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Can Minecraft Change the Gaming Industry?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the can-it-kill-dlc dept.

Games 255

An anonymous reader writes "Is Minecraft really changing the gaming industry fundamentally? This author certainly thinks so, and even goes so far as to consider Minecraft's world manipulation a paradigm shift along the lines of 3D-gaming during the early '90s. 'Every block in the game is available to pick up and reallocate. We can tear down and build up. The neat thing is that future games does not need to be as liberal, but they will need to consider how they can make the environment a hell of a lot more manipulable. Now, this is quite a bit too simplified and the vast majority of games must not feature a shovel worthy of digging to the center of the earth, but giving the user power over everyday things (still in game worlds) will be a worthy challenge to consider.'" Minecraft may give us power over everyday things in the real world, too.

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MineVille? (4, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773106)

Next paradigm shift:

Sally needs help moving blocks, sign up and earn 5 facepoints!

Re:MineVille? (1, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773366)

Didn't they already have MineVille in Chile a few months back?

Too soon?

Re:MineVille? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773510)

no, too unfunny.

Nethack already did it. (2)

Warwick Allison (209388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773108)

Minecraft is just a copy of the Gnomish Mines.

Re:Nethack already did it. (4, Insightful)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773152)

Stigler's Law variant.

Friendster -> MySpace -> FaceBook. It ain't Friendster or MySpace that is plastered on dang near every website and being visited by the U.S. president. It doesn't matter who did it first.

Re:Nethack already did it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773228)

Yes, very true. Also Utlima Online works similar to minecraft to where you mine, create ignots, forge weapons, chop wood, and so on and so on. It was amazingly addicting and you could even create your own house, castle, whatever and use space from the actual map from the MMO instead of your own channel. This was back in the late 90's. Afterwards, there were games like a tale in the desert, but that died, and many others that were more similar to UO. While there are many developers (including myself) who would want nothing more to create an MMORPG with those kinds of elements, it is incredibly difficult to build without using up an intense amount of horsepower. There are some pretty cool lightweight algorithms and game engines that are specifically tailored to do what minecraft does in full 3D, but unfortunately we're just not there yet to make modern games worth it. Wait a few years and then we'll start seeing 3D versions of UO, and "life" simulator games and there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome, such as how to make a game like real life without the real life.

Re:Nethack already did it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773382)

Nothing beats Dwarf Fortress.

it's a memory and plot problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773118)

ever since populous and nethack though, it's nothing new. you have to just find a balance on it. but minecraft is blocky for a reason.

Every block in the game is available to pick up an (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773126)

Every block in the game is available to pick up and reallocate

Funny, when I mine coal I don't end up with any coal blocks in my inventory..

Re:Every block in the game is available to pick up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773226)

I guess that's made up for by infinitely replicating water, and easy to recreate tree trunks and foliage blocks. Creation and destruction of the environment is a key factor of these games too. Now all we need is a way to create diamond using coal and pistons...

All we need now is $100 3D printers for home printing!

Re:Every block in the game is available to pick up (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773274)

p>All we need now is $100 3D printers for home printing!

Why? How much do you really want to print? At least, right now, how much stuff do you really want to print? is a pretty good workaround to actual ownership of a 3D printer. I suspect it's a lot like photo printing: it will turn out to be a fair bit cheaper not to have the printer at home and just shop out the print jobs to a specialist. At least, for the time being, anyway.

For instance, if the materials are the larger part of the expense, then the equipment that can produce the thinnest walls will be able to print your 3D art for the least money. But that equipment may cost far in excess of what a $100 printer is capable of, for a long time.

Regardless, you can be printing stuff right now with one of the many only 3D print jobbers. Shapeways being one which seems to specialize in one-off's which is what hobbyists would be most interested in.

Stuff that needs to be more durable probably won't be printed on the kinds of materials you can feed into a 3D printer anyway. The machines that handle more durable materials are also going to be more expensive than a RepRap-level 3D printer for a while as well.

Re:Every block in the game is available to pick up (1)

earls (1367951) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774382)

Thanks for totally nerding out on a passing comment. :)

Re:Every block in the game is available to pick up (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774476)

Why? How much do you really want to print?

I want to print a Japanese pop star [xydo.com] so I reckon about fifty kilos will do the trick.

No. (-1, Redundant)

morikahnx (1323841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773128)

It won't. Next question?

User generated content & 3d printing (2)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773250)

I think Minecraft is the antecedent to more user generated content. FarmVille is psuedo user generated because it lets you choose . Minecraft takes it to extremes and lets you build the individual items by manipulating the elements of an item, rather than an a prefabricated item.

I can see FPS games introducing more customizable 'bases'. We already have turrets in some games but maybe they can extend that and make the bases actually constructable.

