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Reasons to hate modern games

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Reply 61 of 232, by zyzzle

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creepingnet wrote on 2022-06-19, 23:02:

I don't really hate modern games per-se, I just ignore them most of the time because they just don't fit my lifestyle.

#3 I'm old - I'm almost 40, I'm pretty set in my ways. I like 8-bit sprite, grindy, RPGs where all I need to do is cast a spell or use some item to "warp" back to the castle and save. I like old graphical adventures where I just navigate 2 steps through a menu to save my file on the local machine and not on a cloud that goes belly up in 10 years because the developer decided usership was "down". It impresses me such an open-world sandbox like Ultima VI/VII can exist on hardware that struggles to even render a basic 128K MP3 file, and let me bake bread, make it with a tavern wench, and cast Armegeddon with sweeping, world-breaking results! I like blowing 15-minutes on arcade classics like Pac-Man, Asteroids, or Space Invaders for no other reason than to kill time, or spending 9 minutes in a creepy Pizza Arcade with a bunch of homocidal robots at the most recent.

You're "young old", but these are essentially my sentiments, and I'm over 70, so I've been through it all from the beginning in the early '70s with Pong on up. I stopped playing "modern" games about 15 years ago, with games like Flatout and Need For Speed Carbon were released. They were huge then (several gigabytes), but still fun, not paywalls, didn't require an always-on Internet connection, and had exciting, single-player elements. I really started to give up the ghost after Quake 2 and Diablo, however. Those games were huge, with immersive worlds, and took hundreds of hours to complete.

Now, I don't bother, first because I don't want to spend $3000 on a souped-up video card to even be able to *play* some of the modern games, also, because I highly disagree morally and logistically with so many of the points brought up by others (DRM, cloud-requirement, buy to play / upgrade, psychological dominance and 'forced' addiction qualities, ridiculously large filesize-requirements and long loading times, multiplayer aspects stressed over singleplayer, etc, etc, ad nauseum).

So, whenever I want to play some games, I just boot my handy DOS USB memory stick (bare metal), and I've got thousands of excellent games to choose from, all of which fit on an 8GB USB memory stick! From all the wonderful 8-bit emulators and games to the great DOS golden-age programs from the mid-late 90s. They're all compressed in .7z archives, and run very well and complete off a RAMDRIVE. With no internet connectivity required at all. Gameplay from 5 seconds per game to hundreds of hours per game. Ranging graphically from 40x25 glorious ASCII text to the DOS port of Quake 2, which runs at 1920x1080 in VESA and with sound on modern Intel High Definition Audio soundcards.

I keep many of the old Windows 98 games around as well, on a seperate hard drive and computer. Up to the aforementioned Need For Speed releases and games up to about 2005-07 timeframe. All run off a ramdrive as well, compressed to .7z archives and portable.

Perfect! And, I'm in bliss without any of the bullshit problems of modern games.

Reply 63 of 232, by AppleSauce

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Biggest problem i see is monopolisation of the triple A games industry. Increasingly we are seeing most famous ips consolidated into a handful of companies like Embracer group , Microsoft or Tencent. Those companies need to keep shareholders happy so they want to maximise reward over risk. So increasingly we see companies do predictable cash grabs predicated on nostalgia or what the latest trend is or existing safe franchises and less on something new and exciting.

Seems like the same thing happened to the movie industry a while ago and now its happening to games as well. Apparently Sony just plugs keyword's into an algorithm and based on what the algorithm says decides wether to greenlight a movie or not. Maybe some companies are doing that with games too.

Guess as time moves forward there's going to be more reliance on Indies developers to take the risk.

That said not all new games are bad I've been playing alot of hunt showdown with a mate for a while now and that game is stupid fun.

Reply 64 of 232, by RandomStranger

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AppleSauce wrote on 2022-06-20, 06:54:

Apparently Sony just plugs keyword's into an algorithm and based on what the algorithm says decides wether to greenlight a movie or not. Maybe some companies are doing that with games too.

A couple of years ago there was a rumor that Ubisoft does that. Looking at their games, I wouldn't be surprised.

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Reply 65 of 232, by Errius

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What's going on with Warhammer 40K games? For years and years there were just the Space Hulk games, but now there are hundreds of the things, and dozens of new ones get released each year. What's going on over there? What business model is this?

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Reply 66 of 232, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The model for the Warhammer games is basically "saturate the market" to keep the brand out there. There is no apparent coherent strategy or ongoing story in any of it as far as I know, just cyclical regurgitation of strategy and FPS games to keep the brand alive.

