Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

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Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby drunken » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

I was reading an article enititled 'Top 10 game technologies of the next generation' http://www.gameplayer.com.au/gp_documents/Game-Technology.aspx?catid=Features&Page=1 and I suddenly found myself shouting at my computer screen and realised it was long time for a rant that has been brewing in me for the last ten years or so of being an avid PC gamer. I chose the wonderful folks at xkcd as my audience I hope this doesn't bother anyone.(For the record the article was actually really interesting and some of the technologies in it were really cool, especially number ten.)

I get a bit upset when people come out with claims about some wonderful new gaming technology which enables minor differences in the brtightness of some dynamic lighting system at the cost of me buying a new computer to run the newest games on. I don't need better lighting I need better gameplay. Furthermore there are several gaming technologies that have been used since the dawn of (PC gaming) time that have for some inexplicable reason been totally forgotten. We need to take these back.

Please bear in mind that this has been stewing in my mind for ten years and the fact that some companies have very recently started to 'explore' some of these technologies again (while touting them as a new idea) only reinforces my point about them being important.

1) Procedural generation.
This is NOT a new technology. The majority of gameplay in both asteroids (I think) and Tetris (certainly) were procedurally generated. The Diablo series of roleplaying games from blizzard showed what could be done with more modern (at the time) technology and very little effort and as a result they were massive. This is the biggest one that the game devs are starting to catch on to and even if my ranting effects nothing I still expect to see some interesting stuff from this in the near future. As an example of how easy it is to add a small and very effective amount of procedural generation to a game I direct the readers attention to the infinite dungeons mod for Neverwinter Nights where procedural map generation was modded into the game, a game which suffered heavily from repetitiveness on the maps and only survived because it had a great map building interface and expansions were regularly released. Think of your favourite game, you can almost always find some sets of parameters that could be randomised or proceduralised (if that is a word) to increase the replayability exponentially.

2) Real language
This is NOT as hard as people pretend when they make excuses for not having proper language interaction in games. Of course it is hard to make a real language engine in a game that is really convincing and feels like a real person, but that is not the point at all: none of the current technologies feel convincing or real. Scripted conversations with either multiple choice or simply pre-recorded dialogue are to gameplay immmersion what blindness is to fighter pilots. Does anyone remember how in KIngs Quest you could type in absolutely anything when interacting with another character? Of course only a tiny fraction of real langugage was processed by the game and the rest did nothing but the point is that it was still a really bad real language processor and THE GAME WAS RELEASED IN 1984!!! If we had put as much effort into improving real language processors in games as we have into graphics our roleplaying games would be really really amazing.

3) Human Interface
The qwerty keyboard was designed in the 1870s and the main reasons for the layout were a) to reduce the frequency of typebar clashes causing typewriters to jam (this layout had the added affect of making the user type more slowly), and b) to enable salesmen to impress customers by pecking out the brand name "TYPE WRITER" from one keyboard row. It is my thinking that using a piece of equipment designed almost one and a half centuries ago to play a modern computer game is like using a rock to fix your cpu.
Ralph H. Baer, inventor of television video games and the Magnavox Odyssey console, created the first video game joysticks in 1967. They were analog, using two potentiometers to measure position.
The computer mouse was patented in the 1970's and is the only human interface technology today in common use with computers that was even invented for the computer.
The point for me is that Ralph Baer made a cool game and then realised that buttons were not an adequate technology for humans to interface with his program. So he made a new technology. We have seen more of this in the last 2 years with the wii, eye and head tracking, and even brainwave sensor input. Things are indeed finally happening but you can imagine my frustration 2 years ago trying to explain to pleople that I was sick of f*****g keyyboards and mice and getting blank 'what are you on' stares. We have had the technology to track white dots against a black background in software for many years. You need a camera (which is all the wii uses) but cameras are as old as the hills too. My suggestion was always black gloves with white dots on them or gloves with infra red LEDs on them (the wii uses IR). Obviously resolution and number of tracked points would have to be scaled to your system but with most modern gaming pcs you could get it good enough that if you were really attached to your old mouse and keyboard you could write qwerty on your desk and get a rock that fits nicely in your hand and achieve the same effect. Imagine playing a first person shooter where the fire button was to move your trigger finger in a trigger action, the reload button was to press a button on the stocks to release the clip and then reach down to your belt and take a new clip to push into the gun. Imagine a fighting game like Tekken or Mortal Kombat where the punch button was to punch and the uppercut button was to punch upwards and the jab button was to jab. You can also add dodging and blocking without much trouble.