It's why games like SimCity, Civialization and Command & Conquer games are fun - you are making choices and generating content by yourself. Personally Minecraft goes too far in one direction - I am not particularly bothered about the components, I just want to see the big picture of interactions. (Economy, macromanagement, Ascendancy game, city building)

I can see Minecraft being helpful in 3D printing. Imagine creating real life items in a minecraft like interface and then printing it? It would bring 3D to the messes.

Choose (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773262)

That should read;

FarmVille is psuedo user generated because it lets you choose what to build and where to place it.

I think human beings enjoy making decisions and perceiving the environment react to them.

Re:Choose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773362)

And you still mistyped 'psuedo'...

Re:Choose (3, Funny)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773426)

Apologies. I have learnt my lesson.

Re:Choose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773516)

Apologies. I have learnt my lesson.

Yes, you learnt it real good.

Re:No. (4, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773630)

It won't. Next question?

You've said a mouthful.

Why can't anybody just make a moderately successful product any more without having to "change the industry" with their "new paradigm"?

First it was big important really life-changing things like the Sears Catalog or erasers on the end of pencils. Maybe cellular phones. Now every single consumer success is a "game changer".

I just heard a guy on the radio interviewing the guy who came out with Tito's Corn Vodka. Now, people have been making corn licker since before Columbus, but sure enough, the otherwise pretty smart investment guy whose local radio show it was said "This is a game changer". Fucking CORN VODKA is a "game changer"? The only game corn vodka is going to change is the slow-pitch softball game that turns into a blind melee after the participants partake in several bottles of said corn vodka. The liquor store where I am proud to have a store account has a liquor display containing what appears to be several hundred vodkas, including those flavored with marshmallow and (I'm serious) whipped cream. Besides 17-22 year old females with lower-back tattoos, I really don't know who drinks marshmallow-flavored vodka, but apparently, enough of them have boyfriends trying to relieve them of their britches that these vodkas are very good sellers. So I am told. So when the types of vodka include such exotic offerings, how is CORN VODKA going to be a "game changer" unless you're a corn farmer and the US suddenly drops the ethanol subsidies and a potato blight hits the Midwest.

OK, I've got to stop right there, because my wife has forbid me from having any more Slashdot rants because she says I make a funny noise when I'm writing them and it's only 7:21am here and if I wake the dog I'll have to walk her. The dog, I mean.

(Oh, by the way, the whipped cream vodka really isn't that bad).

Re:No. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774014)

Corn vodka? Isn't that just moonshine?

Less is sometimes more (2)

Ron2K (1301199) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773132)

What I find great about Mincraft is the the fact that it keeps things sweet and simple. No flashy graphics bringing your machine to its knees, no DRM to fuck the legitimate consumers over, no crap gameplay with a shitty ending. It's just you (and maybe some friends), the world, and your imagination.

Minecraft is definitely evidence that sometimes, less is more. My personal opinion is that game producers have lost the plot - too often, we get served a steaming pile of flashy crud (*cough* EA), and sometimes even non-flashy crud (Duke Nukem Forever, I'm looking at you here!). Perhaps these people need to sit down, take a look at what people are enjoying playing and why they enjoy it, and get back in touch with their market.

Re:Less is sometimes more (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773146)

>No flashy graphics bringing your machine to its knees

Right, the bad programming does.

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773154)

People enjoy being nickel and dimed to death in a virtual skinner box. Plus that's where the money is.
They'll build that.

Re:Less is sometimes more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773170)

Just because a game is better than bad games doesn't make it good.

Minecraft is for people who aspire to play the part of individual dwarfs in Dwarf Fortress.

You were quoting (most popularly) Mies van der Rohe. However, as Robert Venturi opined: while less "bad" may certainly be lauded, sometimes less is simply less "good." So try and realize that your electronic LEGO game isn't going to change everything. :)

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773198)

No flashy graphics bringing your machine to its knees

You can't be serious... Minecraft is a huge resource hog, and the source is some of the most poorly written Java code I've seen.

Re:Less is sometimes more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773206)

Perhaps these people need to sit down, take a look at what people are enjoying playing and why they enjoy it, and get back in touch with their market.

They are looking at the only thing that matters to them - profits. EA and the like are not into the business of innovation. They are in the business of taking old ideas, polishing them into shiny new boxes and selling them to you all over again.
And you know what? It works great for them. Why bother inventing things when you can just buy them [wikimedia.org] ?

Re:Less is sometimes more (2)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773236)

No flashy graphics bringing your machine to its knees

No flashy graphics, sure, but try playing it on a laptop on battery power. Even plugged in it'll get your fan running, and that's just at the main start screen.

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773480)

There is an FPS limiting option now.

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

justthinkit (954982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773844)

He said at the main start screen. You know, where no fps are occurring.
.

It seems clear to me that Minecraft ignores the CPU halt command and just loops as fast as possible all the time like some 1990s DOS program. I make our kids quit right out of the program when they aren't using it to avoid the power drain of this lunacy.

