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What does the future hold for the design of computer games? With ever improving technologies will new ways to play games affect the design of games?

Posted by kinesis916 on May 1st, 2008
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After just recently finishing an essay on a similar topic I thought this could be an interesting topic for discussion. At the least it will provide us with a talking point for a few days.

Anyway on to the topic. Personally I think that games design in the future will not only challenge players in new and divergent ways, but also challenge the developers to create new games that haven't been done before. Or to create games that are played in a new way.
I think that as technology improves and games become able to do more, perhaps the design of games will have to change to incorporate not only sight and sound, but also the other three senses. Who knows perhaps in the far, far future we will have more senses with which to play games with.
Perhaps virtual reality is the way forwards with games. The technology is always improving, and while it isn't a widely accessiable technology yet, it does seem to be something to look at in the future. They could even replicate all the five senses within the game environment. Even now they are trying to replicate smell within a virtual world. The Matrix films for example really did show us the potential that a virtual reality system can have.

But the future of design in games doesn't just have to come from new technologies. It could also come from some bright spark of imagination. Games don't just have to be designed around what a player see, but rather what they hear. We have already seen this in to a point in Moddb.com, Blind Monk's Society. Just imagine what a full game could acheive if the player really had to listen to what was going on instead of relying on the usual markers to get from one objective to the other. Only time will really tell where design in games will go, but there really are a million and one possibilities. Many being perhaps only small in scale, others being vast in scale and hopefully changing things for the better.

There is no right or wrong answer to this topic, but it would be nice to see what people think on the future of games design and where it might head.

Post comment Comments
Henley Staff
Henley May 1 2008, 10:43pm says:

Until games right now get prefect and everyone is creating perfect games based on stories and fantastic MP I do not think anyone will pick up a virtual reality console. Not only would it break the bank but creating a solid object within a game would also need extensive training and money to make.

It could happen, but its a long way off.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Wraiyth
Wraiyth May 2 2008, 12:01am says:

There are several problems regarding games and the way the industry works that causes all these problems.

Number one is that you need good looking screenshots to sell a game. This will always be the case until we hit a point where game graphics simply can't get any more realistic, and games will instead have to differentiate themselves by stylising the game (TF2 for instance) or trying to push unique gameplay. Until we hit that point, developers are always going to focus more on graphics than they do on gameplay or story.

Number two is the way that companies work. It is a business, after all, and no matter how much we dislike it, or how much we disagree with it, it comes down to money. The higher-ups don't care what a game is like. They care whether it will make money, and Venture Capitalists care whether they will get back more than their investment in a given company. You could even say that developers are legally bound to be 'safe' in terms of game design - they're listed on the stockmarket, and the company is legally obliged to do things in the best interests of their shareholders. Therefore taking a risk in designing something new and different could put them in risky territory.

But this is why we have indie developers. Indie developers (and students) will always find new ways to approach something, whether it be how we interface with machines (Wii remote) or something that we fundamentally take for granted in a game (ie the idea of space or time). Its something that I'd LOVE to see modders focus on alot more rather than just re-hashing old games, creating sequels and using non-original IPs.

+2 votes     reply to comment
kinesis916 Author
kinesis916 May 2 2008, 4:25am says:

Oh great I cocked up that link. Now I look like an ***.

+1 vote   reply to comment
DJ-Ready
DJ-Ready May 2 2008, 8:55am says:

Interesting article
Though I can't really see "true" VR happening anytime soon but head tracking instantly popped into my mind while reading this (remember that video with the wiimote used the other way around? :D )

+2 votes     reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley May 2 2008, 10:28am replied:

johnny lee hells yeah!

+1 vote   reply to comment
Connway
Connway May 6 2008, 1:18am replied:

Johnny Lee FTW!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Hunter-Prime
Hunter-Prime May 4 2008, 5:22am replied:

That one was awesome

+1 vote     reply to comment
kinesis916 Author
kinesis916 May 2 2008, 4:55pm says:

Indeed VR isn't likely to happen anytime soon. Though of course I was thinking a more distant future with VR. Perhaps fifteen or so years.

I think the immediate future will see little change in games. There will be an awful lot which, while they have a different story, are really just the same game. There is nothing wrong with that but esstially there will always be the need for someone to come along and take the risk.

Nintendo took a fairly big risk with the Wii. But it paid off. And to pick up on Wraiyth's comment on indie games. While games companies perhaps aren't quite so inventive as the indie sector because of the risk. Some of them do seem to know their value. You only have to look at Sony picking up all these indy games for their Sony Network thingy. Such as say Flow.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Malvado_Zombie[X]
Malvado_Zombie[X] May 2 2008, 7:57pm says:

I think... the future of the design of games don't need tecnology or something similar (like virtual reallity). The games need imagination, fresh ideas or something new, because the people (maybe) start hate the same game stylus or a "remixed" of the games

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord
Dragonlord May 3 2008, 12:56pm says:

Before games venture into new technologies or virtual reality they should first learn the most underestimated and underdeveloped principle that games have: interactivity. After all this is what puts a game apart from a novel or a movie still yet many games just drag you through by a red string not allowing the player to interact and especially "influence" the world he lives in. And once you are going there you see that graphics doesn't help in this endeavor but only smart developers thinking outside the box.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Connway
Connway May 6 2008, 1:30am says:

You got to slowly edge into the new technologies. Take Johnny Lee's VR Head Tracking project. It is amazing, adds new depth to a game, and is CHEAP! Sure the Wii paid off now, but only Nintendo is putting out good games for it (aside from the games Capcom and Atlus put out). Other than those, most 3rd party games for Wii suck. It's sad really, cause there's so much you could do with it, but developers just can't see it.

I wish Johnny Lee was a game developer. He'd make some awesome stuff.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Connway
Connway May 6 2008, 1:33am says:

Hopefully this engine will catch on soon

Kotaku.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
kinesis916 Author
kinesis916 May 8 2008, 4:53pm says:

Well that engine does look rather nice.
It is a shame that a lot of the Wii market is still very Nintendo driven, when it is a really good platform for a whole range of games. I am personally fed up with a lot of the games that are coming out for the Wii. I love my puzzle games and all but I do think there is enough of them now. Also they have the whole family side of the market which is possibly why some of the hardcore gamers are starting to turn away from it. There just isn't really anything half decent coming out as such that isn't a puzzle/family game.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Connway
Connway May 20 2008, 5:01pm replied:

Yeah, I worked over at NoA last summer. I gotta tell you, at least 90% of the games that come in are pieces of crap.

This game looks pretty good though: Gametrailers.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
Danny_Livewire
Danny_Livewire Jun 19 2008, 4:25pm says:

i believe the future of gaming will be with more social interactions. vr is just hype and technically it's already here, just not fun enough to justify the cost.. by combining real world fun with virtual fun, the games of the future can become not only more entertaining but culturally important as well.

think about how websites like myspace and youTube have achieved critical mass with innovative social programming...

+1 vote     reply to comment
yafn
yafn Jun 30 2008, 8:33am says:

The future in game design is to make it easier for the players to be the designers. I would certainly classify Blind Monk's Society as a brilliant concept and I am disappointed I didn't think of it. If however, it was so easy to design a game that even a grandmother or a blind person could do it...

Technology advances in the hardware is going to allow for ever increasing physical immersion which is going to make game design that much more complicated. We can look at cutting edge VR caves and feedback technology add see all the pieces are there. We need more software invocations to lower the costs of game design.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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