Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Innovative, enjoyable Games

Interesting blog here on java.net

Ha! Interesting they should mention "No One Lives Forever". I just picked that one out of the bargain bin on PS2 for a Christmas Present. Hope that this version is as good as on the PC.

The FPS games that really took my notice of late is the Splinter Cell series, which very effectively uses excellent AI and the new lighting technology of today's GPUs to create an immersive story-driven game experience with an extra dimension - that of true stealth and espionage. The other game I really enjoyed from it's storybook feel, interestingly from the same developers, was Prince of Persia, the Sands of Time. (Such a disappointment that they felt to turn up the gore and somewhat lose the fantastic epic adventure storybook feel in the sequel. This shows where the focus of the industry lies nowadays.)

Games having true invention like this are becoming more and more rare. The newer game types are coming with new kinds of input device, and in some cases inventive use of new technology enabled by the hardware. Truly original game experiences of late have been things like Dance & Karaoke Revolution series which use floor mat and microphone as input devices and games that use a camera (like the EyeToy) to detect physical body movement. I am looking forward to trying the EyeToy out with my family this Christmas.

My list of truly inventive games over the years starts with Elite. The game that realized the one of the most powerful aspects of game design is imagination. The true skill of game creation is to unleash that power within the gaming environment.

Other games showing true innovation to create a truly memorable gaming experience that come to mind are Lemmings, The Incredible Machine (and it's classic comical counterpart The Incredible Toons) and Battlezone 3D by Pandemic.

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