Try to imagine a game that used all three of these technolges... sigh

Well thats my rant, I do give thanks and praise that 1 and 3 are starting to be considered but it is too little, too late and above all done wrong. Down with eye candy, up with gameplay.

Edit VVV: What if you could hold your hands in a more comfortable position while pressing the buttons=? My point was more general and about the drawbacks of modern HCI devices and the lack of resources spent improving them. Also any interface device worth the name should allow you to map inputs to functions in a game so that you can map jump and reload to the exact same hand movements that you are used to using while still having the option of more complicated interaction if it is needed. I may be alone here, but I do want to play fighting games with my acutal fists. Better technology doesn't force you to do anything differently, it just enables you to.
Last edited by drunken on Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:10 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

While I agree with your first two points to an extent (Let's face it, the text parsers needed work sometimes as they often got confused on adjectives) I have to disagree with your third point.

Basically, after a day at work when I'm annoyed and want to blast the hell out of things or beat the hell out of something in a game, I don't want to swing my arm around like a lunatic hacking at enemies on a screen. I'm perfectly fine with clicking buttons. Looking foolish aside, even if I was in shape, I doubt I could sustain Counterstrike or Oblivion-levels of activity for more than an hour or so. Maybe that'd be a good thing, in that I'd no longer have most of my Saturday sucked away because I started a game for "just a few minutes" and before I realized it five hours had passed... but I kinda doubt it.

I mean, part of the joy of gaming is having your avatar, with a single push of a button, perform a maneuver that takes training. I mean, reloading a gun in a firefight isn't exactly anywhere near the same amount of ease as just pushing R. I wouldn't even begin to know how to block with an axe, but it's possible in theory, and by golly, my little Oblivion knucklehead knows exactly what to do when I right-click.

Then there's jumping in a game.. Mario, for example. Mario's got a maximum to his jump, but he can also, with a quick tap of the button, barely leave the ground. If I'm personally leaping around to be tracked by a camera, am I completely fucked because I don't have near the airtime that Mario does, so the game consistently thinks I'm barely hopping?

The various products that let you do this sort of thing have all died quick deaths, regardless of how well they worked. Sure, some of them were wastes of circuitry, but some of them did work. They just didn't have the critical component of "Fun". If you're going to kick and punch in your living room, why not actually slap on some pads and go spar with another human and have a lot more fun doing it?
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby i like pi » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

Coming into this thread, I was thinking "failtroll is fail." but I find, to my surprise, a really well thought out thread. I do agree with you on points one and two, but you have to keep in mind that gamers are fat and lazy. I don't want to play Mortal Kombat with my actual fists, well because, I'm usually tired and that uses a considerable amount of energy.

Real Language would be the best thing I could imagine, I'd have a helluva lot of fun with something as free form as oblivion.
Or something to that effect. Hell, I don't know.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:36 am UTC

There are some things that will do very well with human interface devices. Wii boxing is an example. If the game was rewritten to provide 1:1 movement, they could redistribute it on its own and make a fortune.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Vaniver » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:45 am UTC

Procedural generation is not a cure-all. There are games out there where combat is fun (Diablo I/II being the main examples) and then games where it isn't; an endless dungeon is only worthwhile if the dungeons are worth delving into. Infinite content is not infinite replayability.

