26 votes

What are some ideas and experiences that are underexplored in gaming?

Tags: ask

I was thinking about this question recently because I finished watching Game of Thrones and it made me want to play a game where I get to be a badass dragon. Unfortunately, it turns out there are surprisingly few games that tackle that experience.

I also recently played a game called 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, which attempts to inform the player about a real event in history through Telltale-style adventure gameplay. Though it's fictionalized, I realized while playing that it's as close to a documentary as I've come in gaming, which I would argue is another unexplored area.

That said, I'm curious to see what people here think.

  • What are some ideas/experiences that games haven't tackled, or have hardly scratched the surface of?
  • Why do you think this area has gone untouched for so long? Oversight? Tough to design around? Unfeasible? Unfun?
  • Are there any games that do fit your bill? Are they any good?
  • If you had to design a game to fill the niche you identified, what might it be like?

51 comments

  1. [2]
    tunneljumper
    (edited )
    Link
    Something that I think is underexplored in gaming (and other media in general, but especially games) is the feeling of doing everything you can and still failing. Almost all games have been "get...

    Something that I think is underexplored in gaming (and other media in general, but especially games) is the feeling of doing everything you can and still failing. Almost all games have been "get to this goal, get this reward" in a linear and obviously achievable fashion, which is fine, you want your players to feel good about themselves because they've done something1, but it's just become so tried and true that there's no surprise in gaming for me anymore. And when you do fail at something, it's "okay" because you can just keep trying until you get it. There's a handful of games out there (most notably Undertale) where you fuck up something but the story keeps going, despite you as a player knowing that you could have succeeded at that task, and the story would be different if you had. Even when games do include moments of forced failure, it's so ham-fisted and obvious that the element of surprise is gone e.g. the nuke scene from Modern Warfare.

    1. The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment...
    16 votes
    1. HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      I think the reason this is not done is because its very hard to force failure and still keep players happy. People want that hit of dopamine from gaming. Not to fail when they did nothing wrong....

      I think the reason this is not done is because its very hard to force failure and still keep players happy. People want that hit of dopamine from gaming. Not to fail when they did nothing wrong. People will struggle to enjoy the game if they have to fail. And if people dont enjoy the game then noone will buy it. So its too big of a risk to take when making a game.

      I agree it would be interesting and I would like to see it done though. If executed properly, in a way that could still be enjoyable to play it could work.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    Dungeons and Dragons and the simulation of tabletop gaming. "But wait!" I hear you cry. "Roll20, Fantasy Grounds! These exist, give them a try!" "No," says I. It's so difficult to do, but I want...

    Dungeons and Dragons and the simulation of tabletop gaming.

    "But wait!" I hear you cry. "Roll20, Fantasy Grounds! These exist, give them a try!"

    "No," says I.

    It's so difficult to do, but I want it so bad, a virtual representation of the rules of D&D along with tools to facilitate detailed, on the fly generation of content.

    I want a nice grid with some cute ASCII characters to define players, characters, objects, just like a roguelike, and I want the DM to be able to quickly slap down cities, individual buildings, shops, shopkeepers, prices, inventories, descriptions, and all the other details they might need, and I want it all to be modifiable, scriptable, and interactive.

    Basically, think of a multiplayer NetHack, except, instead of dungeon diving, you're playing D&D, and your DM can just create the world you explore on the fly using procedural generation tools, as well as pre-building ahead of time whatever details they want, like using a level editor to generate a city before the game session, and then to generate specific shops, items, prices, furniture in that shop, the shopkeeper (race, description, etc.), and other details, but also to be able to design all that junk by hand.

    Needless to say, it's a massive, ridiculous amount of work. The technology and examples of most of the pieces of a program like this already exist, but putting them together and making sure they work within the realms of whatever tabletop game you're supposed to be playing, as well as work with other systems of the program, is probably exceedingly tricky. There's also just the fact that everything has to be cataloged and rebuilt inside the program. The "game" needs to know what a bag of holding is, what it does, and how it works.

    Then, once you're done rebuilding forty years of tabletop gaming, you have to write tools for players to be able to modify, script, and program things on their own.

    And really, what's the point? What's the advantage you gain that makes all of this effort worthwhile? I mean, when we are sitting at the (actual, physical) table I can just tell my players that they're going to be inhabiting a castle now. I can describe it to them, give them some bedrooms, a kitchen, stables, and a few other bits and pieces as it becomes necessary, and they'll understand it. I don't have to actually design the damn thing like I would in a game, and I don't run the risk of any gotchas from shit I didn't think about. Yet, the allure of this idea draws me in. It also isn't impossible to provide tooling and systems so that proper castle generation can be as fast as just describing it by mouth, it's just incredibly difficult. (The motto of this idea.)

