UnDoom, prodecurally created levels. Sounds fun, except the texturing there gets so terrible that none of the doom maps ever looked that bad and what's with the oversized gun and everything?
If Tom Hall and John Romero would be dead they'd be spinning in their graves. This feels so bizarre and shaky. I mean okay designing has become for the real masses with iphones and shit right? Except then of course it's mass. It's trash. There's no way around it.
And let's take a look at another project "Doom on Unreal Engine 4 update 2".
What animations! They feel like they're floating. Is this a joke? It basically highlights everything bad about the basic engine cliches of unreal engine 4 and everything bad that one could fish out of doom. Mirrored textures on doors? Check. Coronas everywhere? Check. Enemies that feel like they're rigelatins and made of slime? Check.
Well fine it's just someone showing off what he did, but if that gets filled up everywhere, people feel they've done something great and that they are better than Romero or Cliff ever was.
God, how much they are mistaken. And they make fun of games like Daikatana. Not without its flaw but some of that stuff was masterpiece when it came to design.
The more masses you get the less people will appreciate fine art. It's a destruction of the gaming world. Everything automated.
People chose to be designers for a reason. It wasn't meant for a random teenager on a street but now they can go like "oh look I can do this I'm so awsomeee".
Several people on the original Unreal team were even architects, like T. Elliot Cannon. He knew how to make a building.
It's just. I fail to see the "love" in all that stuff out there. Even when a main game (UT4) fails to really deliver, there's something really wrong.
They should go back to basics and work from there. Sketches/design documents like its fucking 1996! And people who follow that generally get good stuff done.
And then people like mmu get ridiculed for mass produection. Well, it's still not as bad what I mentioned. Sure, some of his early works were a bit ridiculous but some were fun and inspiring. And he clearly shows that he can get better if he has the focus right. Though it's not entirely his fault that he looses the focus when basically it's what modern society expects. You get what I mean.
I have my problems as well though they're of a different kind. I do my best providing assistence as much as I can. But at least I know a good thing when I see it. And I'm especially proud of yrex and his work lately. He did learn the art of level design well. And it's striking how much he's actually better than all those high poly projects and all that.
There, after a long while I have made a ranting post right out of my chest/heart and it feels good.
As for UE4 games, Senua's Sacrifice is UE4 and it's absolutely incredible and Fortnite is doing quite well too (though not my cup of tea).
Gaming has not become garbage at all. It's alive and doing quite well.
One just has to have a feel for it though. There's just something so exciting about the style of mappers from the old days, architectually and all, that's really lacking in the modern stuff. And it feels more authentic too than all that extra detail you see and shinyness everywhere.
I think one of the problems come from the way you use the engine, most of the ""developers"" don't even need to create stuff on their own anymore, they just buy models and stuff and use and reuse them into their games, this brings to many clone-games which are made by different people but that have the same models/textures/code. You can clearly notice how these copy-paste have been used over the years, on UE1 there are maps fully made by mappers(I'm talking about level design), static meshes changed the meaning of "mapper" as programming language libraries changed the meaning of "developer", they tend to use premade stuff instead of making stuff on their own. An example about these kind of level design is CTF-Face on UT2015, the terrain rocks are just a copy-paste of the same static mesh:
But it could be acceptable if those are later replaced but yes. They are not exactly inspiring others making good design there...
It just goes from one extreme to another. They could try to learn combining this "free style" work with a more serious workflow and real designs.
Even using staticmeshes, map has not to become like this.
Take a look at Unreal 2, ut2003 etc. Perhaps not the best examples ever, but I can tell you that the mappers themselves did learn to make meshes themselves in Maya. They did thus create own stuff.
Same I believe was with Metroid Prime. Even though it is a taboo to talk about that it used at the very least parts of the unreal engine (well more like it didn't really use unrealscript afaik but...well its a long story but its not just a theory).
They did use Maya to design the static meshes in that game as well but the designers did it themselves.
I remember speaking to Pancho about his work on Unreal Championship for example.
This was right after getting to try the "UTX" build.
I told him how I was surprised about his Vortex Rikers/NyLeve level being in that game and he told me that level especially was his learning curve for static meshes aka hardware brushes at the time and how they made things different.
It was tough for him at first but he has slowly learned to make good static meshes there.
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Back in the heyday of UT99, there were copious amount of trash built, coded and released as well. Honestly, looking inside the BeyondUnreal archive gives a good idea of the amount of shit that was circulating back then, maps made with 15 cubes, shit models and skins, crap voicepacks, terrible mods crashing here and there. The amount of everything meant you could find good stuff reasonnably quickly though. Same with UT2003/4, except the copy/paste effect was much more pronounced. But even a map that looks a bit copy-pasted can be good if it's well done and you could reasonnably expect a few people to make their own meshes, textures and so on.
With UT4 (and already UT3), there's less people, so less good stuff, you still the the crap but it's not as plentiful. Given how meshes and materials have become huge endeavours, it's a lot of copy. I'd wager the ratio of shit to gold is still approximately the same though.
And of course you have to add that we are all old farts who believe things were better in the past because we hate change and we fear progress.
It's not just the nostalgia. In general the quality content did stand out and you could just awe the architectual wonders of maps.
But now, they apply cheap tricks even for what's supposed to be official game. It's just hollow. The old stuff had soul in it.
I bought FEAR3, as an example but other games as well. What it feels like to me is they always have some new "feature" rather than an all mind absorbing game.