Think about something like procedurally generated quests. They've existed, in several games- but they are rarely more than "Monster {a, b, c} is in Place {1, 2, 3}- go kill it!" It doesn't seem like it would be easy to procedurally generate compelling quests- but you could at least make an infinitely playable mediocre RPG.


Real language is either a pipe dream or very sophisticated multiple choice. Now, having more sophistication in multiple choice would be nice- but until you have real AI you can't have real conversations. Can we write a program that decides if your speech was clever enough to trick the ogres? Is that better or worse than just making a bluff roll?

King's Quest strikes me as a bad example for showing off real language. The controls were atrocious; I couldn't finish any of the games until they started using VGA.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby sakeniwefu » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:47 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Real language is either a pipe dream or very sophisticated multiple choice. Now, having more sophistication in multiple choice would be nice- but until you have real AI you can't have real conversations. Can we write a program that decides if your speech was clever enough to trick the ogres? Is that better or worse than just making a bluff roll?

In the eighties we had pretty advanced text adventures with 48k of RAM. With 1Gb or more I am sure we could have something good enough for a good RPG.
Just because hard AI isn't here yet doesn't mean you can't develop an advanced language interface.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby GyRo567 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

Let's not forget that Interative Fiction is still alive and well, and it still has the exact same (well, the text parsers are much better, but I'm not talking about technology) problem as all genres:

For the game to respond to something, the designer has to write a response for it. Without the programming, the game does nothing. Where are you going to find a team of developers willing to write that much dialogue? Given the state of writing in this industry, would you even want them to write that much? It probably wouldn't be great writing.

What's wrong with WASD for computer games? I'm far more proficient with a keyboard & mouse than is even possible with a controller for certain genres. For those that don't benefit, I also have analogue controllers for my computer. I've had a Wii since launch week. Great fun, yes. Superior? Not really - just different.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Delbin » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

Has anyone else played Starship Titanic? Half of the development time went into making the interactive speech engine and it was pretty good, but I wouldn't put it over the speech trees in, let's say, Mass Effect. While it is nice to say whatever you want to the computer, it's frustrating if the syntax is just a little too off for the engine to process and you have to say it again.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby drunken » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:28 am UTC

Sorry about the thread necromancy but ever since I wrote this people have been doing exactly what I said better and better. The natural language side of things is still as neglected as ever but we have all seen the articles about new brainwave controlled human interface devices. Now there is also this http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/28/1245214 which is pretty cool. Procedural content is still pretty underground especially with the failure of spore but it is progressing too.

It is nice to get some of what I wanted.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Stormlock » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:26 am UTC

I look to all the indie stuff for innovation these days. Dwarf Fortress procedurally generates a more detailed world than than the entire Oblivion devteam. For gameplay, opening up simple tools to the public through custom maps on Starcraft spawned things like Aeon of Strife and turret defense maps. I expect most main stream devlopers will continue chasing the mass market however.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:38 am UTC

First point is fine, 2nd point is really subjective... Personally, while I love gameplay... it's often a joy that I find is separate to immersion... the joy of immersion comes from storyline and plot and I find that scripted and voiced conversations add to the storytelling experience.

While some games would certainly suit being able to say anything to a character (like Fallout 3/Oblivion) a whole lot definitely wouldn't (Tales of-, Disgaea, MGS, etc) so while I think that might be a failure for some restricted type of games it's not a general failure for gaming technology.

As for the third point, Secondtalon already addressed the main reason why that isn't always a great idea. There is a reason that there are only really casualish games that make huge use of the Wiimote, and that's because hardcoreish games would totally rape your arms and legs and you won't be able to move the next day. No one wants to use motion sensing to do DMC stuff! Hell, no one wants to use motion sensing for Red Steel (it took me like 5 hours to pass one of the special katana moves late in the game due to only slightly badly done motion sensing, and those moves were realistic... ) just imagine how much of a bitch it would be for a game like DMC or GoW.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Notch » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:12 am UTC

drunken wrote:[asteroids] and Tetris (certainly) were procedurally generated.