Reply 67 of 232, by buckeye

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kolderman wrote on 2022-06-20, 02:54:

Game developers in the 90s had less to work with, so invested more in gameplay, humor and story. But they had enough to make stunning handdrawn graphics and amazing midi soundtracks.

Going off on a rabbit hole here but this reminds me of the state of movies these days. Back in the day they had less to work with tech wise so invested more into
screen writing, plot and humor. Now we get CGI and "powerful messages" = horse manure.

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Reply 68 of 232, by TheMobRules

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I don't think modern games are necessarily better or worse than older ones (there was a good number of stinkers back then too), but I definitely agree with a lot of points raised in this thread. And the comparison with the movie industry is spot on, basically most AAA games and movies are products designed by committee with the intent of maximizing income and minimizing risk. Sprinkle some unsubtle and patronizing social "message" over the whole thing and you get the desired result. It's not like game devs/studios were not interested in money decades ago, but I think they achieved a much better balance in general.

In my specific case the biggest issue is that many of the genres I love have been sidelined, while the ones I despise are given all the attention (multiplayer-only/competitive, looter shooters, mobile, linear interactive "experiences" that are everything except interactive). So that's part of why I go back to older games a lot.

Reply 69 of 232, by bakemono

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One of the worst things about modern games is only being able to run on a modern OS. DRM and giant downloads have already been covered. Another problem is CONTROLS. When I launch a game I have to also bring up a notepad window to refer to where I wrote down the key bindings. Many times I had to discover the key bindings through trial and error or by searching online because the game had no instruction manual or it only covered xbox controllers. Instead of making it so that different sections of the game use the same set of buttons to keep things reasonable, they make it so different menus or action sequences all use different non-overlapping button assignments. Then I have to take my hand off the gamepad/mouse and hit something on the keyboard because I don't have a 7-button mouse or a 15-button gamepad to accomodate everything. Or maybe I just give up on using a gamepad. Or I just ignore certain game mechanics because they are too much of a pain to invoke. Or I just delete the game and move on 😒

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Reply 70 of 232, by Hoping

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I too have those issues with controls and I really hate coming across PC games that seem to prioritize gamepads; maybe I'm old fashioned but in my head the main controls for a computer are keyboard, mouse and joystick.
The games that I found that prioritized the gamepad, I returned them instantly, I cannot conceive of a PC game that cannot offer correct control with keyboard and mouse.
I can't imagine a lot of console games prioritizing the use of a keyboard and mouse, although these peripherals do exist for consoles.

Reply 71 of 232, by Shagittarius

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I hate SaaS, your game will not hold my attention that long, I got others to get to. Just make a game I will enjoy playing for 10-80 hours.

Reply 72 of 232, by gerry

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TheMobRules wrote on 2022-06-20, 17:59:

I don't think modern games are necessarily better or worse than older ones (there was a good number of stinkers back then too), but I definitely agree with a lot of points raised in this thread. And the comparison with the movie industry is spot on, basically most AAA games and movies are products designed by committee with the intent of maximizing income and minimizing risk.

indeed, as industries become mature they start doing more market research and so on, it shapes the 'product' towards one with most predictable sales rather than the gamble of a maybe having a hit and maybe having a flop that comes with a more creative approach

video games went from one person coders to small start ups (often failing) which slowly coalesced into larger software companies which in turn became increasingly part of the mainstream big business mainstream

there is still lots of creativity around on the indy side and occasional flourishes in AAA games

my only thing is if i like a game i and want to play it now and then over the years i want it from gog, or i just forget about it

Reply 73 of 232, by ThinkpadIL

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What about those who doesn't like 'em all?

So first of all I do not hate them at all. Then I was a kid I liked them very much, but since age of 15 or so I started to realize that they are too primitive, too predictable, too boring, too time consuming and the real life is much more fun "to play" with.

So now, when during pandemic I've suddenly decided to start buying vintage hardware it is mostly for playing with hardware and productivity programs and utilities than with games. And when I do play some games, I loose interest after 10 minutes or so of playing.

Reply 74 of 232, by brostenen

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Errius wrote on 2022-06-20, 11:11:

What's going on with Warhammer 40K games? For years and years there were just the Space Hulk games, but now there are hundreds of the things, and dozens of new ones get released each year. What's going on over there? What business model is this?

It is with Warhammer and other modern games. I don't follow game presentation shows, nor read online gaming magazines and everything in between. I don't really take note on what commercials or add's that YouTube play before, during and after a user uploaded video. Basically. I don't know what is out there, and because of that I have no idea about saturation of the gaming market.

