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Default Are we in a new RPG Golden Age?

July 30th, 2013, 19:28
Ha Toilet age is because I'm in a cynical mood. :-) The point is that for those ARPG ManWhoJaped is so right and they are so tedious in the action area that there's something weird.

For Diablo like I disagree, found multiple with a fun action and TL2 have even some depth which is even different depth than past games. The point is for those two categories the action base is very different, for me that's enough to make them different categories. In fact I just never used ARPG for games like Elder Scroll or TW.

And honestly Turn Based RPG seems going to take a wrong path with too many copying JA bases. There's many other ways to manage it.
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July 31st, 2013, 00:23
Maybe popcorn age. Seems to be what corporatization does to all entertainment. All the tasteless cardboard you can eat, packaged in ever more clever ways.

I think the kickstarters are sort of like episode IV: a new hope, but the empire is bound to strike back before the jedi return.
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July 31st, 2013, 01:18
Mmm who is Dark Vador and who is Princess Leila???
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July 31st, 2013, 03:48
As long as I get to be han solo no one has really called dibs.
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July 31st, 2013, 18:53
Originally Posted by ManWhoJaped View Post
Maybe popcorn age. Seems to be what corporatization does to all entertainment. All the tasteless cardboard you can eat, packaged in ever more clever ways.
I hate the whole Evul Corporashuns attitude, but in this case I'd say there's something to it. Now, part of the difference is that "back then" a solid AAA title could be produced by less than a dozen folks while these days it takes a small army to do so. The financial backing required up front is on a completely different plane, which functionally mandates corporate involvement and therefore the current beancounter mentality. Kickstarter has re-created a financial path for the small "art house" developer, but (outside of a couple mob-funded exceptions) will never generate the pile of loot necessary for a AAA title production team.

The advance of technology has pretty well stomped out the small, creative guys in favor of financially "safe" dreck. Eventually, I expect programming tools to be developed that make it possible for small teams to create AAA-level games again, but until then we're largely stuck with "Made Decent Money IV".

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July 31st, 2013, 20:08
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I hate the whole Evul Corporashuns attitude, but in this case I'd say there's something to it. Now, part of the difference is that "back then" a solid AAA title could be produced by less than a dozen folks while these days it takes a small army to do so. The financial backing required up front is on a completely different plane, which functionally mandates corporate involvement and therefore the current beancounter mentality. Kickstarter has re-created a financial path for the small "art house" developer, but (outside of a couple mob-funded exceptions) will never generate the pile of loot necessary for a AAA title production team.

The advance of technology has pretty well stomped out the small, creative guys in favor of financially "safe" dreck. Eventually, I expect programming tools to be developed that make it possible for small teams to create AAA-level games again, but until then we're largely stuck with "Made Decent Money IV".
Yeah the "against people making money" is one thing but the mass marketing and killing off little guy is a big problem ofcorporations. Worse for games and movies because if you don't have at least a couple million dollars or years of time to burn you are dead in the water.

So you get the same guys who were selling liquid soap 2 years ago deciding what games and movies to make, and changing the endings and adding in characters if they feel like it. Hooray.
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August 1st, 2013, 13:35
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post

Eventually, I expect programming tools to be developed that make it possible for small teams to create AAA-level games again, but until then we're largely stuck with "Made Decent Money IV"…
Graphics are still a barrier even with deve tool going to editor approach. I have trying quickly ROA remake, they tried put some NPC to no make look empty the detailed 3D, bu not only they are well, but also without any animation it's rather weird.

Or outdoor shops without any NPC, it's also very strange. For a AA base even with tools it's probably still out of reach to small team. I quote that DA2 rushed released was ridiculous about the missing graphics forcing reuse them up to absurd.
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August 1st, 2013, 13:37
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
The advance of technology has pretty well stomped out the small, creative guys in favor of financially "safe" dreck. Eventually, I expect programming tools to be developed that make it possible for small teams to create AAA-level games again, but until then we're largely stuck with "Made Decent Money IV".
AAA-level games are about production values - and you're not going to see small teams pull that off very often.

