×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dvorak Trashes Modern Gaming Industry

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the because-he's-an-expert dept.

Editorial 792

oskard writes "John C. Dvorak recently posted a PCMag.com rant trashing the gaming industry, predicting a complete market-meltdown in the near future. Titled 'Doom 4: End of the Game Industry?', it was interesting to see how the 3D Realms Forums reacted to the article. He claims that 'games have hardly changed since the invention of the first-person shooter.' His kids have obviously showed him too much Halo 2, and not enough Half-Life 2." From the article: "The business is going to attempt to sustain growth and creativity by making game players buy newer and newer machines. Computer gaming has always been sustained by never-ending improvements in resolution and realism. But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

792 comments

He's off the mark. (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382222)

Guru meditition Error: "An instance of professor could not be loaded due to a missing a critical library: empathy.lib."

Seriously, I could have applied that analysis to the the media of any century. People could have said that about art in the 16th century, literature in the 19th century and television in the 20th century. Now it's the turn of the new fangled 21st century media, the video game, to be label as "boring and non-progressive".

Wake up and smell the roses. In this world you don't have to be original to make money. If anything, you are penalised for creating something original; daring to be different is often suicidal. This problem is even more accute in the software industry where it can cost a lot more to produce a game that it does a crappy sit-com.

People like their media a lot like they like their sex: Non-adventurous but guarenteed to satisfy. (As a side note, slashdotters might disagree that people want "boring" sex I think the reality is that most people grandstand on this issue; I'd wager that the majority of people feel comfortable having relativity boring sex).

Don't be fooled by Dvorak, the gaming industry is unlikely to implode. It just means that we'll appreciate the ground-breaking games more when they arrive.

Simon.

Re:He's off the mark. (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382323)

I think you are a little off the mark with this statement:
the new fangled 21st century media, the video game

It is not new or even of the 21st century and there is no proof that it will be the media of the century. Something is very likely to replace it; after all, we have another 95 years.

Re:He's off the mark. (3, Insightful)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382438)

It is not new or even of the 21st century and there is no proof that it will be the media of the century. Something is very likely to replace it; after all, we have another 95 years.

Whatever media that replaces video games will most likely be computer driven and interactive.

Which makes it a video game. Even if it's full VR and uses full body motion capture for input, or whatever else you could think of.. it's still basically a video game.

Storytelling will differentiate tomorrow's games (5, Interesting)

22RealMcCoy (864375) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382327)

Huge opportunities will abound in the gaming industry as tools are released that lets the global community mod their favorite games. Storytelling will come to dominate games at every turn, as graphics, physics engines, and audio approach reality. The stories will also need to approach reality. http://autumnrangersgame.com/ [autumnrangersgame.com] is an example, based on the novel http://autumnrangersnovel.com/ [autumnrangersnovel.com] and movie http://autumnrangersmovie.com./ [autumnrangersmovie.com.]

Re:He's off the mark. (4, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382378)

Ob Geek Dig: "As a side note, slashdotters might disagree that people want "boring" sex I think the reality is that most people grandstand on this issue; I'd wager that the majority of people feel comfortable having relativity boring sex"

I think most Slashdotters would feel comfortable having sex... "realtively boring" or not. ;-)

As for the article, I agree with him in part. The industry is starting to show its age, and the "blockbuster" has arived. This does NOT mean that good games with innovative concepts are gone, it just means that the really good an creative ones don't have the financial backing any more. Look for the games that don't quite have the best graphics (can't afford a team of artists), and aren't for sale in the mall stores (probably online only) to be the next wave of innovative games.

Of course, Doom was only for sale online, and it was astoundingly innovative, so not a LOT has changed.

Re:He's off the mark. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382421)

Dvorak writes:
> There are four or five simple game categories
> and nothing really new or different.

Couldn't you say the same thing about movies and books? What's the old saying? "There are only five stories, everything else is just settings and characters." Something like that.

Its Dvorak.... (5, Funny)

AAeyers (857625) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382229)

Now that Dvorak said its dying, sales will sky rocket and Duke Nukem Forever will be released ahead of schedule.

Re:Its Dvorak.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382261)

I thought that Dvorak keyboards were dying!

Re:Its Dvorak.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382317)

It's just a bit too late for that.

John C. Dvorak is a joke! (0, Troll)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382248)

If I had a dollar for every dire prediction this blow hard made, I'd be a millionaire.

Re:John C. Dvorak is a joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382273)

Yeah... seriously this guy is obviously an attention seeker.....

He's always making stupid predictions based on BS facts that he thinks up in his own head.