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774460)

He said at the main start screen. You know, where no fps are occurring.

Seriously? FPS = frames per second. In a game application like Minecraft, there is no place that "no fps are occurring."

This post literally makes no sense to me. Power drain of this lunacy? Ignoring the CPU halt command?

Re:Less is sometimes more (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773248)

No flashy graphics bringing your machine to its knees.

Oooh, some of the stuff you can do to cause that to happen. Heck, there are small things you can do to cause a multi-player game to head that direction easily. I've never seen a multiplayer capable game where so many users in their youtube how to videos go "This is cool, woah, lag from all this stuff going on. Okay, don't do this online. It will melt the server with all the interactions between the players".

3 Redstone abuse.

Re:Less is sometimes more (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773354)

...no DRM to fuck the legitimate consumers over...

When Steam requires a server checkin, it's called DRM. When Minecraft does it, it's called No DRM. Go figure.

Re:Less is sometimes more (2)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773986)

Well Minecraft has the option to play offline, forever. I failed to find that feature on Steam when I was locked out of Civ5 which I had purchased on DVD!

The stand alone client only requires an internet connection for the first time run and for automatic updates. After that the game can be played offline with ease.

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Stand_alone_client [minecraftwiki.net]

Re:Less is sometimes more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36774138)

Well Minecraft has the option to play offline, forever. I failed to find that feature on Steam when I was locked out of Civ5 which I had purchased on DVD!

And this is different from Steam's offline mode how? (Hint: Just because you couldn't find it doesn't mean it's not there.) The very fact that Minecraft needs to check in to a server (even if only once) means that it has DRM.

Re:Less is sometimes more (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774410)

Couldn't you have just installed Civ5 on your computer from the DVD? I did this with HL2 and another game (can't remember which) when I couldn't remember my Steam login.

Re:Less is sometimes more (2)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773792)

Perhaps these people need to sit down, take a look at what people are enjoying playing and why they enjoy it, and get back in touch with their market.

Never going to happen. EA will carry on churning Year+1 sports games, id will keep churning out pretty tech demos, etc .. and the indie game developers will continue to produce exceedingly fun games at unfairly low prices. It's like warfare, the big army will throw out tanks, destroyers and attack helicopters to dominate the land, sea and air while the small guerilla insurgency runs around the streets taking potshots with antique AKs and RPGs, taking out a chopper every now and again. You can be big and mighty and hold the big piece of the pie, as long as you appreciate that the under-powered but manoeuvrable force will pick away at the edges. Big studios can't afford to take chances, so they continue to produce bankable sequels to existing franchises. Indie developers have generally lower overheads, less invested, and can afford to release their quirky puzzle/platformer, or interesting physics sandbox game without having to worry so much about shareholders, approval from corporate or whatever.

Game? (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773134)

I didn't even know MineCraft was a game.
Seems more like a tech-demo to me.
What gameplay elements are in there anyway?

Re:Game? (2)

Lillebo (1561251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773156)

What gameplay elements are in there anyway?

Engineering/red stone wiring. Spelunking. And patch 1.8...

Re:Game? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773242)

Survival. Adventure (coming in 1.8).

I guess that games have ends, so Minecraft can be more than a game. Like Lego, what are the gameplay elements of that? Some people just like creating, destroying, exploring, building, and even engineering.

Minecraft is also horrendously addictive.

Re:Game? (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773384)

I believe that at night, zombies come to eat you. But people seem to consider that more of a distraction of the real fun of Minecraft.

Re:Game? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773532)

Zombies are actually somewhat trivial and not really considered much of a threat by most players. The real problem is creepers because those will explode, dealing serious damage to both the player and whatever the player is building as well. The only thing worse to deal with is ghasts, however those only spawn in the nether and reasonable defenses can be sustained simply by blocking line of sight.

Re:Game? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774262)

What gameplay elements are in there anyway?

Your imagination. If you don't have one, then wait for the Adventure update.

Realism vs gameplay (3, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773144)

If you want stuff blowing up realistically (i.e. destructible environment), you have to simulate it offline, as it's really computation intensive. So it will be "scripted". Minecraft can only get away with it because everything is a cube. Also I don't expect a sudden surge in cubic 3d games. Minecraft is a one time wonder, and it could be only pulled of by an independent developer.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (3, Insightful)

daid303 (843777) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773252)

And still, Red Faction was blowing holes in walls in 2001.

I say Terraria is the better game, even with it's 2D nature. Because it contains a lot more stuff to do.
And building/mining isn't new. Look up "Clonk", it's going strong all the way back to the 486 era, and it has a lot more features then minecraft. It's only not 3D.

The only wonder about Minecraft is the sudden amount of attention it got. It got lucky, that's all.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773378)

"And still, Red Faction was blowing holes in walls in 2001."

