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Thread: PC gaming...the current state and where it should go from here...

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    ServBot (Level 11) BHvrd's Avatar
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    Default PC gaming...the current state and where it should go from here...

    Long ago PC gaming was about interacting with your character and environment. A complete cerebral experience that made you feel as if you were in fact part of another time and place. It literally put you in the caves of Zork, had you Hitchhiking across the galaxy and walking in the shoes of Leisure Suit Larry all set to the backdrop of a fully realized universe. These days we see much technical achievement. Audio and video we never dreamed possible being implemented in environments that are less than imaginative.


    In the 80's the experience was the pinnacle of PC gaming. To this day regardless of technical achievement have PC games been able to immerse the gamer in nearly the same fashion. If for nothing else the simple fact that they don't take enough time to immerse the gamer in the experience. They throw you in a sandbox and leave you stranded playing with nothing but sand.


    In the 90's PC gaming was on a good track. The introduction of more character apendages and manipulations while still maintaining a feeling that you were in control of your actions and surroundings within the universe created. Two examples of standout titles I would point out would be Thiefeadly Shadows and Vampire:The Masquerade. These may seem like odd games to focus on and some titles others would rather be picked i'm sure, but I use these as an example of the type of pc gaming i'm focusing on here.


    Both of these titles made you feel like you were responsible for every action you took and set in motion your character and the environment around you. They put you in the shoes of a character and made you feel like you were that character and a part of the universe. Not just "some guy" on a mission to reload save points. The key goal here is to make what most gamers refer to as a "non-linear" experience. This term has gotten misused, manipulated and misunderstood for far too long. A non-linear experience is not dropping me in the middle of a desert so I can walk for hours on end, the idea itself is an oxymoron. I need choices, but not just "any" choices but choices that are within the character and environment in which I am a part of. Choices that keep me interested in who I am and what I am doing while still managing to do so in a way that isn't boring and linear, but non-linear and interesting. It's called chaos theory.


    Morrowind is one of the best examples of how to almost get it right, though the interactions in the game are not exactly character inspiring, more to the like of getting items and leveling up, a trend that pc gaming needs to incorporate more with immersion as it has taken the front seat and saturated the market. Leveling and collecting are both sound concepts but should not be the main focus of any game "other than pac-man and such". Collecting is more along the lines of hi-score gaming, but true "PC gaming" should always revolve around your character and environment, nothing should ever outshine those two elements.


    I realize that collecting is a big part of MMO gaming and many are probably wanting to bash me about now, lol. I would at this point use Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic "I know it was console first, but it meets the criteria perfectly"as a prime example. It is just as addicting to collect items in that game as any other "item collecting" game yet the universe and characters make it all the more logical and fit within the confines of the game to make the character and universe more enjoyable "see where i'm going here". Imagine that type of concept in an MMO and you will see what i'm getting at.


    I'm turning the focus too much at MMO's at this point now though and in general I am talking about PC gaming as a whole. In general i'm trying to focus on immersive gaming which I feel has always been the staple of PC gaming. Sure some feel immersion is being dropped into the middle of a battlefield and shooting it out, some dropped in a dungeon with walls on all sides, some jumping around till their hearts content. The point is PC gaming "at its roots" has always been about immersing players in the universe and too often more than not PC gaming these days tend to focus on a catch, trick, hook...what have you, to keep the gamers attention when the character and the universe in which the character is presented is what has always set the stage for "true" PC gaming.


    Consoles and PC's draw a line so close to each other these days it's almost impossible to seperate the two. Truly these ideas can be taken and used on any game in particular, but honestly these concepts were always the staple of PC gaming in general. I would like to see consoles adapt more toward the PC mentality than PC's adapt to console mentality when it all comes down to it though, and that is the point. Sadly it seems these concepts are getting lost more as time goes by.


    System Shock 2 vs. Bioshock....need I say more?
    Last edited by BHvrd; 05-25-2008 at 03:42 AM.

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    Kirby (Level 13) zektor's Avatar
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    I used to love PC gaming in the late eighties and early nineties. Seemed so fresh and new. But, as time went on there was always the burden of upgrading to continue to support the games.

    And it got worse and worse. To a point that I had all of the best equipment three months ago and it wouldn't run the game perfectly NOW. Unreal.

    You can keep PC gaming today in my personal opinion. Console gaming is where it's at for someone who wants to play games rather than tinker.

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    I'm right there with Zektor. It's just no fun anymore to have to continually upgrade hardware to play a game. That's the nice thing about having a 360 - I already know that the system can handle every game that's available for it.

    Are there really that many games that come out on the PC anymore that don't have counterparts on consoles? I suppose you can only get most RTS games on PC, if that's your cup of tea. And MMOs, of course. But there aren't a great many games, it seems, that are exclusive to the PC anymore.