Re:John C. Dvorak is a joke! (5, Insightful)

shashi (56458) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382361)

I have to agree. I've been reading John C. Dvorak since the 80's, and I tend nowadays to look at his columns as more 'humor' than 'editorial.'

This guy has always wanted to be the Nostradamus of the computer industry, but I don't think I can count on one hand the number of his predictions that's actually been true. He's been in the ballpark a few times, but he tends to blow things ridiculously out of proportion.

I don't agree that the gaming industry is going to face a 'meltdown', but certainly it needs to continue innovating if it's going to continue growing. But that's true of any industry. I do see his point that most games have fallen into a rut of rehashing the same handful of genres, but this will hardly lead to a collapse of the market - more likely it will just mean less *new* gaming demographics. Most consumers have already seen what the majority of games have to offer, and to effectively acquire those segments of the market that have already blown off video games, you need to be able to find something new that appeals to them.

I happen to agree (3, Interesting)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382250)

I agree with him. The other day I went to Future Shop to buy a game or just browse and I walked by every title thinking how uncreative the games industry has become. I don't pay for copycat games.

Make something original.

Re:I happen to agree (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382390)

Which is why he wraps up his rant by saying he'd rather play spider solitaire?

Yeah, I can see how the discerning consumer demands 'new' games and won't accept tweaks and extensions to well established forms...

Super Mario Turbo 223 rev 9 part IIV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382455)


how can you say the industry is dying, final fantasy 67 was brilliant and Mario 124 was genius !!!

iam looking forward to Doom 34 and GTA7

dvorak predicted end of games before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382255)

back in the early 1990s in an article in, i think, pc computing? or maybe pc magazine. he had some kind of top ten list of things that would happen enxt year.

people would stop paying 40 bucks for games like racing, he said.

he is either a tool or a troll?

How can a keyboard attack something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382260)

Unless the Ctrl-K key is particularly vicious.....

Who's surprised? (-1, Flamebait)

Fenis-Wolf (239374) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382264)

Dvorak has been posting nothing but trash for a long time now. I remember when he was on TechTV, he constantly had on great guests. But he was such a tool, it was almost impossible to watch.
It was like watching one of those talking point shows on CNN, or even worse Fox News. But before those shows even existed.

Re:Who's surprised? (1, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382337)

He's just out-of-sorts because he's currently playing a game and stuck on the Big Boss at the end of a level. Once he's past that, he'll be happy again.

Sounds like the same old Game Play vs Bells & Whistles debate again .. and again ..

Starship Troopers (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382266)

I've have more sympathy for his views if he didn't start off the article by demonstrating that he didn't even understand 'Starship Troopers' :). Geez, how could anyone have thought it was a serious movie, rather than a comedy taking the piss out of American militarism?

Don't fall for it. (4, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382267)

Dvorak does this all the time to increase page impressions. Don't even bother reading the article.

It's obvious to me that the opposite is occurring. It appears that people are becoming more and more addicted (or "drawn to" if you prefer a less inflamatory term) to video games as they become more interactive and realistic.

Re:Don't fall for it. (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382276)

So you're saying: Treat this as any other article?

Re:Don't fall for it. (4, Insightful)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382359)

Most articles start with a legitimate premise and then try to put a spin on it to make it more alluring.

Dvorak consistently starts with the, "What information is going to rile up the most people?" and then writes an article based on that no matter how false or illegitimate the premise is.

Re:Don't fall for it. (0)

jones77 (306154) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382362)

You're not kidding. I was bored by the time I'd finished reading the first paragraph ...

Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (-1, Flamebait)

torpor (458) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382268)

I wish someone would work out how to make a video game actually productive.

I mean, yeah, its entertainment. But its also a total and utter waste of time.

There's an Energy Crisis going on, kiddies. All those HL2 clock cycles are comin' from someones homeland, costing someones blood. Wouldn't it be great if actually there were some result from all that pixel pushing, that actually fed someone?

Okay, I'm cynical. But honest, anyone heard of a productive video game concept? This is new territory. Please explore.

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (2, Informative)

Gleapsite (713682) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382342)

Dance Dance Revolution. Has a built in work out program, and its addictive gameplay encourages people to wear themselves out.

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382346)

lol ur a jar head

mod parent up (1)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382373)

Excellent ideas, torpor.

I would love to see a console designed for this purpose. Imagine running a kind of SETI@HOME that searched in quadrants using random algorhythms generated by your button combinations!

Or ... maybe each time you press the button, move the joystick, the energy you put into the game is recycled? Or maybe a keyboard that recycles energy used to press keys?

