades.
I think 'back then', each new game would actually offer something new and exciting.
Doom, to Quake to Half-Life, innovation and tech in games seemed to be going at a break neck pace. There was always something new to look forward to or get excited about.
I think actually buying a physical copy has something to it as well. Getting out of the house and going to the store, handing over your hard earned for that sweet box and the potential it (hopfully) contains. The advent of Steam/Epic/Online stores have made games a bit of a throwaway commodity IMO. There's no attachment to the product if that makes sense.
I don't think it's fair to say there's a lack of innovation these days. Maybe not in the yearly release of a new CoD or F1 game but if you go looking for it there are plenty of interesting titles out there. Nintendo in particular try to fight the good fight with regard to bringing something new to the table.
I agree with the physical boxes. I started big box game collecting a couple of years ago, titles that I played as a kid, and it's funny how back then I would find no-CD cracks because loading the disc was an inconvenience. Now with my CIB copies I enjoy choosing a game, pulling out the CD and putting it in the computer. Totally just for those nostalgic feels.
Devil's advocate: when gaming was primitive, huge jumps in both technology and story telling weren't difficult.
Difficult to do that today, when most ground has been trodden, and now it's about subtle refinement rather than enormous jumps.
I'm gonna go with monetisation.
Gaming now is a billion dollar industry and is being treated as such, how many more dlc and extra content and loot boxes are there all designed to maxamise profits. It's not there to create a better gaming experience.
I'm only spring chicken compared to you.... Old people but I grew up on the ps1 and syphon filter etc. They all charged a one off fee for a game that was generally complete and with lots of story and replay ability. Now I buy a game and I am expected to buy all the dlc and shit that goes along with it to get the full story or access all the new maps.
From recent memory Nintendo seem to be the only makers that aren't selling bulk dlc and add ons which is nice