    The other day, I went a bit nuts and picked up SimCity 4, the Command & Conquer Collection, Railroads, The Sims 2, and the EA Strategy Collection (I wanted Black & White 2) for PC. Mostly they're older games, because I figure my PC can handle them. And I get experiences I couldn't get on a console.

    I've not played B&W 2 yet, but I did play the first one. That seems to be the type of game the OP is looking for.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    I don't mind upgrades it is like a new console launch. I love that they are constantly evolving plus my old computer can be sold to help pay for the new one. I guess I just love pc gaming because it was the first "system" I owned. I don't buy the latest and greatest I stay within a budget and work with what I have. You don't need the best system to run some of the games that come out. Except Crysis....
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    Quote Originally Posted by zektor View Post
    I used to love PC gaming in the late eighties and early nineties. Seemed so fresh and new. But, as time went on there was always the burden of upgrading to continue to support the games.

    And it got worse and worse. To a point that I had all of the best equipment three months ago and it wouldn't run the game perfectly NOW. Unreal.

    You can keep PC gaming today in my personal opinion. Console gaming is where it's at for someone who wants to play games rather than tinker.


    Well it's nice to know that your totally wrong

    If you have the best equipment for a computer that is only 3 months old than there's absolutely no reason why you won't be able to play pc games pretty much perfectly.

    but I think your slagging on pc gaming for no good reason.


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    It was OK until I realized that they were better things out there for gaming that were cheaper and had more variety. For the money you spend on a new graphics card, you can buy yourself a Xbox 360 that can last a long time, or even a PS3. The PC has a lot of RTS's, MMORPG's, FPS's, but it doesn't have much beyond that. A console has much more variety, and it's cheaper. The general public is going to lean towards that. I don't see PC gaming lasting too much longer with the way it is going.
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    i didnt like 80s PC games. Mid 90s were great, and i definitely think they have went down, but not because of technology, if anything we have more amazing games today on pc than ever (and no, 3 months isnt enough to outdate your pc lol). you always needed state of the art stuff to run the newest pc games... just that 20 years ago, the leaps were less frequent. however games like baldur's gate (1 and 2), C&C 3, HL2, CS:S. Titan quest etc etc, simply were not possible before. and sure some have console counterparts, but the pc version always excells.

    i think what changed was the business of making games, not pc gaming in general. if before it took an upstart of 15 guys to make a great great game, today it takes 50 + millions of dollars. the talent from then is now gone, disenchanted by what corporations did to their development studios (bullfrog, origin, Id, SSI, Maxis, Sierra etc etc). and new talent cant rise as fast and easy, and their ideas get stomped for what is 'safe' to produce instead of something new. pc gaming didnt suffer anything console gaming did. in fact i believe it is the last beacon of entertainment that isnt shoved down your throat by Sony/MS/Nintendo etc. as for the mainstream pc stuff, well it still outdoes the consoles, and if you dont like tweaking then honestly, pc gaming isnt, and never was, for you.

    the pc always has and always will be my choice hardware, and id give all my consoles up before i give up the pc.

    let us not forget, the pc IS the ultimate backwards compatibility machine. for pc stuff, AND console stuff.
    Last edited by Poofta!; 05-25-2008 at 04:48 PM.

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    I agree with zektor I do most of my gaming on consoles. A large part of that is also due to the type of games I enjoy. But when I want to play an RTS (or many FPSes) I go to the pc. I love to tinker so I love pcs I just don't have enough time or money

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgdgagdae View Post
    Are there really that many games that come out on the PC anymore that don't have counterparts on consoles? I suppose you can only get most RTS games on PC, if that's your cup of tea. And MMOs, of course.
    I'd really, REALLY like to see some 4X games like Sins of a Solar Empire, or Galactic Civilizations 2 ported to one of the modern consoles. PC's seem to be the exclusive domain of western style RPG's (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, etc) too, which is a shame, because I love those while I can't stand japanese RPG's... I was hoping Morrowind and Oblivion would open the doors to these games, but that hasn't been the case yet. These companies seem to think console people aren't willing to invest their time in a game like that, but they're very wrong. We're finally seeing a decent amount of RTS games being ported to the 360, which is a good sign though.

    It amazes me that Blizzard hasn't attempted to move the World of Warcraft franchise into the console realm. Perhaps Microsoft doesn't want to deal with all the poopsocking-related RRoD's that would come with such a game.

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    Poopsocking... The term inspired the funniest South Park scene ever. WoW episode: *Cartman turns on intercom* "Mom, BATHROOM!" Hilarity and grossness ensue.

    To me PC gaming = Blizzard. They know how to bring the fun without making the games system requirements high. Something I wish more PC devs practiced. I didn't jump on WoW due to subs otherwise I would have been all over it. Starcraft 2 and (hopefully) Diablo 3 will bring me back into b.net and LAN party funland. PC as a platform suffers from FPS homogenization worse than the consoles do - and that is saying a lot.
    Last edited by Icarus Moonsight; 05-26-2008 at 08:43 AM.


