Most Games Suck

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by soniCron, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. soniCron

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    I'm gonna have to disagree with you. You're confusing gameplay style with perspective and display. A first person shooter and an over-the-shoulder third person shooter are the same thing; one just has a guy in the way of your view.

    It's like writing. You can write a book in first person, third person, etc., but it's the meat, not the perspective, that give that book character. Sometimes, the perspective will give that book a lot of additional charm, but for the most part, a book is identified by its content. They still have people in them. Usually have dialog. All got words! A unique novel will have the same elements as all the rest, but put them together in an enjoyable and refreshing way.
     
  2. Vorax

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    I totally agree, but I was specifically speaking to the innovation aspect.

    Either way, you just summed up the REAL reason why most games suck. It's an ART and not everyone is a great artist. This is why you, I and 99.99% of the game programmers out there will never produce anything great, we will only at best produce something reasonable but quickly forgotten.

    This will sound like some of the other comments, but it's not the same:

    There is a big difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

    I am not talking about finishing a game, I am talking about creating art.

    Simple to describe, easy to criticize...incredibly difficult to produce.
     
  3. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    There are a number of other important aspects that go towards having an opinion about game... and what might give a game the 'suck' rating in a person's mind. I'll explain it using my own game.

    We developed Cellblock Squadrons to be a 2D shooter, in a 3D environment. It was designed to be repetitive, and to provide a basic "just shoot some things" type of game. However, we've had a lot of complaints about the game. Why? Because people have been looking at it from a graphical viewpoint, and wondering why it isn't exactly like Freespace. In their minds, until they can see a mission loadout screen, and have the ability to command the wingmen (both of which we felt were completely pointless in games like Freespace) the game receives a 'suck' rating.

    On the flipside of that same coin, a few guys who played the game for what it is really enjoyed themselves. So, it's the same game, but the players have different expectations, which affect how something is perceived.

    Point being: as a developer, you can produce one of the best games on the face of the planet, but it can be perceived the wrong way and receive a suck rating by the majority of people who play it. It's not all about doing a good job- there are many other variables involved.
     
  4. Black Hydra

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    Don't you just love when people inject movie quotes into their posts? :D
     
  5. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    Are you guys still at it?? Shouldn't you all be off making your "sucky" games?
     
  6. mahlzeit

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    I am nitpicking here, and it's probably not relevant to the discussion, but there is a big difference between stories that are told in first person or third person. With a first person perspective, one of the characters is telling the story. His way of looking at the world is subjective and usually colored by one or more character flaws or other biases. Whereas the telling in a story from the third person perspective doesn't have this filter. (This is also one of the problems with adapting novels to the screen, because movies are told from a third person perspective and most novels aren't.) Anyway.
     
  7. Kai Backman

    Original Member Indie Author IGF Finalist

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    I think Cas hits the nail on the head in the sense of user feedback. Yes, you need to listen to it, but you also have to define what you are actually trying to do. Imagine if the color of a huge office building was decided by letting everyone bring one can of their favourite paint? Not a very good result .. :)

    I think Anthony has already said most of what I'd like to say for the actual discussion so I'll just go back to the daily grind of trying to make a game that doesn't suck .. ;)
     
  8. princec

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    Try my patented "Dad Test" - get your dad and/or father-in-law to play the game. Mine are brilliant guinea pigs - my dad has the attention span of a gnat, and her dad is hopeless at anything other than Chicken Invaders.

    If you really want to see how something will perform on the mass market, try the even more fiendish "Mum Test"...

    Cas :)
     
  9. princec

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    Yeah, you're nitpicking: the story is still a sequence of events that occurs no matter who's telling you. The precise flavour of the story is how it's told. I mean, consider this:
    Cas :)
     
  10. Nexic

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    Well, I don't see any finished games on your website, so how could you really know? I'm mainly talking about getting a good originality vs sales mix - getting the sales mix is going to be hard for someone who has never sold a single copy of a game, and therefore has no experience in the subject.

    The reason why I said a 'few' games is because even after you finish your first, your second will still probably be not that great. The more games you finish, the more you learn about what sells, and what doesn't, and you get better at realising what it is realisitcally possible for a sole indie developer to accomplish, whilst still making money.
     
  11. princec

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    Seems to tally with my experiences. Fourth game now, and still not really raking in piles of filthy lucre. But definitely the best one yet.

    Cas :)
     
  12. Farmergnome

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    Who cares what other people class as a "sucky game"? Everyone has different tastes and some of the most valued games to one person, could be thrown under another persons "sucky list". Not even sales or production values can define a sucky game, maybe as developers we see it that way, but that is only OUR view.

    At the end of the day its down to the individual to decide if this game excites them, while theres current trends and genres it still boils down to the fact everyone will always remain different.

    To say a game sucks is your point of view, and no one gives a crap what you think, because to them there point of view is more valuable.
     
  13. baegsi

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    Just as a reminder: the point is not whether one can say most games suck or not. This is pretty useless in my opinion. The problem is: what do you (as an indie dev) make out of it? This whole thread started because of following claim:

    In short: game A is not successful => game A sucks => creators of game A suck.

    That implies: I know more than most people => I don't suck => my game doesn't suck => my game will be successful!
    My point is: somewhere in this argument lies a wrong presumption!
     
  14. Robert Cummings

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    Sonicron's reasoning is his own opinion, and I disagree.

    As I said before, and no-one seemed to listen...