I think there's some confusion about procedural generation. Tetris is not procedurally generated in any way, it just picks random pre-defined pieces for the player to place. If this counts as procedural generation, then Solitaire in windows is procedurally generated as well, or potentially any game with any randomness at all in it.

A better example of a procedurally generated old game would in my opinion be Elite 2 - Frontier. You had access to a huge (huuuuge) galaxy of stars, all being exactly the same each time you played it, but it all fit on a single floppy disk. This is possible because of procedural generation with a fixed seed.
I agree that people played more with procedural generation in the old days (Daggerfall), but I think the reason people stopped doing that was not because it's hard to do, but because it doesn't generally create as interesting gameplay for the casual user. For example, Oblivion, the sequel to the sequel to Daggerfall is not procedurally generated in any way, has a much smaller world, and has sold much better, and many would say it's a better game.
I loved Daggerfall, but it sure got repetetive fast. ;)
(and so did Elite 2)

I personally have a big thing for procedural content. I think it mainly stems from me being lazy and not wanting to create content for the games I make. Take this, for example. Only the font and the first splash screen are premade. Everything else (including the main game splash screen) is procedurally created.
Making procedurally generated content interesting for the user is a very fascinating problem, and I personally believe it's at least at hard to solve as beating the turing test is, unless you design your game around the randomness like most roguelikes do.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:16 pm UTC

If you are going to bring up procedural content, you can't get away with not mentioning kkrieger.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby the_bandersnatch » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

Some interesting arguments on procedural generation in this thread. I was going to mention Frontier, but I see I've been beaten to the punch. It is worth remembering also that the original Elite ran it's pseudo-random procedurally generated universe along with player interface from something like only 32kb of code, which goes to show how powerful procedural generation can be.

Something I'd like to see more developers toying with would be using today's greater processing power and memory availability to make greater in-depth pseudo-randomly created worlds/dungeons using procedural generation, I'm sure it is a powerful tool not fully utilised at present.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

Unfortunately, memory is growing faster than processing power, so procedural generation is becoming more and more discouraged. What you will likely end up with is procedural-generation-based dev tools, and the output gets saved instead of the seed, so when it gets loaded ingame the user doesn't have to wait for it to be generated. This is already present to a certain extent in Valve/id games; mappers make maps that get saved in a markup format, then the editor compiles them into binary space partitions with included lightmaps, ambient lighting data, optimization data, node-graphs for AI pathing, specular data, etc. Being able to place down a volume and say "this is a room with plaster walls, computers on one side, and some boxes in the middle" and have it procedurally generate that inside the editor would be the likely next step for developers.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Kag » Fri May 01, 2009 7:17 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Real language is either a pipe dream or very sophisticated multiple choice. Now, having more sophistication in multiple choice would be nice- but until you have real AI you can't have real conversations. Can we write a program that decides if your speech was clever enough to trick the ogres? Is that better or worse than just making a bluff roll?
I've never been able to play it, but Facade was acclaimed pretty much only for having very impressive speech responses.

Of course, it wasn't generating the speech procedurally, but it does seem to be a pretty fangled multiple choice they've got going on.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri May 01, 2009 7:55 am UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Unfortunately, memory is growing faster than processing power, so procedural generation is becoming more and more discouraged. What you will likely end up with is procedural-generation-based dev tools, and the output gets saved instead of the seed, so when it gets loaded ingame the user doesn't have to wait for it to be generated.

I played around to a small extent with procedurally generated textures not with the goal of smaller files sizes - thought that was indeed a nice benefit - but also with the ability to scale up the output losslessly. I like the idea of being able to create a texture through procedure commands, then being able to request that content at whatever size I desire. Basically, giving you all the benefits of procedural texture generation, with some added benefits of vector graphics.

Too bad I'm really lazy and never finished it. The basic framework is there, it's just lacking all the needed features, and a nice editor.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri May 01, 2009 12:54 pm UTC

How about this?