And they don't look very reailistic because of the low particle number. Also, it's much easier to blow hole in a wall than to blow up a car, or something of more complicated geometry, not even mentioning the non-homogenous material quality and other stuff.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773612)

Maybe my memory is off but I thought the holes that you could blow in walls only occured in very specific areas.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (1)

w_dragon (1802458) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774230)

Some levels you could destroy just about anything, some levels were pretty much indestructible. It was still better than most games where you shoot a window with a rocket launcher and the window survives.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773788)

> It got lucky, that's all.

not really .. its just the right formula and well balanced.. and its an basic idea many had, BUT nobody got right so far..

much like sim city.. people thought Will Wright was nuts when he made it.

disclaimer: those were the best 10€ i spend on games ...

Re:Realism vs gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36774130)

Nope. It got lucky and happened to spread like wildfire on 4chan and Reddit at just the right time. The number of people actually playing the game regularly is fairly small.

I don't think so... (1)

xded (1046894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773300)

Red Faction had a destructible environment back in 2001 with Volition's Geo-Mod [wikipedia.org] engine, which eventually improved in 2009 with the totally realtime Geo-Mod 2.0 in Red Faction: Guerrilla.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773338)

You're missing the point entirely.

It isn't about realism, its about being able to interact with *everything* in the game environment. In old games everything was indestructible and there were just the odd lever that you could pull and everything else was static. Then there was something akin to Ocarina of Time; where you could interact with some of the environment, be it cutting grass of moving boxes around, but the majority of things were still static. For example, if there was a pot on the ground you could break it and get some arrows, but a very similar looking bot on a window sill was pure decoration and could not be broken/interacted with; you could even walk through it.

The trend with modern games, especially minecraft but I would argue others such as portal 2 or World in Conflict, is for there to be no difference between objects that are relevant to gameplay and purely aesthetic decor. If there is a tree in a village, it sets the mood and looks pretty but does nothing for gameplay. However, if I have the possibility of knocking it down and using it as a barricade, then the game is immensely more immersive and I have so many more options to play with. That, I agree, is entirely a good thing. What the tree looks like as it falls down and whether or not there is a realistic looking cloud of smoke as it crashes, I dont give two hoots about.

Re:Realism vs gameplay (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774136)

Have you actually played Portal 2? Portal 2 isn't an environment you interact with. It's a set of puzzles you solve. Almost everything that can be interacted with in Portal 2 is there specifically to solve the puzzle at hand. In fact, most of the time when I've been stuck on a level I find my way through it by looking for walls you can open a Portal on because you are very limited on where exactly you can open portals (even moreso than the first Portal).

Re:Realism vs gameplay (1)

Instine (963303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773432)

turn based game play also makes this possible. See Worms 3D, some years back (excellent game). Process client side, then distribute changes across the network while the players watch the pretty rendering . Perfect. Srsly I love that game.

I'm unconvinced... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773150)

While I have nothing against Minecraft as a game, the level of world manipulation isn't just some incidental feature that the gaming industry Must Take Note Of.

The level of world manipulation is pretty much what makes the game what it is; but also makes the game weird and idiosyncratic in ways that wouldn't obviously transfer very well to other sorts of games. Anybody remember 'Red Faction', that old FPS with the zOMG Destructable Environments!!! It sucked. Faced with the fact that they'd either have to break environmental destructability at certain plot-points, or just have players nibbling in a straight line through the level, the environmental destructability was reduced to little more than window dressing.

Really, in any game that isn't largely about metagaming emergent behavior in the game's rules(y hello thar, Dwarf Fortress, we were just talking about your much shallower and more popular kid cousin...), being capriciously arbitrarily limited sucks("Why can I pick up some books and not others?" "Oh, because some books are 'Quest Items', and you need to collect 143 of them; but the art team couldn't be bothered to actually model the rest, so all non-quest bookshelves are just textured rectangles.") but world manipulability beyond a certain level is useful pretty much exclusively for breaking the game's mechanics(acceptable in singleplay, if not obviously worth the tradeoff in developer effort, pure death in multiplay, unless you are the griefer who is currently grinning in anticipation...)

Re:I'm unconvinced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773246)

simple fix: in games where you have some weapons that cause environmental destruction and some that don't, don't allow a player to have the former during points where having them can disrupt the plot.

Re:I'm unconvinced... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773304)

Unfortunately, that's exactly the sort of "NO! You are playing with the sandbox Wrong!" design that makes "sandbox" worse than just a reasonably well crafted linear game. The "So, here's a puzzle, how do I solve it?" gameplay is contrived; but the "So, here's a world of apparently infinite possibility, what did the developer want me to do?" is just plain annoying.

Re:I'm unconvinced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773336)

Then when someone has a weapon that can do environmental damage, make the ammunition extremely limited. I.E. if you are in an area where a rocket launcher is needed, give the player a single rocket. problem solved.