    Still, you'd never have to bother with combat rolls, movement distance, or other nonsense again, but your DM does have to pay attention to the three-dimensional placement of everything so that combat doesn't get ruined.

    The biggest advantage though, and this is something you could only build, drop the rest of this idea, and still have a great program, is the procedural generation of just about any kind of content, right now that you could possibly want for running a session.

    How many websites and programs can you think of that generate a bunch of little things for tabletop games? You have city generators, non-player character generators, player character generators, world generators, religion generators, magic/spell generators, magical item generators, inventory generators, shop generators, a lot of damn generators, but I can't think of anywhere or anything that has all of them rolled into one single program.

    Shoot, just being able to generate just about anything I would need in a D&D game, on the fly, from a terminal, would be awesome. Forget all this "multiplayer NetHack, but it's D&D" nonsense, just give me the generation tools without the bloat.

    9 votes
  3. [5]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    I feel weird giving this as my answer, perhaps because it's not that it is "underexplored" as much as I feel like it is "underexecuted," but I'd have to say "experiencing the horrors of war."...

    I feel weird giving this as my answer, perhaps because it's not that it is "underexplored" as much as I feel like it is "underexecuted," but I'd have to say "experiencing the horrors of war."

    "Experiencing the horrors of war" is definitely something that has been tried before, but for a lot of reasons, I don't think it's actually ever been executed in a great way. The biggest hurdle to this, in my opinion, is that war is miserable, but games are typically meant to be fun. I simply think it's (especially currently) impossible for any large studio to make a game that accurately captures what makes war the thing it is, while still expecting the product to be profitable, as it wouldn't (and shouldn't) be something people want to play. It would hardly even fit the definition of "game" at all. Then again, maybe the allure of a "game" that's designed to exhaust and break you in the abject conditions of the total break down of human nature might just be enough to draw in a naive, yet profitable customer base.

    I'm already dangerously close to breaking out of the realm of reality with this idea, so I'll wrap this up by mentioning that there are obvious moral issues with even building a product like this. I'm sure some people would see it as a way to "glorify warfare" and to an extent they might be right. There is also the issue of technology. I have no idea how you could manage to immerse a "player" into a "game" like this so deeply that they actually come out of the experience never wanting to go through it again. I can only brainstorm ridiculously futuristic ideas like artificially intelligent companions in the "game" that are engineered to manipulate the "player's" feelings, or even stimulating experiences that give physical consequences to being harmed. Permadeath, forcing the "player" to start the experience over from the beginning, seems like it would be necessary to force the player to grind, exhaust, and break themselves down in an attempt to just beat the "game." Alright, that's enough. At this point, I might as well be talking about Westworld.

    Overall, as we are now, I think people and video games are way too immature to explore an idea like this, but it does make for an interesting discussion on morality and philosophy. "The horrors of war available as off the shelf entertainment."

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I haven't played either of these games so I can't personally vouch for the recommendations, but ones that I see brought up often on this topic are This War of Mine and Spec Ops: The Line. Have you...

      I haven't played either of these games so I can't personally vouch for the recommendations, but ones that I see brought up often on this topic are This War of Mine and Spec Ops: The Line. Have you played either of those?

      Edit: oh, and one more I remembered (but also haven't played): Valiant Hearts: The Great War

      14 votes
      1. hungariantoast
        Link Parent
        I'm pretty sure I bought, played, and beat Spec Ops: The Line on its day of release and haven't played it since. I own it on Steam and should revisit it at some point. Never played This War of...

        I'm pretty sure I bought, played, and beat Spec Ops: The Line on its day of release and haven't played it since. I own it on Steam and should revisit it at some point. Never played This War of Mine, but I have heard of it. Spec Ops is probably, out of the games I have played, the one that comes closest to the idea of my comment, which unfortunately is less of a "game idea" and more of me rambling about the (possible) potential of future tech, because I got carried away. I'll probably pick up This War of Mine during the next sale and try it out, thanks.

        5 votes
    2. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      You've described something I've felt for a long time but can't really articulate well. In my mental shorthand I call it the "actor problem" which is a terrible title, but I'm going to roll with...

      You've described something I've felt for a long time but can't really articulate well. In my mental shorthand I call it the "actor problem" which is a terrible title, but I'm going to roll with it. The "actor problem" is the idea that videogames have a built-in limitation by nature of making the player an actor. I'm using this not in the stage/movie sense but in the one-who-takes-actions sense (so perhaps it's better called the "agency problem").

      Here's the problem: because videogames make the player an actor, they fundamentally limit the stories they can tell to ones that are focused on actions given to the player. Take nearly any game that has you playing as a soldier. What are the actions of war? Running, shooting, bombing, etc. The horrors of war, however, aren't usually actions but outcomes, and so they can't be expressed through the vocabulary of that type of game. An early, painful player death would be an accurate real-world look at war, but it would not stand up as a game because, in removing the actor, you've ended the game. No more actions.