But in all fairness. Sounds like the start of a new video game market crash, when I read what you explained. And yet, I am fully out of touch with the modern gaming market. I have seen so much of this since the middle of the 1980's and I stopped having an interrest in new stuff around the time that Doom3 and Halflife2 were released. And yet, I still have an Xbox360, Playstation3 and Wii. Those are still new platforms to me, and I am slowly finding those few titles that I like to play. Forza4 and GT6 are the newest racing games that I like, just to give an example.

But I would love a new modern computer that are able to play minecraft without any lag or slowdown. I used to play single player without monsters and unlimited resources. Just to construct and build giant castles and underground churches with giant ass pilllars. You know. Just full creative mode and offline. But I have no idea what hardware to look for, that are fully Linux compatible as well.

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Reply 75 of 232, by brostenen

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ThinkpadIL wrote on 2022-06-21, 10:21:

What about those who doesn't like 'em all?

So first of all I do not hate them at all. Then I was a kid I liked them very much, but since age of 15 or so I started to realize that they are too primitive, too predictable, too boring, too time consuming and the real life is much more fun "to play" with.

So now, when during pandemic I've suddenly decided to start buying vintage hardware it is mostly for playing with hardware and productivity programs and utilities than with games. And when I do play some games, I loose interest after 10 minutes or so of playing.

I like tinkering with hardware as well. It was way more fun to build my Commodore64's from scratch, with a solder iron, than it is to sit 5 hours and play Doom or what not. Though I usually play half an hour to one, when I turn on my console's or computer's a couple of times each month. Some stuff have not been in use for over a year or even two. I am like. Nice to have the stuff when the craving hits. But I would rather spend time with my children, cooking or take a one hour walk. Instead of sitting in front of a monitor all day.

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Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 76 of 232, by brostenen

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Hoping wrote on 2022-06-20, 21:26:

I too have those issues with controls and I really hate coming across PC games that seem to prioritize gamepads; maybe I'm old fashioned but in my head the main controls for a computer are keyboard, mouse and joystick.
The games that I found that prioritized the gamepad, I returned them instantly, I cannot conceive of a PC game that cannot offer correct control with keyboard and mouse.
I can't imagine a lot of console games prioritizing the use of a keyboard and mouse, although these peripherals do exist for consoles.

I think it goes both way. I am used to play Real Racing 3 on my phone, tilting the thingy right and left to stear. I tried it on a TV dongle running Android and a physical controller. That experience was horrible. The other way around, then I found it wierd to use stearing wheel with Forza4 on Xbox360 or GT3 on Playstation2. I also tried to play Crazy Taxi on my Android phone, and that was an equally horrible experience. There is just something missing, when digital and analog controls from a controller is ported to touching a screen. The same with gamepads on C64/Amiga, were games were usually played with a joystick and not gamepad. The most easy transition that I have ever done, was to switch to a trackball on a Dos based computer, and then back again because the trackball was on loan and I had to return it to the owner. It was a strange experiment/experience, but the transition between them were fairly easy to me.

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Reply 77 of 232, by Namrok

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One thing I constantly struggle with in games made in the last 10-15 years, is how much they've conflated compulsive with fun. But then that gets me thinking about how I can even objectively define one from the other anyways?

When I think of a compulsive game, I keep going back to Diablo II. And specifically Diablo II, rather than the first, because it's the one that really leaned heavily into the slot machine-eqsue grinding/looting mechanics. You'd do a run of a section of the game, beat a boss at the end, and they'd explode in a shower of loot and sound. The entirely experience was obviously patterned after Vegas slots.

Since then, all I see is games that are somewhere between 30% and 90% "slot machine". Is the most exciting part of a game unlocking a loot crate at the end of a round? That's a slot machine pretending to be an FPS. Do you farm the same boss over and over and over again hoping for good items? That's a slot machine pretending to be an RPG. Do you tap a screen repeatedly until an explosion of light and sound occurs awarding you with useless digital currencies? I'm pretty sure that's literally just a slot machine.

It's hard because almost every modern game I play, I start seeing how it's actually a certain percent slot machine. I've begun to see the RNG factor of a "good run" in rogue likes as being similar to a slot machine. And that's a mechanic all sorts of otherwise mediocre games lean on to try to be more interesting.

But then sometimes I think, was Tetris compulsive, or fun? I like to think it was genuinely fun, and the legendary flow state you can find with it, and games of a similar caliber, is a sign of quality and craftsmanship. But I don't know that for certain. Maybe games always have been compulsive, just in different ways than they are now.