And yes, vectorized textures would be a pretty extreme benefit of procedural generation. I forgot about that...
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Jebobek » Fri May 01, 2009 1:23 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote: Being able to place down a volume and say "this is a room with plaster walls, computers on one side, and some boxes in the middle" and have it procedurally generate that inside the editor would be the likely next step for developers.
The hardcore, "never random," competitive gamer would hate this, but I would love to see a Valve FPS map that is never the same. Not only are barrels and boxes Procedurally generated, the rooms and walls are created out of some sort of fractal generation. Maybe round 1 the counter-terrorists will have a long hallway to walk down, maybe round two the're out in the open. 10 seconds before the round starts all players get the map on their screen to plan out where they're going to go. Again, this is not for the type of players that only do de_dust and refuse to shoot from anywhere else exept box #3 and corner #6 for the last 8 years.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri May 01, 2009 3:09 pm UTC

They tried doing a similar thing with tc_hydro in TF2, but I don't think they went far enough there, as the map was still really predictable and most possibilities had exactly two paths from one CP to the other. Unfortunately, the way Valve games run maps would require a complete overhaul of the Source engine to handle procedural maps. The Oblivion engine could handle it easily though.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby SecondTalon » Fri May 01, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

Idle Musing : You build rooms, not levels. The rooms have connectors like doors, hatches in the floor and ceiling and so on. You build dozens and dozens of these rooms. You then have the game engine, on the fly, grab rooms and random and assemble your traditional style levels - ie there's a goal and two paths to get there. Figure 8s, separated figure 8s, blocks, however it is it that you can lay out several rooms in rows. Basically, the way Daggerfall seemed to build it's random dungeons by just grabbing parts at random out of the bitz box and assembling from there.

I wonder if that would work - you design the rooms around the idea of a firefight, chokepoints at the entrances, yet they're also blocked from view so that to hold the chokepoint, you have to be fairly near it anyway....

I wonder if that would work.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri May 01, 2009 3:46 pm UTC

It would definitely work as long as you can get the game engine to deal with dynamically generated areas with efficiency. The Source and Quake engines rely on binary space partitions and vistrees for just about everything, so unless we can develop a much more efficient map compiling algorithm (cp_dustbowl takes about a day to compile for me), it won't be happening in FPS games anytime soon.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri May 01, 2009 3:57 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:How about this?

That's no fun, I don't learn anything if I do it that way ;)

I didn't realize they actually licensed a library to go with it. I knew they had an editor, just never really realized that they did indeed have a way for it to be used with "outside" projects.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Ubik » Fri May 01, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Idle Musing : You build rooms, not levels.
headprogrammingczar wrote:It would definitely work as long as you can get the game engine to deal with dynamically generated areas with efficiency.
Room-based maps can be done with portals. The room player is in is always drawn, as are those rooms that can be seen through portals (=doors) in players field of view. In most cases there would be only few rooms that must be drawn.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Fri May 01, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

Portals would work perfectly as long as you don't have anything like long hallways or very large interconnected rooms. Unfortunately, very large interconnected rooms tend to make for some of the best FPS maps.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat May 02, 2009 2:58 am UTC

I would like to take this time to point out that the best RPG ever is mostly procedurally generated.
However, procedural generation also gets old fast in most circumstances. There's an art to good level design in FPS and RTS games that it would be difficult to replicate. Personally, I wish more developers would just get the hint and release good editors with their games. Blizzard did it with Starcraft and Warcraft, Bioware did it with Neverwinter Nights, Bethesda did it with Morrowind, and it extended the life of these games by leaps and bounds.