      Now, this is an intentionally narrow view of games, and I don't mean it to be prescriptive but more of a consideration. I am not attempting to say that games have hard limitations they cannot work around--more that unless a game's design fundamentally takes the actor problem into account, it'll be limited to a specific type of story. I'll also add that there's nothing inherently wrong with the existence of a limitation in the first place, and each medium has its own distinct ones. For example, movies and TV face a similar challenge in having to externalize and make visual conflict and thought. I do firmly believe that limitations can fuel creativity, and that ultimately creativity can be used to circumvent nearly any limitation.

      So, with this in mind, how could a game change up its story to comment on the horrors of war rather than a glorification of it? Well, they could start by shifting the actions. Instead of playing as a soldier, if the game makes you a medic, you have an entirely new vocabulary of play and your actions aren't about the running, shooting, and bombing, but about the awful results of those. Alternatively, the game could make you a city planner having to rebuild after a war. Your actions, such as allocating resources and prioritizing projects would dictate the story. Each of these would allow for better commentary on the horrors of war because each has actions based around war's awful outcomes.

      Even returning to soldier-based games, they could take this principle and shift the actions of the game to be less about fighting and more about your platoon and squadmates. Have non-combat sequences where you bond with your buddies or you talk about homesickness or fear. Have a consistent rhythm where the game lets you talk to your bunkmate each night before bed so that the first night he's not there we feel his absence and contemplate him being gone for good. Or maybe he's there but we're injured and can't speak. The game could create rich, interactive commentary about pain or loss, but it can only do so if they've strategically set up their actions to convey that.

      I realize I'm pontificating a bit, but I say all of this to agree with you. Videogames haven't really explored the horrors of war well, and it goes beyond the idea that much of gaming boils down to mere power fantasy. On top of the "actor problem" is what you also identified: that games have to be appealing on some level. Make the game too real, and no one will want to play it. Make it too engaging or fun, however, and it becomes a dishonest portrayal of what it's trying to comment on.

      9 votes
    3. PopeRigby
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      It's not nearly as in-depth as what you've described, but I think Verdun and Tannenberg do a fantastic job of making you feel immersed in the brutality and misery of the trench warefare in WWI....

      It's not nearly as in-depth as what you've described, but I think Verdun and Tannenberg do a fantastic job of making you feel immersed in the brutality and misery of the trench warefare in WWI. Your fellow soldier might get his legs blown off right next to you as he screams in agony (it makes you really uncomfortable how realistic it is), you'll be squatting in a trench with your comrades' bodies piling up next to you and a guy next to you will have his skull caved in by a sniper as his limp corpse hits the mud (I'm getting too into describing this), or you'll be trudging through no-man's-land as shells are being rained down around you as debris is flung into the air. It's very harrowing. Combat is quick and brutal, with most weapons being one-shot kills. I highly recommend both. Tannenberg is on the Eastern front, and Verdun on the Western front, both made by the same developers.

      5 votes
  4. [5]
    Thrabalen
    Link
    Post-apocalyptic games that aren't zombies or robots, instead exploring what kind of threats we become when your creature comforts get taken out of the mix. Fallout at times looks like it wants to...

    Post-apocalyptic games that aren't zombies or robots, instead exploring what kind of threats we become when your creature comforts get taken out of the mix. Fallout at times looks like it wants to go that route, but then falls back on ghouls (a zombie by any other name). No fantastical elements, no magic or aliens or supertech... just what kind of monsters are we when the lights are off?

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      Cookies
      Link Parent
      Didn't This War of Mine sort of go into those themes? I'm not sure (the game never really clicked with me), but it seems to fit what you're describing.

      Didn't This War of Mine sort of go into those themes? I'm not sure (the game never really clicked with me), but it seems to fit what you're describing.

      4 votes
      1. Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        This War Of Mine is close, but I don't know if I'd call it post-apocalypse... it seems to be a localized warzone, not a "this is what all of humanity is now" kind of thing. But I enjoyed it very much.

        This War Of Mine is close, but I don't know if I'd call it post-apocalypse... it seems to be a localized warzone, not a "this is what all of humanity is now" kind of thing. But I enjoyed it very much.

        3 votes
    2. [2]
      TheJorro
      Link Parent
      Check out I Am Alive. It was a middle market Ubisoft game from the last generation.

      Check out I Am Alive. It was a middle market Ubisoft game from the last generation.

      3 votes
      1. Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        I'm definitely checking this out, thanks!

        I'm definitely checking this out, thanks!

  5. [3]
    NaraVara
    (edited )
    Link
    Oh there are so many things. On a thematic level, I would love more games where your primary means of engaging with the world isn't to commit violence. It seems like the only alternative to...

    Oh there are so many things.