If, one day, production values stop being about money - and become common place - then it will no longer be considered AAA, because what's common is not very interesting.

By such time, developers will need other ways to stand out - and that would be a welcome change indeed.
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August 1st, 2013, 16:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
AAA-level games are about production values - and you're not going to see small teams pull that off very often.

If, one day, production values stop being about money - and become common place - then it will no longer be considered AAA, because what's common is not very interesting.

By such time, developers will need other ways to stand out - and that would be a welcome change indeed.
I guess we need to define the markers of a AAA game. Obviously, that's going to be a little fuzzy and have some exceptions, but we can probably agree on some generalities. This is one time when the drag from console hardware limitations might actually help PC gaming, even for games that are PC exclusive.
- Graphics have to be at least very good. This is actually where I'm looking for better development tools. We're already seeing "rental" engines popping up. If those get better and cheaper, they'll bring the indie guys up a tier from where they are now. The corporate-backed developers will always have an advantage engine-wise (either "renting" the best, or having the manpower to make their own), but the indies have to get to a point where their graphic limitations are minor.
- UI has to be user-friendly. As this is more an "engineering" problem than anything, the small guys should be fine, particularly if their graphics engine doesn't tie their hands.
- AI has to be decent. This goes back to coding, so it might be the hardest hurdle for the small guys to clear. I honestly have no idea how hard it is to develop and code a good AI. With the number of games that fail dismally at this, maybe it really is difficult to do. Doubt there are "rentals" out there for this, so this will certainly be tough for a mom-n-pop to keep pace with a corporate army.
- Game can't be 5 hours long. The good news is that the big boys are rapidly coming backwards, so a small team that can generate 40 honest hours of content might even go to the head of the class.
- Story can't be completely suckish. Creativity has never been the problem for small guys; if anything they've already got the advantage here. Mostly added to the list for completeness.
- Sound can't be completely suckish. Sound tools are already in place and there are lots of rental composers running around, so this shouldn't really be a problem. Still gotta have labor, but it's 1-2 guys for either team me thinks.

Am I missing anything?

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August 1st, 2013, 17:00
You missed the most important thing.
Indie game shouldn't be a bugs galore as major (pay per) review sites don't forgive it to nonAAA titles. That reflects on metacritic, and then the game makes poor sales.
On the other hand, the trend of buggy releases continues with AAA titles because of "forgiveness". This leads to the point that major publishers don't want to fund gamefixing process after the release since "who needs it, the audience is still buying a broken product".

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August 1st, 2013, 18:37
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post

Am I missing anything?
Yeah explain how tools can help make quickly plenty 3D models and animations and plenty graphics, you seem not realize the huge cap between past you quoted and what means 3D and quite more details because you won't escape to the "required more details" Deus Ex released now would be bashed hard as a totally amateurish game.
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August 1st, 2013, 18:46
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I guess we need to define the markers of a AAA game. Obviously, that's going to be a little fuzzy and have some exceptions, but we can probably agree on some generalities. This is one time when the drag from console hardware limitations might actually help PC gaming, even for games that are PC exclusive.
- Graphics have to be at least very good. This is actually where I'm looking for better development tools. We're already seeing "rental" engines popping up. If those get better and cheaper, they'll bring the indie guys up a tier from where they are now. The corporate-backed developers will always have an advantage engine-wise (either "renting" the best, or having the manpower to make their own), but the indies have to get to a point where their graphic limitations are minor.
- UI has to be user-friendly. As this is more an "engineering" problem than anything, the small guys should be fine, particularly if their graphics engine doesn't tie their hands.
- AI has to be decent. This goes back to coding, so it might be the hardest hurdle for the small guys to clear. I honestly have no idea how hard it is to develop and code a good AI. With the number of games that fail dismally at this, maybe it really is difficult to do. Doubt there are "rentals" out there for this, so this will certainly be tough for a mom-n-pop to keep pace with a corporate army.
- Game can't be 5 hours long. The good news is that the big boys are rapidly coming backwards, so a small team that can generate 40 honest hours of content might even go to the head of the class.
- Story can't be completely suckish. Creativity has never been the problem for small guys; if anything they've already got the advantage here. Mostly added to the list for completeness.
- Sound can't be completely suckish. Sound tools are already in place and there are lots of rental composers running around, so this shouldn't really be a problem. Still gotta have labor, but it's 1-2 guys for either team me thinks.