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382380)

But honest, anyone heard of a productive video game concept?

America's Army is a recruitment tool for the United States Army.

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (1)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382414)

Video games, total waste of time, you say.

But of course, the time you took to post this slashdot comment was entirely productive? Saving the world, are we, one comment at a time? Fixing the Energy Crisis (TM) by whining and trolling?

Move along, please, nothing to see here.

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382419)

I wish I could have modded you 'Total Fucking Retard'.

I would count military flight simulators and ground combat simulators to be pretty productive video games.

Slashdot is entertainment(sort of) so your argument applies to yourself as much as any video game player. Has that Synthesizer in your link ever done anything productive?

I guess I could have modded you Flamebait or Troll but you're just too fucking stupid to be worth it.

Re:Ah, video games. Total waste of time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382440)

I wish someone would work out how to make a slashdot post actually productive.

I mean, yeah, its entertainment. But its also a total and utter waste of time.

There's an Energy Crisis going on, kiddies. All those torpor (458) posts are comin' from someones homeland, costing someones blood. Wouldn't it be great if actually there were some result from all these torpor (458) posts, that actually fed someone?

Okay, I'm cynical. But honest, anyone heard of a productive torpor (458) post? This is new territory. Please explore.

In a way, he's right... (2, Insightful)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382269)

Games suck these days, with few exceptions every game is just a variant of one of a few formulas- FPS's, RPG's, RTS's, Sports games, Racing games, and a couple of basic puzzle formulas. I don't think the game market's about to implode or anything, but it's been a long time since a wholly original game has come out. Need more Katamari Damacy, less run-around-and-shoot-crap games...

Re:In a way, he's right... (1)

DraigEfydd (579156) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382397)

But on the other hand, it means that people are having to spend less time learning a game and more time playing it. A lot of gamers play games for the storylines, at least as much as the action, and tried-and-true formulas let one concentrate on the game rather than the mechanics involved. It's the same argument of, say, Ruby vs Perl - take the fiddly learning stage out and you can concentrate on enjoying the experience. Not to imply that I don't enjoy originality and innovation myself, but since I started full-time work and lost those glorious teenage all-day gaming sessions, sometimes it's nice to just pick up and play rather than learn something entirely new all over again.

Another Dvorak story ? (5, Insightful)

bigmouth_strikes (224629) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382271)

Can we get a Dvorak topic that we can ignore, please?

John Dvorak writes for the average WinTel user who isn't following tech trends more than what makes the evening news. I can't understand how anything he writes is of any interest to /.ers., really.

The UT series (2, Interesting)

Martz (861209) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382272)

For example: Unreal Tournament series has peaked in my opinion, the systematic annual release of UT 200x titles is starting to wear very thin, and the quality of the work and time going into the games seems to be declining.

I don't think the communities which build around playing these game titles are able to stay up to date with the releases. By the time you have bought the game, created a clan and joined a league or ladder, the next version of the game is out and you are simply supposed to discard it and move onto this years title.

Sure other areas such as the console market have done this, but the sucess of a single title now spawns a complete series of games

short sighted (2, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382279)

FPSes have the best visual 'eye candy', but I could have said the same in the 1980s about Flight Sims. Innovative fun games continue to be invented and create their own niches.

In the past few years, there's been some great advancements... Europa Univeralis 2 is probably the most intricate historically based strategy game ever invented (and yet doesn't become a micromanagement nightmare).... how would you qualify "The Sims" as a game based on 1980s or 1990s definitions? Sounds like a dumb premise but its been hugely popular (and inventive). I'm not a big fan of MMORPG but it is definitely an advancement in the realm of CRPGs. And Doom3 is just an eye-candy FPS, as the article poster pointed out he should be trying Half Life 2 or KOTOR.

He's probably indirectly commenting on the slowing pace of 'genre' creation...most of the new games fit into a specific model/theme. This is where consumers have spoken. Tetris is probably one of the most addictive and popular games of all time, but if it was invented today no one would pay $50.00 for it.

I'd concur... with a variation (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382284)

PC gaming is dying. I haven't seen anything original in a good while. Doom3 tried but it just wasn't clever. Halflife 2 is excellent, but just an evolution, not an innovation. I haven't seen anything interesting and new in the RTS scene since Homeworld.

Console gaming is going strong with innovative new styles and methods like the gyro in the PSP, the mic and touch screen of the DS.

Katamari Damashi.

The Eye Toy, though it's not really all that popular in the US.

Re:I'd concur... with a variation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382392)

> Katamari Damashi.

Damacy.