    • On a thematic level, I would love more games where your primary means of engaging with the world isn't to commit violence. It seems like the only alternative to violence is to solve puzzles, which is fine, but I'd love it if we could gamify solving problems via things like talking to people and making it satisfying. Deus Ex: Human Revolution had a whole mini game around social engineering, which I thought was really cool, but it would be great to see some refinement and expansion on this. Lots of indie-games do this, like Papers Please or VA-11 Hall-A but it hasn't gone up to AAA level production values yet.

    • I'd like to see some innovation in control schemes that allow strategy games or city builder type games on console. There are tentative attempts. Brütal Legend or Pikmin are both decent examples. But I want more like this.

    • I want shorter or more episodic games! One of the coolest things about Alan Wake was that they broke the game up into episodes. It gave you a very clear break-point when you feel comfortable stopping. Each episode took roughly an hour or so. As an adult with a job, other hobbies, a social life, and various responsibilities I loved being able to just play a game for an hour and feel like I had a fairly complete, encapsulated narrative. What's even better, they gave you "previously on. . ." recaps between episodes so those of us who have long gaps between play sessions can get caught up.

      • Almost every other modern game never gives you no sense of completion until you've finished all 40 to 60 hours of game-time. There aren't many natural "chapter breaks" and even when there are, the game is structured to make you want to keep going to do one more task. I really wish they'd break them up into more digestible chunks of playtime so I feel more in control over how much time I'll be spending when I start playing.
    • Social aspects in console games are sadly under realized. Part of the appeal of a game like WoW was that people socialized and met people in the game. Inter-personal guild drama is half of what kept people hooked. But when you play games like Destiny, Anthem, or The Division there is none of this. You can't socialize in the game, you can only voice chat which has a lot of issues. Busy voice-chats are unintelligible, which makes communication more instrumental and leads to just a handful of people dominating conversation. Racism/misogyny discourages people with accents or women from speaking. The result ends up being that unless you already have friends playing the game, you can't really make friends in the game. Even looking-for-group or matchmaking features are focused on balance or queue times rather than connecting you with people, so you're statistically pretty likely to end up playing with some poorly socialized children. I don't really know how this problem gets solved without a keyboard, but it's a serious issue in the way of making a lot of these massively multiplayer games from being more deeply engaging. Instead they resort to looter-shooter or loot-box addiction mechanisms to keep you coming back, which is creates a negative feedback loop. People trying to feed an addiction loop to get wins or hit their next benchmark are basically junkies looking for a fix and aren't open to socializing constructively.

    7 votes
    1. Nexu
      Link Parent
      i completely agree on the points relating to episodic/chapter structure. games need to respect people's time more. it seems that console games of old were more considerate of this (or perhaps it...

      i completely agree on the points relating to episodic/chapter structure. games need to respect people's time more.

      it seems that console games of old were more considerate of this (or perhaps it was more of a design limitation?) due to the fact of being broken up into smaller, more manageable "levels".

      some examples:

      • Crash Bandicoot's hub-rooms of relatively short levels; further broken up into multiple floors of these rooms
      • Spyro's portal-based levels, with a central "waiting area" to save and catch a breath
      • Doshin the Giant's time-limited playtime, where you would essentially be forced to take a break at the end of every in-game "day" (about 20 minutes IIRC)

      these are just a few examples, and not strictly episodic; rather their structure could be considered somewhat episodic in nature. it used to be that these level markers were also points of rest and respite that the player could reasonably self-reflect and more readily make a decision to take a break or do something else.

      in contrast to this is the "open world" model that has emerged in recent years. this design all but eliminates the concept of levels from the player experience, with a more continuous experience of the game world.

      granted, the function of save-games has also expanded to accommodate this more open play, and arguably allows greater freedom now that you can pretty much save/stop whenever/wherever you want.

      but the problem with that is that humans are generally quite bad at controlling their own behaviour, especially when games actively incentivise certain types of behavioural patterns in play (playing longer, harder, lootboxes, etc).

      tl;dr: open world without a decent sense of "level completed" + incentivized addictive feedback loops = big disrespect to the player's time

      1 vote
    2. rmgr
      Link Parent
      On the episodic structure bit, I'm playing a lot of the original DOOM games lately and that's a great part because I can bang out a level, feel good and then call it a day.

      On the episodic structure bit, I'm playing a lot of the original DOOM games lately and that's a great part because I can bang out a level, feel good and then call it a day.

      1 vote
  6. [4]
    semideclared
    Link
    I would love a game that is Macro and micro. Whether that is government or business management Granted its childhood Biases, but SimTower is about the best sim game if only you could move up and...

