Author Topic: Relevant anecdote  (Read 1435 times)

Offline mindloss

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Relevant anecdote
« on: September 09, 2011, 04:36:22 PM »
I read an old entry on Chris's blog or FAQ or something about how Arcen Games will only make 2D games, and it reminded me of the last time I went to a store to buy a console game. I walked into a GameStop in... what, maybe 2004? Early-to-middle-age for PS2, whenever that was. I didn't have any particular game in mind, and so I was just staring at the wall of games. A clerk walked over and asked if he could help me find something. I pointed at the wall and asked "Which of these games aren't 3D?" He said "None of them," and I walked out.

Really, though, it's sad to see how with so few exceptions that's all that the console market (PC to an extent, but especially console) is pumping out. Was, anyway. Like I said, I haven't been up on that side of things in a while.

Offline x4000

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Re: Relevant anecdote
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2011, 04:44:39 PM »
It's making a resurgence, but mostly on the indie side.  I probably will make some 3D games someday, but I'll always think of 2D as my bread and butter, I think.
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Offline mindloss

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Re: Relevant anecdote
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2011, 05:23:42 PM »
Yeah, now that you mention it, 2D is pretty popular in the indie scene. Great stuff, too; Braid comes to mind. Gemini Rue was also cool. Seems like a better choice for a whole host of reasons.

I've always maintained that the SNES/NES were "superior platforms" in many ways to what we have now (although the N64 holds a lesser place in my heart too). I'm not an idiot, so I know that's probably largely due to childhood nostalgia, but I think there is a very strong case to be made that limiting a medium almost necessarily increases the quality of works in that medium. The prime example of this is NES music with its 2.5 synth channels or whatever; this literally forced composers to design top-notch melodies since there was no "aural room" to include anything else. Sure, there was still shitty music in NES games, and plenty of it, but the tracks by the good composers on the good games are absolutely stellar. (Could you hum the Super Mario Brothers theme, or Tetris, or Zelda? Now how about Half-Life 2 or Crysis?)

Same applies to gameplay. To create a fun game with limited graphics, processing and storage, you had to be creative. Of course, this theory doesn't really hold if you take it to the extreme... the best Atari 2600 games couldn't stand up to the NES (again, probably childhood bias :P), but godDAMN it's unfrickinbelievable what they managed with 4K cartridges. All in all, I kind of feel like they hit a sweet spot with the SNES, where the music could be rich but did not have total freedom, and the graphics could be very slick but only to a point... Donkey Kong Country 1-3 looked (pretty much STILL look) incredible, StarFox not so much.

Okay, done with my little rant, and it occurred to me I may be preaching to the choir.

Offline x4000

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Re: Relevant anecdote
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2011, 06:18:37 PM »
Yup, choir here. :)
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Offline arcee

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Re: Relevant anecdote
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2011, 01:04:38 AM »
One big issue in AAA games is that it takes more work to make any given amount of gameplay now, due to increases in art and other complexities.  So games can't be as deep.  Somebody at SquareEnix said that remaking FF7 to be like FF13 would take many years, estimates of 12 and 40 were given.  Yahtzee's review of the new Deus Ex makes the same point, that that game is much shorter than the original.

Indie games don't have that requirement, so they can make good games with lesser art assets.  Even games like Mega Man 9/10 or Bionic Commando Rearmed have done well in their niches.  A Boy and his Blob was remade for the Wii, it's a very good 2D game - different from the original, but similar spirit and entirely too cute.  The creators said they used the Wii due to friendlier 2D tools.

One other thing I think of is that games in the NES/SNES era were not really long (other than RPGs) - they can be enjoyable to replay and use high difficulty to extend length.  Even if you aren't a speedrunner, a playthrough of Contra should not take long (I'll estimate 30-40 minutes).  But if you aren't good at that style of game, you will need many hours to gain the skills and learn the levels a bit.

Offline Nalgas

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Re: Relevant anecdote
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2011, 03:15:23 AM »
I walked into a GameStop in... what, maybe 2004? Early-to-middle-age for PS2, whenever that was. I didn't have any particular game in mind, and so I was just staring at the wall of games. A clerk walked over and asked if he could help me find something. I pointed at the wall and asked "Which of these games aren't 3D?" He said "None of them," and I walked out.

I seem to recall that for a while during that console generation, at least one of the three main console makers (and maybe more) had an explicit, official rule that they would absolutely not allow any 2D games to be published on their platform.  So yeah...