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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sat May 02, 2009 3:04 am UTC

I would hardly call the Warcraft III editor "good". Even Hammer made more sense my first time through than that editor ever did. There is a lot to be said for ANY editor, but Valve went the whole way and made their whole engine available to anyone who can buy a copy of a game running it. If that isn't mod-friendly, I don't know what is.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby bigglesworth » Fri May 08, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Basically, after a day at work when I'm annoyed and want to blast the hell out of things or beat the hell out of something in a game, I don't want to swing my arm around like a lunatic hacking at enemies on a screen. I'm perfectly fine with clicking buttons. Looking foolish aside, even if I was in shape, I doubt I could sustain Counterstrike or Oblivion-levels of activity for more than an hour or so.


I can't help but wonder whether there couldn't be a similar system, but for hand gestures. Waggling your fingers around shouldn't be too onerous. Whether it would feel more natural or not I don't know. With technology like that phone that lets you show google maps on your wall and manipulate it, it seems like it could be so, though.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby SecondTalon » Sat May 09, 2009 4:32 pm UTC

Touch Screens have been around for decades, and still haven't replaced the keyboard. Cost isn't the only factor in this. But I suppose, if you're meaning something akin to putting on a glove and waggling your hand around...maybe. I still think you're going to have the same issues, though - namely one's arm getting tired.

I suppose an easy experiment is to waggle your hands at things for a couple of hours, and see how that compares to the keyboard/mouse|gamepad positions of arms at rest.

I foresee something akin to resting your arms on your legs and wiggling your hands around being the control scheme.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby BoomFrog » Wed May 13, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

That's not really a great test. When I moved to china and used chopsticks all the time my hand got cramps. But that doesn't mean chopsticks are a bat eating utensil. But I agree that people don't want to suspend their hands in the air for hours. Resting your hands on the desk and wiggling them around should work though. But how many people even get the mouse with extra buttons? I don't think most people want more complicated interfaces then just a mouse and keyboard.

And for procedurally generated content, can we stop talking about fixed seeds that are just used to save disk space like Elite and kkrieger. Although that is cool, that doesn't give the game replayability like Diablo.
Last edited by BoomFrog on Wed May 13, 2009 3:32 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby jerdak » Wed May 13, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:Basically, after a day at work when I'm annoyed and want to blast the hell out of things or beat the hell out of something in a game, I don't want to swing my arm around like a lunatic hacking at enemies on a screen. I'm perfectly fine with clicking buttons. Looking foolish aside, even if I was in shape, I doubt I could sustain Counterstrike or Oblivion-levels of activity for more than an hour or so.


I can't help but wonder whether there couldn't be a similar system, but for hand gestures. Waggling your fingers around shouldn't be too onerous. Whether it would feel more natural or not I don't know. With technology like that phone that lets you show google maps on your wall and manipulate it, it seems like it could be so, though.


I was the proud owner of the Nintendo power glove as a young child. Waggling your fingers for an hour gets old, real fast. I vaguely recall the "joy" of flicking my index finger to make my boxer punch, it was a sad time in my life.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby Babam » Wed May 13, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Warlocks, or Waving Hands would be awesome in a Console/PC version with pretty graphics and hand based controls.
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Re: Lost gaming technology from a former golden age

Postby EmptySet » Thu May 14, 2009 3:50 am UTC

GyRo567 wrote:For the game to respond to something, the designer has to write a response for it. Without the programming, the game does nothing. Where are you going to find a team of developers willing to write that much dialogue? Given the state of writing in this industry, would you even want them to write that much? It probably wouldn't be great writing.


Writers are a dime a dozen, especially when compared to the highly skilled programmers and artists who will be spending hours making sure the bump-mapping on that random mook's stubbly chin is just right. If publishers actually put as much effort/money into writing as they did into having the shiniest of shiny graphics, there is no reason why they couldn't have large amounts of high quality dialogue. The development cycle for a game might be a couple of years, which is long enough for a single writer to do an entire novel and have it published. Or look at webcomics - how many lines of dialogue have been in Order of the Stick or Girl Genius over the last three years? And that includes art, not just text!

Also, I'm firmly in the "There's nothing wrong with buttons!" camp.


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