    I would love a game that is Macro and micro. Whether that is government or business management

    Granted its childhood Biases, but SimTower is about the best sim game if only you could move up and have more buildings

    • Now you can build a 2nd location. Or you can pick the Macro side where you influence the total number of buildings under construction and are more involved in where and how big its going to be

    Your SimCity has maxed out, or you are popular and want to use that to run for governor. Now you control your state and can help your city but on a Macro level control all the cities. To running for President next

    7 votes
    1. Elronnd
      Link Parent
      Maybe factorio, kind of? You start off making individual belts and machines, but later on, once you get trains and blueprints and bots, you start to think a lot more about high-level architecture...

      Maybe factorio, kind of? You start off making individual belts and machines, but later on, once you get trains and blueprints and bots, you start to think a lot more about high-level architecture design.

      5 votes
    2. thejumpingbulldog
      Link Parent
      I always thought it would be awesome to create a game that is a cross between Civilization (controlling and entire nation/empire), Command and Conquer (large-scale real-time battles on...

      I always thought it would be awesome to create a game that is a cross between Civilization (controlling and entire nation/empire), Command and Conquer (large-scale real-time battles on battlefields), and Cities Skylines. Basically the ultimate micro/macro game where you can lead entire fronts in a war with individual battles taking place, to designing the new park you just built into one of your cities. Of course that kind of level of simulation would probably break some of the best supercomputers out there.

      I imagine even going so far that once you conquer/dominate your world it could go full kerbal and you go out and explore/colonize other planets before then fighting other space empires across the galaxy.

      2 votes
    3. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Check out Citystate. It let's youbset all sorts of government rules like an ultra-detailed SimCity. I haven't played it myself, but I'm considering it.

      Check out Citystate. It let's youbset all sorts of government rules like an ultra-detailed SimCity. I haven't played it myself, but I'm considering it.

      1 vote
  7. [6]
    Rocket_Man
    Link
    For the most part I think the falling sand game is underexplored. If a new game were written in a fast language and given the right amount of polish and features I think a game in this genre could...

    For the most part I think the falling sand game is underexplored. If a new game were written in a fast language and given the right amount of polish and features I think a game in this genre could compete with some of the largest creative open ended games out there.

    6 votes
    1. [5]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      It's probably not as open-ended/creative as you're thinking about, but Noita is an upcoming game that's doing a lot of particle-simulation. They haven't shown much of it in a while (at least as...

      It's probably not as open-ended/creative as you're thinking about, but Noita is an upcoming game that's doing a lot of particle-simulation.

      They haven't shown much of it in a while (at least as far as I've seen), but this was an article I read about it a couple of months ago that seemed very positive: Noita is Spelunky as magical, melting nightmare

      6 votes
      1. [4]
        Rocket_Man
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the link, it's not exactly what I had in mind but looks fantastic and is definitely a good use of the technology. In an odd way it reminded me of the Xbox arcade game Rocket Riot,...

        Thanks for the link, it's not exactly what I had in mind but looks fantastic and is definitely a good use of the technology. In an odd way it reminded me of the Xbox arcade game Rocket Riot, mainly just because both have pixelated destructible environments.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Deimos
          Link Parent
          When I was looking through their site yesterday I also noticed that it has this section: Since they're working on it as a separate engine, there's definitely a possibility that they might license...

          When I was looking through their site yesterday I also noticed that it has this section:

          How are you able to simulate so much stuff?
          We're using our own Falling Everything engine. Falling Everything Engine is an in-house labor of love. A true love child. Handcrafted in the finest C++ without exceptions, using only hand picked, organic, free license libraries.

          Since they're working on it as a separate engine, there's definitely a possibility that they might license it out for other games after it gets built up enough through Noita dev.

          2 votes
          1. Rocket_Man
            Link Parent
            Oh that does look promising. I'll have to keep an eye on it. Thanks for pointing that out.

            Oh that does look promising. I'll have to keep an eye on it. Thanks for pointing that out.

            2 votes
  8. [3]
    Cookies
    Link
    FPS/RTS hybrids! The idea of having a team of players where one person is playing an RTS, but the units they are moving around are actual players (with individual skill, will, and everything else)...

    FPS/RTS hybrids! The idea of having a team of players where one person is playing an RTS, but the units they are moving around are actual players (with individual skill, will, and everything else) is extremely intriguing to me. I consider Natural Selection 2 to be a masterpiece thanks to heavy focus on communication and teamwork to complement individual skill in aiming and strategic thinking. I'm also a fan of the asymmetrical nature of the game. Savage was never really my cup of tea, but I would love for the genre to be further fleshed out.

    Sadly I don't think that will happen in a PvP-based game, but I hope that it could be adopted into a PvE-based one. I'm thinking something along the lines of XCom, but real time and with real players doing the actual shooting.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      somewaffles
      Link Parent
      There was a Half Life 2 mod called Zombie Master that did this and it looks like they are trying to get it going again (sadly like most HL2 mod reimaginings, I can't imagine it'll get much...