Am I missing anything?
Yup, you're missing the point that it has all but nothing specifically to do with those things - but with the amount of money spent on development and marketing and the money the investors expect in return on that investment

Sounds like you're talking about "good" mainstream games - and though most AAA games are "good" in one way or the other, they're entirely separate concepts.
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August 1st, 2013, 19:34
DArt, I would assume that he is talking about in what areas AAA games really are above the competition due to the nature of said areas (as in how sensitive they are to moar moneez).

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August 1st, 2013, 19:49
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
DArt, I would assume that he is talking about in what areas AAA games really are above the competition due to the nature of said areas (as in how sensitive they are to moar moneez).
Maybe, but story, length and AI are elements that can easily be crappy in any AAA game.
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August 1st, 2013, 20:01
I absolutely agree for story.

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August 1st, 2013, 20:03
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
DArt, I would assume that he is talking about in what areas AAA games really are above the competition due to the nature of said areas (as in how sensitive they are to moar moneez).
Pretty much. If I give you Legend of Grimrock and Skyrim, what factors/features tell you which game is AAA and which game is an indie? Both are very good games (well, I'm told Skyrim is good; after Morrowind I won't touch an Elder Scrolls game until they change their mechanics), but clearly one is a big-budget AAA title while the other is not. We don't have the budget breakouts in front of us, so it can't simply be a question of dollars as DArt implies. What exactly makes it "clearly"?

And yes, AAA games can get individual pieces of the mix totally wrong—I did mention exceptions. There's still got to be general areas that clue us in without having budget numbers in front of us.

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August 1st, 2013, 20:39
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Pretty much. If I give you Legend of Grimrock and Skyrim, what factors/features tell you which game is AAA and which game is an indie? Both are very good games (well, I'm told Skyrim is good; after Morrowind I won't touch an Elder Scrolls game until they change their mechanics), but clearly one is a big-budget AAA title while the other is not. We don't have the budget breakouts in front of us, so it can't simply be a question of dollars as DArt implies. What exactly makes it "clearly"?
Actually, yes - it IS just a question of budget and marketing - at least if we go by the common understanding of an AAA title.

And yes, AAA games can get individual pieces of the mix totally wrong—I did mention exceptions. There's still got to be general areas that clue us in without having budget numbers in front of us.
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August 1st, 2013, 20:41
Unless you have secret access to every developer's budget, you have no idea what games are AAA. Since that's not the case on either side of the comma, your narrow definition clearly doesn't hold up.

edit- taken another way—if I show you a Mercedes and a Fiat but hide the price tags, can you tell me which car had the bigger budget? How?

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August 1st, 2013, 20:43
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Unless you have secret access to every developer's budget, you have no idea what games are AAA. Since that's not the case on either side of the comma, your narrow definition clearly doesn't hold up.
I don't need to look at a budget to know what costs a lot of money (production values) and what doesn't. There's no more a clear definition beyond that than there is a clear definition of when a game is truly an RPG or not.

If you want to insist on not following the definition of big budget, expensive marketing campaign and an expectation of selling a LOT of copies - then I can't exactly stop you.

But that IS what an AAA game is.
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August 1st, 2013, 20:57
Then we're back to the definition of "production values", which I questioned right at the beginning. You're squirming back and forth between which terms you wish to avoid defining, but we're back to the same point. What are the factors that you look at that tell you, this game cost a buttload of money to make? Since you admit you can't see the financial breakdown which you claim to be the deciding factor, there MUST be other aspects that tell you, "I'm looking at a AAA release here." If you attempt to claim it's merely marketing, then Grimoire is (well, will be) a AAA release because it's been advertised extensively for over a decade. Do you really want to hang your hat on that?

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