Re:I'm unconvinced... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773530)

That's just making rocket launcher a %COLOR% keycard that Doomguy had to find in order to advance to the next area. That's just novelty, not an innovative use of the technology.

Re:I'm unconvinced... (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774218)

That was the case in the last level of Perfect Dark. Kinda irritating.

Hell (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773162)

Every single game for the last 20 years has claimed "destructible environments" (some of them erroneously, with the word "fully" as a prefix). It's the same thing, in essence.

It's been a want of gamers for decades, since voxels were around at least, and it's never really happened how we expect, despite being promised with every big hit.

Even Minecraft doesn't have a fully destructible environment - some blocks can't be moved or changed, and there are depth and height limits, not to mention width wrap-arounds through the use on fixed-length int's on map indexes.

Unfortunately, such a thing would fundamentally change a game. Imagine a 3D FPS. You want to take out the enemy base. Hell, with enough time, you can just move the local mountain across on top of it, or tunnel up into it, or punch a window through the local mountain to make an inaccesible sniper-spot, or literally just flatten the whole place with artillery so you can walk through the ashes and collect all the pickups. It doesn't make for a fun game, necessarily, but it just one of many features that a good games developer can add to a game to make it more interesting. It's the same category as realistic physics, proper ballistics, or better AI teammates. Useful in the right hands, game-ruining in the wrong ones.

Yes, it would be really cool to have zombie/aliens game where you arrange the furniture to build barricades, but in playability terms it can create a nightmare, especially multiplayer. Hell, people whine that they (or the AI) get stuck on map objects that took years to position in the ideal place - what makes you think a billion random objects that can all move everywhere, combined with overpowered abilities to move the earth, will make it easier to get from A to B?

The only way to do it is realistically, which is gameplay-hell. If you want a tunnel into the enemy camp, you'll run out of food and die before you get anywhere, the sounds of digging will be heard, you'll kill yourself through exhaustion and you'll have to put the soil somewhere (which will draw attention). And if you don't get caught by the enemy, it'll still take MONTHS to get there.

(Offtopic: How cool would a well-made free-form Great Escape game be, though?)

Don't forget non-linear gameplay (3, Insightful)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773230)

"Every single game for the last 20 years has claimed "destructible environments" "

Don't forget non-linear gameplay. Which in practice means there's some variety in the order you play linear subplots. Until we got a human level AI a computer cannot create a compelling story, so you have to put up with the pre-baked ones. (Or go full sandbox like multiplayer FPS/RTS games.)

Re:Hell (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773400)

Even Minecraft doesn't have a fully destructible environment - some blocks can't be moved or changed, and there are depth and height limits, not to mention width wrap-arounds through the use on fixed-length int's on map indexes.

You seem to be confusing "fully destructible" with "infinite". AFAIK the only non-destructible blocks are bedrock and clouds. The "borderlands" where the int pointers break down and the everything goes crazy are further away than you'd get in normal gameplay.

But you're right - just because its good for Minecraft doesn't mean its good for every game. Part of the fun of Minecraft is the whacked-out physics, and the retro graphics nicely mirror the block-based theme.

Re:Hell (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774364)

By definition, it's not fully destructible if you have non-destructible blocks, wherever they are :-)

Re:Hell (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773814)

The only way to do it is realistically, which is gameplay-hell. If you want a tunnel into the enemy camp, you'll run out of food and die before you get anywhere, the sounds of digging will be heard, you'll kill yourself through exhaustion and you'll have to put the soil somewhere (which will draw attention). And if you don't get caught by the enemy, it'll still take MONTHS to get there.

I'm reminded of a book by Iain M. Banks [wikipedia.org] that included this concept.

Re:Hell (1)

Scalarr (2373026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774042)

Destructable is one thing, but how about manipulable, reconfigurable and ultimately constructable?

Re:Hell (1)

MidnightBrewer (97195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774224)

I agree. Not to mention that a fully interactive environment misses the point - it's not the end-all-and-be-all of gaming, but rather the vehicle for a certain type of game. A game, just like any other form of narrative, needs to guide the player along a certain story line. There has to be a point. Just as the real universe has physical laws for a reason, so do games; having malleable worlds for the sake of "realism" is only a single aspect of gaming, not the ultimate evolution of gaming in its entirety.

No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (5, Insightful)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773166)

It barely works in Minecraft. Yeah, it can make for a pretty cliff, waterfall, cave basin, forest, etc. but it's still an empty world that relies entirely on the player to populate and to differentiate from every other area that was randomly generated as well.

Minecraft, as it is, no more a game than a set of legos is a game. It's neat. It's fun. It allows impressive works of creativity, but is it a game like Mario? No. World of Warcraft? Halo? Need for Speed? Madden? Amnesia? You could make it a platformer but what's the point when you can just build/dig to where you need to go? Where can Minecraft go as far as game opportunities go? Considering how deep it is now, it would be better off as a platforming game set inside a computer so you can dick around with redstone because that's the only deep thing about Minecraft right now.