      There was a Half Life 2 mod called Zombie Master that did this and it looks like they are trying to get it going again (sadly like most HL2 mod reimaginings, I can't imagine it'll get much traction.) I remember only playing a round or two because even back when I got my hands on the original, the servers were pretty barren. Apparently it was a lot of fun and I think if executed right, the idea would be a lot of fun.

      2 votes
      1. Cookies
        Link Parent
        Yeah, Natural Selection was originally an HL2 mod made into a standalone game (by the same devs that went on to make Subnautica actually). Sadly, I don't see the genre making a comeback. I think...

        Yeah, Natural Selection was originally an HL2 mod made into a standalone game (by the same devs that went on to make Subnautica actually). Sadly, I don't see the genre making a comeback. I think it's not really feasable to make FPS and RTS players play the same game, however awesome the concept may be. Hell, even traditional RTS games are struggling currently.

  9. [2]
    asoftbird
    Link
    Games that utilize multiple monitors. So far l've only seen Supreme Commander do it, and that makes the game a lot more fun/immersive since it displays a tactical map, large-sized.

    Games that utilize multiple monitors. So far l've only seen Supreme Commander do it, and that makes the game a lot more fun/immersive since it displays a tactical map, large-sized.

    6 votes
    1. HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      The wii u and Nintendo DS do this. I suppose you could attempt emulating them and then putting one screen on each monitor.

      The wii u and Nintendo DS do this.

      I suppose you could attempt emulating them and then putting one screen on each monitor.

      2 votes
  10. moocow1452
    Link
    Conversation as Combat, or something similar to the mass effect interrupt options, but instead of loyalty to a side, it's loyalty to a person or an option for an emotional response. Maybe you have...

    Conversation as Combat, or something similar to the mass effect interrupt options, but instead of loyalty to a side, it's loyalty to a person or an option for an emotional response. Maybe you have to choose between a light tap or a hard press for reserved and impassioned responses. Maybe a bonus for character's sincerity or you can take a feat to be better able to fake a response or sense the other character's motivation. The idea would be that you are assigned or can pick your objective, and the dialogue is less of a measure of your good-evi lor lawful-chaotic affinity, and more the game opens up options based on how you react and can control conversations.

    5 votes
  11. [3]
    NecrophiliaChocolate
    Link
    More hardware exploration is needed!! We need more stuff like the Wii Fit. I know VR is looking in a lot of areas but they are still working it out right now, it isn't ready for mainstream use.

    More hardware exploration is needed!! We need more stuff like the Wii Fit. I know VR is looking in a lot of areas but they are still working it out right now, it isn't ready for mainstream use.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      HanakoIsBestGirl
      Link Parent
      The issue with anything requiring specialised hardware is that you can only sell the games to people who own said hardware. If only 1% of gamers own that hardware, why would you limit your new...

      The issue with anything requiring specialised hardware is that you can only sell the games to people who own said hardware. If only 1% of gamers own that hardware, why would you limit your new game to 1% of gamers?

      1. NecrophiliaChocolate
        Link Parent
        But thats the whole point of exploration right? It is new territory and you are naturally going to have few people at the start. But actually that might not even be true. If your product is good...

        But thats the whole point of exploration right? It is new territory and you are naturally going to have few people at the start. But actually that might not even be true. If your product is good enough, it might become mainstream quickly. Look at the Wii Fit mat/board. There were games based on that, and it was pretty successful.

        1 vote
  12. Thrabalen
    Link
    I already gave one answer, but I kind of want this to also be its own thing. Games with different "levels" of execution. Say you've got a 4X game where you're playing a god-emperor of a galactic...

    I already gave one answer, but I kind of want this to also be its own thing. Games with different "levels" of execution. Say you've got a 4X game where you're playing a god-emperor of a galactic civilization. Go one level lower, and the game takes a snapshot of that moment in time and branches out. Now you're a planetary governor tending to your world and its needs. Go lower. Now you're the mayor of a city. Or go one tier down from the top, and you're a fleet commander during a war your empire has found itself in. Go lower. You command a capital ship and give orders as part of a fleet. Go lower. Now you're a starfighter pilot.

    I feel like if we can make Stellaris, we can make a game of this magnitude (with a less intensive galaxy than Stellaris uses, of course!)

    5 votes
  13. hungariantoast
    Link
    I think, because of the advancement in the capabilities of the home computer, god games are actually an underexplored genre. From Dust is about the closest thing to what I have in mind for a...

    I think, because of the advancement in the capabilities of the home computer, god games are actually an underexplored genre. From Dust is about the closest thing to what I have in mind for a "modern" god game.

    With the potential for terrain deformation and environmental destruction in three dimensional spaces, I think a strategy game that employs elements of the god game genre could be quite fun. I'm thinking of something like Total War, except the player can aid in terrain deformation, and has access to some divine powers. Are your light infantry getting torn up by flaming arrows? Place a rain cloud on top of the archers, hit them with some gusts of wind, make it impossible for them to see and aim at your soldiers, let alone light their arrows.