In FEAR3 and RAGE or other games, now it's like all you get is the, I wonder what the next level looks like as they chop you off with checkpoints. I hate checkpoints, just hate em, but with all the effects and graphics they just give you the feeling of just getting through to see the next level.
I can't get FEAR to run in 1024 by 1280 same for bulletstorm, and can't save a game, so it's like someone slapping a plate of food on the table and say, "there ya go, that is what we have and that is all you get, or ELSE now eat your slop"
and every plate they give you, only ketchup is allowed, it's the feature of your slop, EVERY dinner, every level, but no "game" just food stuff it down .
I think RAGE had checkpoints also.
I wonder how much of that is because almost everything that comes out you've seen before. It may be done better by the newer engine/game/company but it's nothing you aren't familiar with. I think that's why DayZ has stood out so much for me in the last few years. The brutal, unforgiving nature of the game was very fresh. I'm with you though on your original premise. I've installed ~15 games in the last few years and none of them lasted a week. Sniper Elite 4...played it three times already in SE1, 2, and 3. The latest GTA? Same game, larger city. All the "Ghost Medal of Duty Honor Recon Battlefield" games? I can't even tell them apart any more.Leo(T.C.K.) wrote: But now, they apply cheap tricks even for what's supposed to be official game. It's just hollow. The old stuff had soul in it.
Gaming's future is on the smartphone :vomits in mouth a little: PC gaming killed itself with stupid fast product cycles and no lasting support for anyone to spend time learning the game to make new mods for it. Unless VR comes on in a big way it's never going to do anything but shrink.
"PC gaming killed itself with stupid fast product cycles and no lasting support "
What happened was game consoles.
The reason gameplay is cheap, fly by night, for instance Sega, some other company either NES or sony,, they hired all the people from Sega. They made console games one after the other, in the mean time the PC games, no new games.
After that period they had to make-produce game after game, the new year, Christmas, more and more production, title after title. Is WHY we have plant life making games now.
What irks me is, you need a computer first ! to make the damn console game. We NEED dedicated developers ONLY for PC again, the good games will come back.
They even cut things like that from Unreal 2 even though I was assured they were made and even saw a couple of screens. Now why would that be? Why didn't they cut for example the entire Janus stuff and focused on the real good stuff they cut? And btw I'm still shaken up that the whole deal with me recovering the unseen unreal 2 stuff fell apart (again), apart from concept art from shian levels (which were btw fully finished in the end, what wasn't fully finished were the shian meshes - hence why the regular unreal2 has placeholders). Out of desperation I handed it out to delacroix but I think I shouldn't have done that since that started an entire period of him not speaking a word to me afterwards and only mysteriously appearing to defend me at some point.
But I was so darn stressed out.
We'll probably never see that stuff again.
I was also disbelieved by the developer whether I could handle the stuff or not and I used a few bad word choices like when asked about my previous work I said it was all over the place (I actually meant there were several locations you can get it from only later realizing what I really said and I tried to correct it)
Many companies are not targeting specific audiences and gamers anymore, only groups and directions that get them even more money.
Only money money money. True love for making an game with teams, and friendly - yet true friends as fellow employees - has only been see till late 2008, after that...... marketplaces, loot, discounts, skins, urrrrrgghhhhhh.......
That's why you see most games nowadays employing as many ways to get money from you as possible, that's not what developers want to add, that's what marketers want, and as long the money does keep coming in it means that the marketers are in fact doing a good job, even if that means sacrificing the game itself.
Furthermore, the cost of making a game nowadays is incomparable to 20 years ago.
A single person was expected to be able to do all sorts of things: textures, maps, perhaps even coding.
Nowadays however, games became so complex to do that each thing has its own specialization, and a single person is expected either to only do textures, or only coding, and the like.
While for a map, now you need a full team on top of it, with each person doing a very specialized thing as well.
After all, even something "simple" like a texture nowadays takes a lot of work: the resolution must be much higher than before, and you need to make not 1, not 2, but 3+ different images in different ways for the same texture: the texture itself, the bump or normal map and even specular and other kinds of mapping depending on the engine (such the places in the texture which should "glow" as bloom).
Not only that, because of this, what we call simply a "texture" in UE1 for example, has so many variations and components nowadays that artists/developers were forced to come up with a new name for its most basic form: "diffuse map". So nowadays a texture is a bunch of "maps" joined together by the engine in runtime.
Hence, when you see a new game with anything more than 6 maps, that's already quite an achievement nowadays, as a single map takes a lot more effort to create these days than every single UT99 map combined.
If an Unreal game was made using Unreal Engine 4 in the way it was expected to behave and look from using such an engine, it's my belief that it would take no less than 3+ years to develop, and a shit ton of money to support throughout all that time and a huge team, and no matter how cool it could be in the end, it's just too much money and time for any studio to go ahead and go like "fuck it, we'll do it", the stakes are much higher economically nowadays, hence generally studios take a more sure and quick way to get money, at the cost from developing more grandiose games instead.
Good quality gaming these days by the standards of an old timer such as yourself is only generally achievable by sticking with older games and modifying them instead towards what you envision, or to simply go Indie and develop something new in a newer engine, but using older methodologies (because in newer engines you're not forced to do any of this however, but if you don't, games end up looking like shit).
Either way, making the architecture in the old way and all would be possible, or you make entirely retro like game. Minecraft was success and that looked all blocky. Why not something oldskool? And recently we saw many 20th anniversary game events, I am hoping Unreal will get something too. Quake got even a new pack that was much more thematically in line with the original game than the missionpacks were back then, yet it didn't receive as much praise as it should have (imo it was really good).