Some mods do better but in the end, it's still lego pieces. Here's short list of ones that I feel really expand upon the game:
Better Than Wolves [minecraftforum.net]
Industrialcraft [minecraftforum.net]

And there's tons more that increase variety of mobs, items, terrain and foliage.

Re:No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773174)

Should have been a third link there for Buildcraft [minecraftforum.net] .

Here's a vid of Industrialcraft and Buildcraft working together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NlONSyvz6k [youtube.com]

Re:No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773232)

Not is adding village and NPC generation in a future patch. Don't confuse "not added" out of time constraint or no desire for "doesn't work". Combat is getting revamped. Buried, abandoned ruins are a work in progress that Notch has been revealing screenshots of.

Minecraft is getting there.

Re:No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773984)

Not is adding village and NPC generation in a future patch. Don't confuse "not added" out of time constraint or no desire for "doesn't work". Combat is getting revamped. Buried, abandoned ruins are a work in progress that Notch has been revealing screenshots of.

Minecraft is getting there.

Time constraint? Wrong. Notch and co. have had an absurd amount of time to do something interesting with Minecraft and haven't. It's strictly the "no desire" part. The last time Notch had a desire to put any effort into Minecraft was approaching an entire year ago (the Halloween Update). The only reason Notch is working on anything at all right now for the game is because Terraria has thoroughly embarrassed and shamed him into doing so in hopes of bringing back some of that playerbase. Without Terraria, you'd still be getting the same awful non-patches every four months. Minecraft fans should be thanking the Terraria devs, buying their game and donating money for their work in not only producing their own superior game, but apparently for producing the first actual Minecraft content patch since last October.

But even that won't stop the Adventure Update from being a buggy, half-assed, unfinished and abandoned mess like everything else in the game. Watch.

Re:No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773772)

Right now it's just a big sandbox, I think that the Adventure Update (due in September at some point) will turn Minecraft into an actual game. It promises NPC villages, strongholds, an XP system and more.

Re:No. Randomly generated content doesn't work (0)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774258)

I'm going to have to disagree. It'll still be dependent on randomly generated terrain and any structures will designed ahead of time like set pieces. NPCs will have very limited interactions with the player simply due to the fact that there's no overarching design or direction. It just doesn't work with randomly generated terrain.

If Notch designs dungeons end to end and let's that structure overwrite the terrain, I could see that working. That or he goes full on Terraria with dungeons and summoned bosses. I'm not saying that's bad but it does again show that Minecraft is a lego set and the most fun and creativity isn't coming from Notch.

Lay off the crack. (2)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773172)

I love Minecraft but it is hardly going to change the gaming industry. Minecraft isn't the first game that allowed players to manipulate the terrain*, I was digging tunnels and building fortresses back in the mid-90's with the Worms series. Hell, Minecraft is based off Infiniminer, there isn't much real originality or ground breaking in it. What I think Minecraft did was capture the zeitgeist. There is a large retro movement going on at the moment, and many Gen-X and Y gamers are nostalgic for the simple games of the 8-bit era. Minecraft took that 8-bit styling and gave us a box of blocks to do whatever the hell we want with.

It isn't ground breaking, and it won't change the face of gaming because people still want those other gaming experiences. You don't need two different "box of blocks" games. Even if the terrain manipulation craze took off it would be quickly stopped by the technical limitations of current consoles (which are the target for most games).

Also don't forget that people like nVidia have been banking on physics heavy games taking off (eg with their system where their GPU's can also do physics processing) for years and it simply hasn't happened. Partially because game developers focus on the consoles, which have limited processing power by modern standards, and partially because most people simply don't care that much.

* Red Faction was doing this in 3D in the 2001.

Re:Lay off the crack. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773208)

How can you say Minecraft isn't ground breaking? That's pretty much all it is.

Re:Lay off the crack. (1)

Nighttime (231023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773388)

Bravo, Mr AC, bravo.

Re:Lay off the crack. (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773386)

"I was digging tunnels and building fortresses back in the mid-90's with the Worms series."

Bleh, back in my day, if we wanted to blow up the terrain we played scorched earth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_Earth_(video_game) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Lay off the crack. (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773614)

While scorched earth was fun, it did feel a bit unbalanced due to some of the weapons. I preferred Tank Wars [wikipedia.org] for more competitive gameplay. It still did have some rather strong weaponry as well, but I don't think anything as ridiculous as a "Death's Head".

No (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773192)

There have been construction games before, the Sim series comes to mind. Transport Tycoon. Granted these games had more of a goal in their world construction but still.