First Person Shooters (5, Insightful)

StuartFreeman (624419) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382294)

I think of first person shooters as sort of the "silent movies" of video games. We are at the stage of developing the technology to create truely deep games. The FPS is an excellent platform for testing out new technology (see the newest Unreal engine for reference). Once the FPS proves a technology feasible it can be adopted into games of larger scale; and once we reach a plateau in the realism that can be delivered by games, developers will have to innovate gameplay around that realism.

NOT THE FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382298)

THO ITS BETTER THIS WAY

Ender's Game (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382299)

The game that Ender Wiggin played in the famous sci-fi book Ender's Game is where I see the future of gaming going. Continuous, puzzle-based, 'smart' games that develop and change on the fly. There is no end in sight to gaming; it is a removal from reality, as drugs are. There has always been, and will always be (the holodeck, anyone?) a desire to escape from the common-day.

I think his agrument is off base (5, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382300)

But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?

I don't play games because of the graphics. I play games because they are fun. Agreed a fun game that looks great is better than one that looks like crap, however photorealism is not the end state of gaming progression. Look at all the fun people have with games like Bejeweled. That has nothing to do with visuals. Its just a fun game to play. All these first person shooters are featuring graphics because that is what will set them apart. It is tought to build an engaging story that has to involve thousands of monsters to be slaughtered. FPS games are going to decline to a niche, but games are going to persist.

This guy is just being inflammatory for the sake of it.

Re:I think his agrument is off base (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382445)

one would hope that his entire argument can not be summed up in a single sentence, let alone a sentence that appears in the summary on Slashdot. On the other hand, this is Dvorak we're talking about. That said, please actually bother to read the article before retorting, otherwise you're just as bad as he is.

Starship Troopers (3, Informative)

alnya (513364) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382303)

If you want to see exactly how inane this is, go out and rent the brain-dead Paul Verhoeven film, Starship Troopers.

Poor use of an example there, being that Starship Troopers [imdb.com] is a oft-misunderstood anti-war satire.

Mod article +5 Ironic

After Photorealism? Plot? (2, Interesting)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382306)

Kings Quest Fun plot, lots of actions, and the graphics sucked. But that didn't stop it from being a blast to play (remember if you didn't have the sugar cube to get thru the poison brambles...)

Anyways, theres always decent story lines, multiple realms, etc. Thats why I always enjoyed Muds (MortalRealms) because of the varied areas and the fact that new ones were always being brought online. I realize that most games can not afford to be updated to this extent (text vs complex 3d models) but still... if I wanted a photo realistic game with pain feed-back, I'd join paintball.

hello? earth to dvorak? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382307)

As usual, he's so fixated on his own navel that he's missing the point entirely...!


see, what he's really saying is that *he's* bored with the stuff the gaming industry is putting out there; therefore, the industry just *must* be on the verge of imploding, right?


what he's forgetting is that the gaming industry's target audience isn't self-important middle-aged white men. a demographic that's closer to the mark is kids and teens. *they're* the ones who are providing the main revenue stream for the industry, and, not too coincidentally, *they're* the ones impressed by the fancy flashing lights.


all of the "it's all the same thing" rant is lost on this audience: they haven't been around long enough to know that it's all the same thing, wrapped up in new, shiny paper, and using faster processors and cards. to them, old *is* new again, and it's pretty freaking impressive!


I don't mean this in a disparaging way; I'm just saying that you don't get that kind of perspective about the gaming industry until, very likely, you're no longer part of their target demographic...

too much Halo??? (3, Insightful)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382312)

Um, I think halo is a bad example of "just another shooter". It really isn't just another action game. It has a number of inovations that give a lot of depth to gameplay.

Health/shields - recharging shields after a few seconds, so you never have to limp around almost dead, team mates can cover you while you recharge for team strategy, etc

Vehicles - the way you can just get in and get out at will

Carrying only two weapons at a time, forces you to choose, not just load up

Melee attacks - always available and make close combat much more interesting

Grenades - always available at a button press (not a weapon you switch to) and add lots of strategy, such as bouncing htem around corners, laying them in front of doors enemies are following you through, etc

Plasma / particle weapons - plasma hurts shields more, particle hurts health more, makes weapon combos more interesting

Motion tracker - Not a radar, you can only see people who are moving, so not moving is a strategic option, crouch walking is slow but you don't show up on motion trackers, so it adds a level of stealth to an action game

Granted, these are all halo 1 inovations, but the balance of all these things in halo 2 is superb. They all come up constantly. I think a better example of a boring by the numbers game is Doom 3.