    Diverting rivers, erupting volcanoes, causing earthquakes, and summoning tsunamis all within a deformable (and destructible) three dimensional environment, mixed with fun real time strategy elements would be incredible.

    Or, to be honest, I'd be just fine with a From Dust 2, but it doesn't seem like that will ever happen.

    5 votes
  14. [8]
    culturedleftfoot
    Link
    I spent way too long writing a whole rambling diatribe from an angle you probably weren't concerned with, so I'll summarize: I'm firmly in the camp of games are art. It's still a relatively young,...

    I spent way too long writing a whole rambling diatribe from an angle you probably weren't concerned with, so I'll summarize:

    • I'm firmly in the camp of games are art. It's still a relatively young, underdeveloped artform though, so just about everything is underexplored, with the exception of generally evoking fun.
    • Art reflects society/culture/life.
    • For me, interesting art, the best art, is made by people who grapple with complex issues to reach its fundamental essence.
    • I find the overwhelming majority of mainstream media uninteresting, and gaming is no exception. Most of the people making games aren't trying to grapple with complex issues, so the art they produce reflects that (and the society that produces them).
    • Economic and social realities have meant that the tools to create this art have generally been out of reach for a significant portion of the worldwide population for a very long time, so we've been mostly restricted to a few dominant perspectives. As our societies change, that restriction is changing as well.

    That may sound a bit hipster and SJW-y, but it's just the price I pay for not writing well.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I wish you hadn't deleted your rambling diatribe! I am absolutely the audience for that kind of comment, as not only do I frequently make posts of that type myself here, but I'm also in complete...

      I wish you hadn't deleted your rambling diatribe! I am absolutely the audience for that kind of comment, as not only do I frequently make posts of that type myself here, but I'm also in complete alignment with your points. Am I correct in guessing you've read Anna Anthropy's Rise of the Videogame Zinesters? She lays out an almost identical argument to yours and profiles the creation of games as acts of creative self-expression rather than profitable pursuits.

      2 votes
      1. [6]
        culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        Actually no, I'd never heard of it nor her until now. I imagine my opinion isn't particularly unique though, especially among the indie gaming crowd. As for the deleted post, it was way too much...

        Actually no, I'd never heard of it nor her until now. I imagine my opinion isn't particularly unique though, especially among the indie gaming crowd.

        As for the deleted post, it was way too much quantity and not enough quality lol, all essentially boiling down to my prioritizing more thought-provoking content in games over innovation in mechanics or gameplay. I don't play very many games in the first place, so my interest in the industry is beyond whether or not a game is immediately fun to play. I'd included some games I like and find singularly unique: Journey, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, both Limbo and Inside, Antichamber, Fez, Miegakure (if it ever actually gets released), and Papers, Please. I don't know of any similar titles in both what they to aim for and how they achieve it. Then, there's The Witness. I wouldn't propose this as a candidate for the most immediately fun or enjoyable game, but the more I think about it, the more I believe this has a legitimate claim to possibly being, thus far, the greatest video game of all time. I cannot think of another game of such depth, that can have you thinking about it for as long after you've finished it.

        Beyond that, I'm really appreciating the heights we are seeing in art direction. I'd love more stuff taking inspiration from what Okami, Cuphead, Gris, and even Tengami have been able to do. Maybe we will see more thinking beyond the goal of photorealism now that there are diminishing returns in the usual console generation graphics jump. The Last Night is one that I was originally looking forward to just for the visuals but is apparently exploring some interesting themes as well (check this out and see dev's reply in the comments).

        I'm also glad to see games like Indivisible, Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan, and Never Alone coming out, if only for some freaking variety and new IPs. I mean, we've got 40+ years of vampires and zombies... I want to play a cool story based on Aztec mythology, too. I want to play a cool story based on Indonesian folklore. Hell, Shantae caught my attention when I first came across it just because of the female-genie/pirate premise. I'm crying out for some imagination, and maybe it has to come from a viewpoint I'm not already familiar with. I'm looking forward to seeing more titles from different perspectives and from different parts of the globe in the coming years.

        Finally, I'm going to ping @Adys and @Crespyl here because this ties into an exchange we had a while ago. What I was alluding to then was my optimism that great games of the future (hopefully within our lifetimes) will build upon what my examples mentioned above teach us, to such an extent that our current notion of how good a game can be, or even what a game can be, will pale in comparison.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          Thanks for the ping ;) It's definitely a contender. All the games you quoted are really outstanding names, although I find it weird to have Limbo and Inside be part of that run; they're all in all...

          Thanks for the ping ;)

          Then, there's The Witness. I wouldn't propose this as a candidate for the most immediately fun or enjoyable game, but the more I think about it, the more I believe this has a legitimate claim to possibly being, thus far, the greatest video game of all time.