It is like saying that since Up! was such a succesfull movie, every movie must now be 3D rendered. Or indeed that since Terry Pratchett made a hit by not using chapters, books no longer should have chapters.

Stop saying "X is good, everything should be X". Secret sauce on a McBurger is great so they should put it on EVERYTHING.

And as for adjustable, the world is very square in minecraft, should every game have this simpistic view?

For that matter, do I really want a totally user transformable multiplayer game for every game type? Forget teamkillers now you get people bricking their team in.

The author needs to get out of 10yr old mode, things can be different from each other. I know that is a hard concept but someday you will realize that the A-team is NOT the answer to entertainment you once thought it was.

Re:No (3, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773328)

It is like saying that since Up! was such a succesfull movie, every movie must now be 3D rendered. Or indeed that since Terry Pratchett made a hit by not using chapters, books no longer should have chapters.

You forget the Zeroth Amendment of the US Constitution: If some is good, more is better.

What Minecraft could really teach the industry is "don't get so big that every game has development costs the size of the national debt of a small country: then you can afford to take risks instead of playing safe and re-creating the last game with better graphics".

Re:No (1)

Scalarr (2373026) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774266)

TTD is a good example and should probably me mentioned in this context. It does indeed have much of the experiential qualities regarding whole world manipulation (WWM) that I wanted to elevate. And before that we had populous and SimCity. But they don't feel as much paradigmatic as experiencing first person WWM. I guess I need to be more clear about that I'm talking about experiential qualities in first person gaming. I'm truly sorry for being a bit childish about this, and I totally agree that things both could and often should be different - even opinions :)

Re:No (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774298)

I'm afraid that, you, sir, have hit the entire mindset behind the entertainment industry. Once a CEO sees one good idea that is making lots of money, they will promptly push their company into making something similar so that they can hop on the gravy train. Problem is, as you point out, a concept that works well in one game may not even be desirable in another. It really is like a bunch of 10 year olds going "me too!!1!1!"

Witness the push to make EVERY movie EVER in 3D that is taking place in Hollywood. Of course the good directors (i.e. Christopher Nolan) resist it when its not appropriate (which is pretty much all the time), but most of the others just see the dollar signs that movies like Avatar made, and a green mist descends on their vision. 3D is cool and all, but its not good for 99% of movies. The result is tons of shitty 3D movies (the 3D is shit, not the movie although those generally are too). It really adds nothing to a movie but the surcharge, but thats all the CEOs see. Also, the CEO never realizes WHY the idea was successfull in the first place, so ther are never able to create something that fits to it, trying rather to shoehorn it into everything.

Therefore, expect to see tons more "fully destructable environments", "world-building experiences", and "transformable user made content" in tons of new games. Why? Because the boss, who has no idea what those things really mean from a technical or gameplay perspective, wants it.

Tetris (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773218)

Whilst I love toys like Lego and Minecraft, they are are not the same thing as games.
Would Tetris be better if you got to choose the blocks, would a film be better if you had to write it yourself (okay maybe most would)?

Everyday, real life is boring (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773272)

Everyday, real life is boring, there's a lot of nitty gritty, low value things we have to do in order to get to the trully pleasurable bits of it.

Quick example:
- Have you noticed that movies don't show in real time the travel time of the characters? Hands up anybody that wants to see in real time the 15h plane trip our action movie heroes take to go from their base to whatever hellhole they're supposed to be blasting stuff up in ...

This is why most games do NOT include the "repetitivelly move stuff around" bits in them - because it's not fun. Would, say, any of the Mario Brother's games be any fun if you had to shovel dirt around for 1/2h in between getting each coin or fighting each baddie?

Re:Everyday, real life is boring (1)

genner (694963) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773444)

Everyday, real life is boring, there's a lot of nitty gritty, low value things we have to do in order to get to the trully pleasurable bits of it.

Quick example: - Have you noticed that movies don't show in real time the travel time of the characters? Hands up anybody that wants to see in real time the 15h plane trip our action movie heroes take to go from their base to whatever hellhole they're supposed to be blasting stuff up in ...

This is why most games do NOT include the "repetitivelly move stuff around" bits in them - because it's not fun. Would, say, any of the Mario Brother's games be any fun if you had to shovel dirt around for 1/2h in between getting each coin or fighting each baddie?

On the next 24 Jack Bauer goes to France.
This week......will he pay extra for the in flight movie?

Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773276)

Not as if this hasn't been known. Diablo 3 will have destructible elements. In GW 2 lots of random stuff to pick up, some of it weaponry that changes your skill bar. Plus maps that change from one play session to the next as far as monsters and events go. Dungeons rearrange themselves; but Diablo had that.

Sure. People are plenty stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773290)

It can change the game industry. The real hard question is will it be for the better? I don't think so.

Of course i am bias by the types of people who seem to be hooked on minecraft and can't shut the hell up about it. It seems to bring out the worst of both gamer and attention whore types. Both groups i didn't want to hear from in the first place.