Re:too much Halo??? (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382424)

Inovations? Go play Alien vs Predator. Motion sensors, weapons and/or light filters that are specific for hunting different species..

Re:too much Halo??? (2, Informative)

kanarde (700119) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382457)

Granted, these are all halo 1 inovations

Bullshit. See Tribes (1998) for all but the last item, and Tribes 2 for the last.

And hell, Tribes may not have even been the first...

Halo wasn't inovative, it was mass marketing at it's finest.

Quake Family Tree. (3, Informative)

Tei (520358) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382326)

Anyone interested on modern FPS engines sould check this Quake Family Tree [quakesrc.org].

This pict how actually most people its on modding already existing engines. Valve its even forward, modding his how mods ( Counter Strike: Source ). /me...Looking forward for Quake 4.

How do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382330)

how do people like this get to be taken seriosuly? Some jackass writes articles and becomes the authority on computers?

Who wants photorealism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382332)

I play gams to get a break from reality. I don't want any sort of photorealism in my gaming experience. I want to be immersed in a CARTOON world of aliens, orcs, elves or whatever.

Unless they can get me some photo-realistic looking aliens from HL2 or some Orcs from WOW to come in and record video for them to digitize I will keep playing the games I find visually appealing.

Games are supposed to immerse you to a new world, not be a substitution for the one you live in.

What's up w/ all the Dvorak News? (1)

Hasufin_Heltain (519982) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382335)

What the hell? Why do people think this guy is an "authority" that we get submissions as NEWS. Not like every Nick Petreley article gets posted or whatever. Since Dvorak's a PC "Journalist" Dinosaur (I think Pournelle of Sci-Fi/Byte fame beats him hands down, or maybe even Bob Metcalfe ) he gets the automatic respect of the slashdot editors?

the blowhard lets off steam again (1)

YellowElf (445681) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382341)

This is the same guy that figured Microsoft could kill Linux by merely writing "drivers" for it.

Once again, he ponders out loud as if he had some clue. But I have never seen any dire predictions he has made ever come to fruition. Can you find one (challenge!)?

What keeps the game industry going is not novelty, but keeping the current generation of gamers wowed until they get replaced by younger, newer gamers coming in. Will it change over time? Yes, almost certainly. But I don't think it will ever die.

Repeat after me, "Dvorak is stooooopid. Never listen to him."

"Dvorak is stooooopid. Never listen to him."

--dv

Best game of 2005.... (1)

genneth (649285) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382344)

Darwinia! [darwinia.co.uk]

It's even got full Linux and MacOS X support! Seriously thought, it's a game that is addictive and original (no, simply using references to older games does not count as a ripoff). Go buy!

First Person Shooter? (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382345)

Who cares about first person shooters, they're probably the most uncreative genre of computer games anyway.
The gaming industry being uncreative is old news, it was already uncreative as hell when 486 hit the shelf for god's sake, and 95% of the "gamerz" populations ain't asking for creativity anyway, they care for l33t FPS, l33t v3rt3x & sh4d3rz, they don't ask for gameplay they care for graphics, they don't want scenario they want T&L. In a word, they care for useless shit.
Try giving them Colonization or the good ol' Lucas Arts age adventure games (Day of the Tentacle, Sam&Max Hit the Road) and see them shiver in pain and wither as they see screens without any vertex tesselation and 3D real time light rendering...

Have you seen which game is arguably the most popular ATM? the fucking sims for god's sake, who cares about creativeness when you can make millions out of "Reality Shows" on computers?

Like shooting ducks in a barrel (5, Insightful)

EvilTwinSkippy (112490) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382348)

He does an excellent job of explaining what we already know. The diversity in gaming could fit in a matchbox with room to spare.

What he doesn't explore is why. A distribution channel that favors "safe bets" over radical new concepts. Kinda like the movie industry, cranking out sequel after sequel of the same cliche'd genres.

What will sustain the industry? (1)

inherent monkey love (875830) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382350)

Call me crazy, but I suspect the driving force behind sustaining the gaming industry will be quality products with entertaining game play. Photorealism will be nice. So will realistic force feedback effects. Sure, we all are looking forward to the neural interfaces of the future (and we welcome our machine masters). But, without a compelling storyline and entertaining game play, all the shiny new features aren't going to mean a great deal. Which is, I believe the point of what Dvorak is saying.

Well... (1)

tratch (877620) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382351)

whatever Dvorak says is usually 100% spot-on, so I guess we should all start playing...sports?

Halo Half Life (2, Insightful)

northcat (827059) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382355)

His kids have obviously showed him too much Halo 2, and not enough Half-Life 2.