    Games suck because they HAVE to suck. Making a game too different, too alternative, will not sell.
     
  15. Stu

    Stu
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    You would probably be surprised at what could be learned about "the sales mix" just by doing your homework. In fact, I would suggest that doing your homework is more important than simply tracking the sales of the few games you have released yourself.

    For instance, I know how many copies of Xeno Assault II sold the first month and the breakdown of direct and affiliate sales. In this case I know this because the developer was kind enough to share this data. (and I cannot thank this developer enough) Other developers may share as well but this data usually does not come this easily. In other instances a person has to mine for it and they will more likely get hints or indications of how well a title sold instead of hard figures. The RA top ten spreadsheet that James Smith provided is a wonderful resource.

    I think we both agree that learning what sells and what doesn't is of the utmost importance. I say that this subject can be quite effectively studied and it involves much more than the sales figures of the two or three games I may have released.

    As far as originality goes I don't think it's an essential element in a game that does not suck. I think Raptisoft sums that one up well in the "Is it original" thread.
     
  16. Omega

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    Because you are going to a developer forum for game developers and telling them that 90% of games they make suck.

    There are about 7 logical flaws in what you said. Firstly, reviewers do not bash the movie companies, in fact they love them, since that is how they have a job. In fact, they do not review FOR the developers or use personal attacks, they do the reviews for CONSUMERS. Additionally, they do not write to movie studios to tell them their movie sucked. And, they do not take it personally if 300 movies in a row suck.

    Next, when they do a review, they discuss a specific movie. They do not attack the whole industry as a whole, that's not what reviewers do. They do not say, 90% of the movies suck. They concentrate on that movie.

    Finally, nor does ANYBODY, reviewer or not, go into the conference or boards of members of any industry, and tell them, that 90% of the stuff that industry makes, sucks. That's disrespectful. I could tell you that 90% of what you do sucks ass. Even the stuff that you handed in to get an A in school. It sucks and nobody would use it. I could tell you that your singing sucks. I can't sing, but I can sure as heck judge if you can sing or not. Who cares?

    But the biggest problem people have with two people coming in who have NEVER FINISHED A GAME, NEVERMIND SOLD ONE, NEVERMIND SUCCESSFULLY, NEVERMIND SEVERAL IN A ROW, telling people that 1) they are developers themselves and 2) they will try to make games that don't suck, UNLIKE US WHO MAKE CRAP. That's exactly what was said. Because, how dare any of US try and make something, with all of our experience already. We need 20-year-olds who have never done a thing to tell us they will do a better job.

    I think these 20 year olds should not be allowed to post. Nobody cares if you write a nice piece that makes you feel confident with all the right spelling and grammar. This is not an Engish lit piece where the teacher will say, wow, good job, and give you an A. This is the REAL WORLD where what you actually do counts, not what you SAY. What kind of a response did he expect, anyway?
     
  17. Omega

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    I agree here. Here is the disparity: These kids who have never done a game themselves, judge the other games on whether they suck or not, by how much mainstream success they receive. They couldn't care less if a very targetted niche buys those games who loves bad graphics, bad controls, or loves that developer, etc.

    However, when they now talk about their OWN future games that don't even exit yet, they DROP that metric. All of a sudden, the success for their OWN future games will depend on.... whether they are happy with their own game, or not. Because, at no point did you hear them say that "when I release my game, everybody will love it." No, they are saying, "when I release my game, it will be what I wanted it to be and different from sucky games, and hence not suck."

    So, that's the problem right there. The games that are already out are judged by how successful they are with the entire consumer base. However, when those people talk about their own future game, they base the success in their mind on the feelings of just --1-- individual. Let alone themselves. Newsflash: all those games you just bashed (the "90% of games suck" quote) were also liked by at least 1 individual. So, they are no less successful than your perfect game would be that you will create, under the metric that you are using for your OWN game.

    Finally, since you haven't even finished a game, then you should not tell people your game will be better. Because, all the games that currently exist are better than those that don't.
     
  18. impossible

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    I think its the opposite, all games that don't exist are better than any game that does, except for the not actually existing part :). Most games sound pretty good when they're just ideas in the creators head.
     
  19. Nexic

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    Just like to point out that I would be very unhappy if I wasn't allowed to post because of my age ^.^ - I'm 18.

    The trouble is that there is a huge amount of information to be gained that I couldn't share with you (portal sales) which is possibly much more important that the relative minority of sales that I generated without the big sites. You are correct that this information can be found out, but there is still a lot more to know than just total sales for one month.

    I know roughly how much my game's CR changes when place ads for the search term 'shooting games', as opposed to 'shooter games'. I know my exact CR on BigFish Games and Reflexive Arcade, and I know that one of their audiences likes the game more than the other. I also know how much adding feature X affected my sales. From all of these little things I can draw conclusions that would be much harder for you to draw.

    And obviously there is litteraly TONS more information that I know about my sales, than you couldn't find out. It's probably impossible for me to convey how much there is to learn from experience, that simply cannot be leart from knowing RA top ten selling games and the odd developers first month total sales. I cannot list every single thing I've learnt over the last couple of years, but I'm certain my subconcious has taken them into account, which is probably the main reason why each of my games has always sold at least 5x better than the previous one.

    I'm sure most people here who have made a few games would agree.
     
  20. dima

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    For most, when they reach a sertain age, all games start to suck. Women become the ultimate game :) That and lots of cash.
     
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