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Reply 78 of 232, by Tetrium

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Namrok wrote on 2022-06-21, 12:48:
One thing I constantly struggle with in games made in the last 10-15 years, is how much they've conflated compulsive with fun. […]
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One thing I constantly struggle with in games made in the last 10-15 years, is how much they've conflated compulsive with fun. But then that gets me thinking about how I can even objectively define one from the other anyways?

When I think of a compulsive game, I keep going back to Diablo II. And specifically Diablo II, rather than the first, because it's the one that really leaned heavily into the slot machine-eqsue grinding/looting mechanics. You'd do a run of a section of the game, beat a boss at the end, and they'd explode in a shower of loot and sound. The entirely experience was obviously patterned after Vegas slots.

Since then, all I see is games that are somewhere between 30% and 90% "slot machine". Is the most exciting part of a game unlocking a loot crate at the end of a round? That's a slot machine pretending to be an FPS. Do you farm the same boss over and over and over again hoping for good items? That's a slot machine pretending to be an RPG. Do you tap a screen repeatedly until an explosion of light and sound occurs awarding you with useless digital currencies? I'm pretty sure that's literally just a slot machine.

It's hard because almost every modern game I play, I start seeing how it's actually a certain percent slot machine. I've begun to see the RNG factor of a "good run" in rogue likes as being similar to a slot machine. And that's a mechanic all sorts of otherwise mediocre games lean on to try to be more interesting.

But then sometimes I think, was Tetris compulsive, or fun? I like to think it was genuinely fun, and the legendary flow state you can find with it, and games of a similar caliber, is a sign of quality and craftsmanship. But I don't know that for certain. Maybe games always have been compulsive, just in different ways than they are now.

With games, there's always a risk/reward thingy, even in ones that don't do any of the gambling crap like many modern games and 'games' do.
With a games of tetris, it's about skill to get the highest score. Getting a good score will give you the reward-feels, but it's barely dependent on gambling even though there's some chance in there concerning which block you get when. But in the end it's how you handle the blocks and how well you do that and not as much a matter of "I can get a highscore only if I get the better parts".

Another game I can use as an example is Total Annihilation (and particularly multiplayer) where it's about how you use your units and less about which ones you build. There's not much emphasis in TA on RockPaperScissors. The risks of that game are which metal patches to build on (will the enemy send raiding units there?), when to tech up and when and how to attack and with what?
The reward is to have won a game or to have had some great gameplay.
The latter is imo essential to a good game, that the gameplay itself is also fun. I see games a bit like a vacation or a journey: It's not (exclusively) about the destination but about the journey on the way to the destination.
Games that use gamble mechanics have part of the 'fun' be the anticipation of the lootbox, it's less about having actual fun. It's basically a pavlov reaction, those companies want to make their wallet cattle saliva when they get close to getting their lootboxes or other gambling rewards. It's all about getting that fix. Well, with proper games it's not just about the fix. Actually, with some RTS games like for instance Total the mopping up part (at that stage there's no way to revert victory anymore) was actually one of the less exciting bits of gameplay (where is that final metal extractor or that last peewee at?) because there's no lootbox mechanics at the end.
Heck, the old games didn't do stuff like keeping statistics! When I played AVP2 online, my kills weren't counted, there was nothing like k/d ratio, it was all about the gameplay. Once you logged out again and shut the game down, it's like you never even played the game except for the experience you just had which was what gave me that fuzzy feel even after I was back to the real world.

And even things like throwing a hand grenade, these aren't lootbox mechanics as it's a human being that will need to evade dying due to your nade and not a slotmachine, even though it may seem similar to a slot machine (mostly from the perspective of the one throwing the nade that is).

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Reply 79 of 232, by gerry

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Namrok wrote on 2022-06-21, 12:48:

One thing I constantly struggle with in games made in the last 10-15 years, is how much they've conflated compulsive with fun. But then that gets me thinking about how I can even objectively define one from the other anyways?

an interesting point, what is the difference between doing something for fun and doing something because you feel 'compelled' to, like an addiction

both, i think, have some similarity in terms of the brains reward systems but perhaps the fun one is defined as it bought you pleasure (and is freely chosen) rather than it relieved the compulsive urge (and you felt you had to do it)

perhaps the marketers have realised that compulsion is a surer method of getting time & clicks (which means money) than 'fun', which may be appreciated but may also be more freely let go of in favor of other activities, and so have gone after that aspect of games in place of trying to be 'only' fun