          It's definitely a contender. All the games you quoted are really outstanding names, although I find it weird to have Limbo and Inside be part of that run; they're all in all pretty standard. Well, Limbo was a bit more groundbreaking at the time, but still.
          I don't know if The Witness deserves the title though. It is a fantastic game but… I dunno, there has to be better out there, right?

          1 vote
          1. culturedleftfoot
            Link Parent
            Limbo and Inside might not have been the most revolutionary releases at the time, but they're testaments to excellence in execution, particularly Inside. More than the sum of its parts, as they say.

            Limbo and Inside might not have been the most revolutionary releases at the time, but they're testaments to excellence in execution, particularly Inside. More than the sum of its parts, as they say.

            2 votes
        2. [2]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          Ah. My apologies for calling the shot on the Zinesters. Normally I wouldn't, but in this case I was almost certain you had read it since the items you brought up in your first post are, quite...

          Ah. My apologies for calling the shot on the Zinesters. Normally I wouldn't, but in this case I was almost certain you had read it since the items you brought up in your first post are, quite coincidentally, a point-by-point summary of the book!

          I also didn't realize when I said that I was "absolutely the audience" for your type of comment just how specifically correct that was. In terms of weird coincidences, not only did I just start playing The Witness, but I've played and loved 6 of the 8 games on your "unique games" list. Only Miegakure was new to me, and I never played Journey not out of a lack of interest for what it has to offer but only because I've never had the console to play it on.

          Like you, I feel like the indie space is the most exciting part of gaming right now, and, like you, I feel like there's more that gaming hasn't explored than that which it has. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for giving me a couple new titles to put on my radar (The Last Night in particular looks stunning!).

          1 vote
          1. culturedleftfoot
            Link Parent
            No worries. I'd like to see your opinion when you're done with The Witness. I'd have probably tried to avoid raising your expectations with that kind of praise if I'd known you're currently...

            No worries. I'd like to see your opinion when you're done with The Witness. I'd have probably tried to avoid raising your expectations with that kind of praise if I'd known you're currently playing it, but I stand by it. I'm still undecided myself if I'll actually get Journey whenever it actually comes out on the Epic store.

            1 vote
        3. Crespyl
          Link Parent
          I don't really have any particular thoughts to add to what you've said above, but since I was pinged, I'll just say that pretty much all those games you mentioned are way up on my list of...

          I don't really have any particular thoughts to add to what you've said above, but since I was pinged, I'll just say that pretty much all those games you mentioned are way up on my list of favorite/most-noteworthy, and I'll drop a few others that might also be of interest:

          • Thirty Flights of Loving
          • Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy
          • Return of the Obra Dinn
          • Kentucky Route Zero
          • NaissanceE
          • Stephen's Sausage Roll/Baba Is You
          • Dwarf Fortress/Space Station 13
          • Hotline Miami
          • The Stanley Parable

          Each of which pushes the limits of the medium in different and interesting directions, sometimes a bit past the breaking point.

          1 vote
  15. [4]
    balooga
    Link
    Side note but you might enjoy the Panzer Dragoon series if you're looking for the dragon experience. A modern remake has been announced if you can't get your hands on a Sega Saturn.

    Side note but you might enjoy the Panzer Dragoon series if you're looking for the dragon experience. A modern remake has been announced if you can't get your hands on a Sega Saturn.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Thanks for putting this on my radar! I had no idea they were doing a remake. I wanted badly to play it back in the 90s, but I didn't have a Saturn. I did hope that they would release a version of...

      Thanks for putting this on my radar! I had no idea they were doing a remake.

      I wanted badly to play it back in the 90s, but I didn't have a Saturn. I did hope that they would release a version of it for Dreamcast, but that went to Xbox instead, which I also didn't have, so while the series has always looked awesome to me, I've simply never had the chance to play it. I'll definitely be snagging the remake once it's out.

      1 vote
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        If you have an Xbox 360, Panzer Dragoon Orta is one of the games that got backwards compatibility. I don't know if it works on Xbox One, though. Orta is a really great game, though, and the...

        If you have an Xbox 360, Panzer Dragoon Orta is one of the games that got backwards compatibility. I don't know if it works on Xbox One, though.

        Orta is a really great game, though, and the graphics hold up surprisingly well IMHO. I'd say it's worth spending the approximate $20 a used original Xbox costs to play it.

        2 votes
      2. Nexu
        Link Parent
        this gameplay reveal trailer has just been announced, and I thought you might want to know.

        this gameplay reveal trailer has just been announced, and I thought you might want to know.

        1 vote
  16. Cosmicalpac4
    (edited )
    Link
    realistic wounds, like Rimworld and DF

    realistic wounds, like Rimworld and DF

    1 vote