Re:Sure. People are plenty stupid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773442)

Of course i am bias...

Why does it seem that nobody who's grown up in the internet age seems to be able to use the word "bias" correctly? Bias is a verb. Biased is an adjective. You should be saying "I am biased..."

I dont need to affect the world to have fun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773316)

Modern Warfere series has the least interactive enviroment in a game, you cant even open doors! You can smash glasses, that's all. But it is a superb game because producers focused on story-telling. It is a movie I can play! Mirror's Edge isnt any different in terms of manipulative environment.

No, it will not. (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773364)

The filter in your brain that parses reality is not installed correctly.

Batshit Boring (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773404)

Minecraft is quite simply batshit boring.

Inframiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773416)

Can stealing code from someone else's game and self bumping threads on 4chan spring of 2010 change the gaming industry ?

Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36773484)

And another nope for good measure.

There are plenty of user-generated games.
Minecraft just got lucky with interviews at the right times with the right people that resulted in a surge of news about it and sales out the eyeballs. (so much so that Paypal were even shocked and suspended that account to check it out)

Minecraft wasn't the first, and it certainly won't be the last, when it comes to blockland / voxel games.
Minecraft isn't even that good a blockland game at that.
Vanilla Minecraft gets INSANELY boring after you get a bunch of materials you need. Seriously, it is a more complex Farmville, that is it.
It is a chore-game.
Most people who play it (actually play it), play it with mods, or play it on themed MP servers (anarchy, no-build, creative, adventure, puzzle, whatever).
The rest are held back by the man himself, Notch, because he is so inept and incapable of making Minecraft work since his views on what the game should be are crap. (MINECRAFT ISN'T REAL LIFE, QUIT IT ALREADY NOTCH)
As he said in his very own words, without the community, Minecraft IS NOTHING. It is another simple blockland game.
Honestly surprised the community never stole the game off him and made PirateCraft. He has pissed well over half the fanbase off at several stages in updates.

I'd sooner give Dwarf Fortress my love. But the developer of that is seemingly even worse when it comes to time-keeping and interface design.
Seriously, menu- and command- driven interface 101, that game breaks every single guideline besides easily-readable commands. (contrasting)
The community have wanted a rewrite of the menu system since FOREVER, but he just won't do it.
The menu system is the only thing holding that game back from EVERYONE, EVER, from playing it. You'd think he would take the hint when there are about 50 different programs for managing the game.

Game / Scene designer (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773498)

The biggest advantage of the mind craft "environment" is for the game designer. You can "power up" a "game designer" character to walk around inside of the scenery and craft it by interaction with it. In other words you don't need external tools to design levels etc. I assume most MOORGs also can do that from the inside, but likely they nevertheless use custom crafted tools for that.
I assume interaction with the lego blocks is done with certain tools the character is wielding ... so in a mindcraft environment you only need some "bulldozers" and other tools that are only available to the game designers.

No! (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773568)

Everybody has switched to Realm of the Mad God.

Give me another Modern Warfare or Wow Clone. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773598)

AAA publishers are focused on the ONE most popular type of videogame. This is like all movies released during two years being clones of Deep Impact.

On the other hand, gaming is big, billion of dollars big, millions of players big. Since publishers abandon a lot of ground of gaming, this space is filled by smaller studios, indies, and other people. Big AAA don't want or can't risk his money in creativity, and want to "adquire customers" buying and selling "IP". Smaller publishers, indies and the like, don't fear innovation, and create lots of creative and interesting games.

It has not ben always like that. Publishers use to provide a more diverse range of games, and not be all that focused on "Manshooter IV". The game with a version 4 or 5 use to be rare. Now is the norm, and the rare... almost not existing, is a new "IP". Wen a big publisher create a new "IP" is newswhorty!.

This is bad news if you are a console gamer, or you are the type of casual gamer that only want these publishers AAA titles,... or maybe not. People seems to enjoy consuming the lowest common denominator product.

But if you are a PC user, and want creative games, are exciting times. Yesterday week Minecraft was Terraria, this week Minecraft is Dungeons of Dredmor. Is very fun to be a PC gamer atm.

If you ask me, AAA publishers are abandoning money on the table by not having smallers teams making games for niche markets. But I suppose these type of companies want to make fat games, because fat produce the type of stuff executives need. So these companies are driven by what is best for his executives, and this is "big Hits". Even if that means abandoning money on the table. Or maybe I am too cinic, I don't know.

Maybe not... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36773694)

I think Minecraft is just a nice small freeware game along Soldat and others. Very good games, but nothing that revolutionary.

Great. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36774206)

Now we're going to start seeing tons of minecraft clones, since that works OH SO WELL for FPS games.
Anyone for Call of Minecraft 7?

No ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36774444)

next question...

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