So how is Half-Life 2 extremely different from Halo 2? They're both just FPS with good graphics. There's a guy standing, holding a weapon, geometrically everything seems like any other game and he shoot other things/people. Maybe he gets on some vehicle. That's exactly Dvorak's point. All we see each year are the same games (or same type of games) with improved graphics. In the past each game used to be wildly different from the other, were innovative and had good gameplay and not shiny graphics. Really. Super mario or even some more recent games are much better according to me. Although I'm not sure if Dvorak's right about whether this will be bad for game sellers. People (game buyers) these days are pretty stupid.

(-1 troll, here I come)

implode? Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382357)

Oh sure, now that the game industry is bigger than hollywood, it's going to *implode*. Hahah.

I've been playing videogames multiple hours a day for > 24 years. If anything, games are bigger than ever now.

Who would invest so heavily in a market that's about to implode? Microsoft maybe? Do you really think Microsoft would be making the xbox if the market was going to implode? I guess Microsoft is a bunch of idiots too.

I have but one word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382367)

But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?


I have but one word for you....p0rn.
New forms of p0rn.
New forms of photrealistic realtime streaming MMO p0rn. Hmm, of course we'll have to redefine the MMO acronym!
Ph34r teh l33t h3nt4i pr0n!

Books must be going the way of the Dodo too (5, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382369)

I got about as far as ...

The categories are shooters, puzzles and mazes, adventure games, sports games, and simulations. That's it. Most of today's hottest games are combinations of two or three of these categories, with a storyline added to keep the players from being bored stiff. When my kids show me a game, I usually say that it's nothing but the same old running-jumping-kicking-shooting with a new background. They leave in a huff.


Sounds like novels and movies to me. There's what, adventures, documentary, sci-fi, romance, a few others. Books haven't had any real new ideas except a tacked on story line to keep the reader from being bored stiff.

I hate to break it to Dvorak, but gaming isn't always about something new and creative. In fact, new and creative can be very hard to enjoy for a gamer who's used to certain types of games (go read all the "why isn't it more like /x/" messages on the boards).

A good story will get me through a really stupid game any day of the week, like a page turner with a great plot and terrible spelling because the writer didn't get a good editor.

I actually am one of those people who quite enjoyed Doom 3, not for the incredible graphics or sound effects, but because it had an intriguing plot line. I'm not saying it was as well fleshed-out as it could have been. I'm not going to refer anyone to the hundreds of people who didn't bother watching any of the video discs in the game or reading the E-mails, they're easy to find too.

There are many types of gamer -- some like newspapers, some like comic books, some like 2000 page novels, some like to reread their favorite magazine fifteen times. The gaming industry isn't dying.

Re:Books must be going the way of the Dodo too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382456)

Doom 3? Intriguing plotline?

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!!

You've made my day.

I've got an intriguing story for you. Its dark. Theres monsters around. Now go shoot stuff for a few hours and I'll come back with an ending for you later.

Life after photorealism (1)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382372)

"Computer gaming has always been sustained by never-ending improvements in resolution and realism. But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?"

We have a working counter-argument: Hollywood. Once we get CG that looks real, we won't be able to many movies anymore.

People who buy games just for the cool graphics are like the people who only watch movies for the SFX. Yes, they exist, but that's not what drives the industry. We've all seen moves and games with killer graphics, but didn't sell because it stunk.

-MrLogic

Crazy (1)

mattmentecky (799199) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382384)

"The business is going to attempt to sustain growth and creativity by making game players buy newer and newer machines. Computer gaming has always been sustained by never-ending improvements in resolution and realism. But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?"

Uh...the same way that all other areas of of media - music, books, literature in general and movies sustain.... by focusing on even little creativeness/inovations within the bounds of the medium and focusing on quality elements that make up the medium?

What sustains? Explore new worlds! (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382386)

Every game presents a new world to explore and to learn and to challenge. Yes, the basic motifs may be the same -- puzzles, mazes, monsters, and weapons -- but the combinations are always unique and that provides the challenge.

A "new" game provides a "new" challenge even if it uses the same building blocks as the old game.

Who the hellis John Dvorak ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382394)

and why should i care what he says ? or is he just another American wannabe "expert" saying the usual annoying crap like

"you dont wanner do it like this , this is what you wanner do..you wanner do it like this, thats what you wanner do..."