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    PC games are still home to the most creative ideas in gaming. Some of the coolest, most fun games I've played in the past few years are flash titles...ones that are exploring interesting ideas like Chronotron does - that game is brilliant, the way it does "time travel" and puzzle-solving.

    I'm in the boat that believes that system requirements is one of the main hang-ups with PC games. The other one is the release of buggy products.

    The average game-player doesn't want to have to analyze system specs to be able to run their PC game, nor do they want to have to wait to download a patch so that they can play the game that they just plunked down $50 for. Ever since the late '90s, game companies would a) require people to have the latest hardware to run a game, and then b) often release a buggy product that takes another month or two after release just to be able to run. Do you think someone who upgrades to or purchases the coolest rig is ever going to do that again for a new release if they find out the game crashes anyways?

    That is just massive disappointment any way you look at it. PC gamers have learned their lesson: never buy a game when it is brand new (unless the developer has a proven track record of having a bug-free product), because both the game and the hardware to run it will be cheaper in a year, and by that time the game will be patched enough so that the major bugs (some of which may make your saved games invalid) will be taken care of. The game developers have ruined their own market, not the "software pirates" that they so often whine about.

    No, most people would rather spend their time playing games than doing tech support. This is why consoles are ruling the day, and why Blizzard rules the PC gamespace. Blizzard releases games that a) do not crash 99.9% of the time, and b) do not require the latest and greatest PC in order to look decent and play at a good framerate. They're also generally easy to get into and play, with a great interface that is easily understood.

    PC gaming had an opportunity with being the first online, and they've capitalized on that with MMOGs. They've missed the boat in terms of multiplayer coop, though - only a few people like Bioware have done really great coop adventures, and even NWN which I recently started playing is kind of buggy in online play. There have been a lot of blunders and missed opportunities. Windows gaming may never recover.

    Where does it need to go? Well, someone needs to do for games what has already been done for movies, pictures, and music. Someone needs to create a game development engine that would be expensive to purchase but would allow people the creativity to create games that people can play. That's why the flash gamespace has exploded. If they did the same thing for Linux, and people starting making awesome games for the Linux + GP32X or whatever that handheld thing is that runs Linux, I can guarantee that more people would be giving that a try.
    Last edited by calthaer; 05-27-2008 at 11:19 AM.
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    Another wonderful thing about PC gaming: Copy protection which renders your game unplayable. Bought Sid Meier's Railroads, installed it, and then it suddenly decided that I was using a copied disc. Yes, thank you. According to the Take2 support guys, the only thing I could do is to return the game to the store. And according to the store, I'd have to return it to the manufacturer. Great.

    I know who going to buy another PC game soon...

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    My Pc use was heavy in the late 80's 90' and early 2000's The PC was always ahead of the console in terms of power games and network. Back inthe 90's it was all about the next big thing I think developers were more creative because they had more to work with.

    I remember the voodoo2 chained linked the voodoo 3 the tnt. It was really a great time. there were too many card options though which really required alot of patching. I remember playing madden online years before the console football caught up. Also I think the ugrade
    parts weren't as expensive as they are now.

    I remember seeing these newer cards for 500.00 plus that really started to turn me off. I believe the console has somehow caught up to the pc. The pc still holds the keyboard and mouse and some independent games.

    I think we reached a peak as to what can be displayed and what can be seen by the human eye. There has also been a drop off of developers that experiment for the pc. Alot don't want to risk the loss. For all of crysis hype and power how did it do? I hope it did well but I don't know. I see alot more casual games like diner dash than what was out there.

    You know when the xbox came out with its PC spec. I would have bet the farm we would have seen games like system shock 2,The Undying, Vampires,AVP,The star trek games. I just knew stuff would have been ported over with ease. I seen the mafia and thief but I expected a whole lot more.
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    Personally PC gamming is cheap and relyable especially now but is also space consuming. Most newer games is made for the 360 ( X-Box ) and even so if not all recent console games is basically the PC throw back that we all avioded when we was younger. I mean I can't even go into a game store without being turned off by the uber erdage.

    In fact speaking of South Park the episode where all the Youtube characters killed each other is how I feel about PC. PC gaming if not then most console gaming is on cheapness level the gods can't even begin to describe.

    I mena there is some nook out there it is just so bland. However..... most people like myself can't and don't even want to keep up with PC since there is too many requirements just to run one game. I am happy with my Saturn and SNES

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    I'd probably ROTFL, but my PC is in the way...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harkunan View Post
    I am happy with my Saturn and SNES

    "Playing the Super Famicom is being married to a Spanish woman."

    Possibility is infinity! You must be satisfied!

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