What about Porn? (1)

DarthTeufel (751532) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382396)

I always thought that the porn industry lead technological innovation. From Internet security and encryption, to finding vulnerabilities in Windows. Porn is always at the forefront. Gaming doesn't push technology, getting closer to those pixellated hoo hahs does.

in UTspeak (0)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382403)

Dvorakian: the gaming industry is going to implode

Scuzzlebut: Ha ha ha!

n00b: stop camping you a$$hole

SCUZZLEBUT IS UNSTOPPABLE

HEADSHOT

SCUZZLEBOT PUTS AN EXPLODING BULLET IN Dvorakian's head

Scuzzlebot: Ha ha ha!

Scuzzlebot: You like that?

n00b: Loser!

HL2 (5, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382404)

Certainly Half Life 2 is a step above the standard FPS fare, and has some great graphics, but it still very much suffers from the same faults as many FPS games - linear game play, scripted events, levels that box you in, zombies, stupid AI, health meters, a standard range of weapons etc. Its not that much different from most other FPS games in that way.


With that said, the cut-scene engine is excellent, the production is good, there's a semi-coherent plot and the gravity gun is a lot of fun. It's certainly a hell of a lot better than the invisible rail shitfest that is Doom 3, that's for sure.

How does this guy hang on to his job? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382406)

He's wrong more often than the weatherman.

"Am I the only one who expects a collapse of the gaming business soon?"

Yeah, John, I think you are.

"There are four or five simple game categories and nothing really new or different."

And there are only a handful of movie and musical genres so I guess they're doomed too? (or is it doomed 4? hah!)

When fully immersed virtual reality gaming becomes old hat, I'll start to worry.

two words... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382408)

...castle wolfenstein.

he's an old coot, but has a point (1)

thundar2000 (459149) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382409)


Games for the past years have, for the most part, *not* been about furthering the art of computer/video games.

They have been about furthering hardware, platforms, 3D chips, etc.

The frequent question the console companies is not, is this an innovative game, but more, does it push enough pixels to 'show off the hardware'

Maybe when we reach a point where the 'eye candy' just looks like plain old reality, we can get back to thinking about and creating all of the possibilies of what a game can really be.

Until then, I'll be shooting shiny monsters, driving shiny cars, playing with shiny football players - all never really changing, but getting shinier and shinier every year...

Fresh ideas != longevity (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382413)

I really get tired of people like Dvorak who make statements equating "no new ideas" with "soon to pass". All of the cars that we drive are based on a single design that was made over 100 years ago, yet all of the cars on the road are still different from each other. They're all cars, but they all have a different feel and different enjoyment factor to different people.

Look at series like the "Splinter Cell" and "Thief". They're all variations on the same theme - first person stealth - but they all have a different feel with different challenges. So, they're all the same kind of game, but I've purchased every one of them because they're still different enough that they don't feel like I'm playing the same game.

Just look at how many games are STILL being played frequently because of fan mods! A lot of games have GIGS of mods available for them to keep the experience fresh. As long as the core engine and functionality are enjoyable, all that gamers need is something to break the repetition of "the same old levels". The success of so many game series that are just mild improvements over prequels or competitors (like the "Thief", "Rainbow Six"/"Ghost Recon", and "Splinter Cell" series) should be proof of that.

Just my two one-hundreths of an American dollar. Convert to your currency as necessary.

I agree (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382426)

I don't see a lot of difference between various games as of late. While there have been good attempts at creating unique concepts, where has the innovation gone?

All it is in the game industry now is:
1. Hire dev team
2. Come up with rehash of existing game concept
3. Push them to release some buggy piece of s**t which will require 2 patches to fix after release
4. ???
5. Profit!

Sad thing is the above is actually true.

Recreational drugs industry set for crash (0)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382428)

Dave C. Didiot recently posted a junkie.com rant trashing the recreational drugs industry, predicting a complete market-meltdown in the near future. Titled 'Herbal Viagra: End of Drugs?', he claims that 'recreational drugs have hardly changed since I smoked my first spliff in the 60s.' From the article: "The business is going to attempt to sustain growth and creativity by making junkies buy hard and harder hits. Junkies have always been sustained by never-ending reductions in sensory perceptaion and increase highs. But once we get totally out of our minds, what is going to sustain growth?"

EASY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382431)

"But once we get to photorealism, what is going to sustain growth?"

Porn

...and not enough Half-Life 2. (5, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382435)

Showing him Half-Life 2 wouldn't help. Dvorak's problem is that he openly admits he does NOT game. Thus he's like the old guy who thinks all rock and roll sounds the same. Or the young guy who thinks all jazz sounds the same.

It's hard to understand the nuisances of a subculture unless you particulate in it yourself.

Maturation and Saturation (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382436)

I don't think the industry will die, but I think it's about to run into the wall PC's have run into which is diminishing annual sales of hardware. The new video cards haven't sold anywhere near as well as ATI and nVidia would like, nor have the PC's themselves. Somewhere along the line, the machines became powerful enough to do what people want without taxing the hardware. The new upcoming consoles, despite the hype, will be an incremental increase over the last consoles despite the hype. Hardware sales used to be driven by the software, but consumer software (games or apps) is so far behind the power curve that it's going to take some time to catch up. It's different on the professional end, but the numbers don't compare to the consumer end.

The companies have got used to people buying their systems without question, but I think that is going to change. After the initial rush of early adopters, I suspect sales will slip downwards. Are the games the same to a large extent? Sure they are. They say there are only about five or six stories told by people, and it's just the details and presentation that make people want to hear them. The same is true for games. We'll buy then for the same reason people watch banal TV over and over. You gotta have a hobby. We will rave over few though and we won't be buying hardware as often.

Call it the maturation and saturation of an industry.

Same Old Story (1)

MidWorldOddity (697372) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382437)

Whose to blame for a lack of new ideas? And isn't the market providing consumers with what they want? While I won't go so far as to say that there aren't very many "completely new untouched ideas that people will love" out there to be tapped, I will admit that perhaps some new/better stories need to be written and gameplay can always be improved. And frankly, the whole dog you can talk to and pet thing sounds like the typical Japanese popcorn game that will sell really well there, but not here. Just give me a game with a decent story and lots of challenge and I will buy it.

He's an idiot (1)

endus (698588) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382439)

He obviously doesn't understand the nuances of the FPS, and I doubt very much that he plays online. The rise of the team-based FPS has added a COMPLETELY new dimension to the FPS genre that I think has yet to be fully explored. Enemy Territory took the team-based FPS a level farther by creating specific objectives that have to be accomplished in a certain order as a team. This is, to my knowledge, the only game with this type of setup. Yes, Couter Strike is somewhat similar, but it's not nearly as involved in terms of the types of objectives you have to accomplish. The addition of classes of people is also pretty new and adds a completely new dimension to the game.

Playing online really is the future. If people are playing single player games and expecting something new, then obviously they're going to be disappointed. I really don't buy FPSes for the single player anymore, although the gravity gun in Half Life is pretty damn fun. Playing online means that every single game is different every single time. Sports like basketball or baseball have been around forever, why have they not died out? The reason is that they are played by different teams and combinations of skill sets which make for a different game every single time. This is true with online FPSes as well. Each team has a different dynamic and way of getting things done. The team based aspect adds a HUGE amount of strategy to what is a relatively simple formula. Things like "bugs" in the engines (circle jumping, strafe jumping, bunny hopping ,etc) add a level of improvement in skills and strategy for individual players, but it's the team tactics which make it really interesting.

What this means is that there will always be a market for FPSes. People love them...this has been proven. If the improvements to the games are incremental, people will still play them just as they continue to play basketball or baseball. Just because the parameters of the game don't change much doesn't mean that people are going to stop playing.

It's an Escape (1)

bubba_ry (574102) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382441)

Gaming will always be popular because it is a means of escape for people, just as books, movies, and T.V. is.

World events and changes in technology will always provide ideas and fuel the imaginations of developers for new and interesting games.

Hell, I know I'll never be a super duper secret spy, but I can play one in a game and get my kicks!

wanka (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382447)

i'm sick of him

he's an old coot, but has a point (1)

thundar2000 (459149) | more than 8 years ago | (#12382451)


Yeah, games for many years have only really been there to sell hardware.

Maybe when the 'eye candy' get to the point where it is just 'plain old reality' will then game creators be allowed to start figuring out all the possibilities of what a game could be.

But until then, it is all about 'showing off the hardware' as far as innovations.

So I will remain shooting shiny monster, driving shiny cars and playing with shiny football players - all getting shinier and shinier with each passing years - happy, but looking forward to something different.

Movie industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12382452)

The movie industry has been releasing lemons again and again and is still going strong. Besides, story never really was the selling point of a shooter, right? Here, I totally agree with John Carmack, who once said "Story in a game is like story in a porn movie; it's expected to be there, but it's not that important."

On the other hand, I agree that Dvorak does have a point. Someday the incentive to buy newer machines will have to be fuelled by different needs, and that few developers will be left at that time. Making game has become majorly expensive, which is why you see companies like EA buying everything that moves while the small ones go under. So no, the gaming industry is not going to die because of lack of imagination, it's just going to consolidate, and the quality of games will get even lower, if such a thing is still possible.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...