Feeds

Innovation in gaming – where did it go?

Stick to the game play

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Games developers need to rethink their programming strategies and focus more on originality than fancy technology. That's the message from outspoken 3D Realms programmer Brandon Reinhart, writing about his experience at this year's E3 trade show.

Innovation in gameplay seemed to be sorely lacking all over E3," he observed.

"On a whim, I queried several game development teams on the constitution of their programming teams. It seems most game programming teams average about 80% tech programmers and 20% gameplay. How can true innovation in gameplay be achieved without proper focus?

"3D Realms is 33% tech programmers and 66% gameplay. The difference is significant."

Cynics may be suspicious of Reinhart's motives - 3D Realms recently stepped up promotion of its much-anticipated Duke Nukem Forever, and a promo video for the game released last week was applauded almost universally. But criticism of the industry's stagnation is likely to be welcomed by players who have long been calling for developers to come up with some new ideas.

Reinhart also has a certain credibility enjoyed by few of his colleagues. Followers of the online games community are accustomed to holier-than-thou preaching from attention-seeking developers, who often seem willing to stab their peers in the back if they can get a few column inches out of it.

But Reinhart has always shown himself to be refreshingly ego-free, with his occasional commentaries on the games industry being genuinely constructive instead of nit-picking put-downs.

However well-founded, though, his argument about innovation does crumble on an important point: Ironically, 3D Realms is one of the development houses most often criticised for lacking originality.

The company's 1996 hit Duke Nukem 3D was extraordinarily popular and is still seen as one of the best first-person shooters. Its over-the-top action and interactivity earned it hundreds of thousands of fans, and the game still has an active online community.

But one thing it certainly was not, was innovative. It simply took lots of ideas that had been done before, and did them again, accompanied by dialogue lines from popular movies - some of which, controversially, 3D Realms has since trademarked.

And based on what little has been seen of Duke Nukem Forever, it seems the 3D Realms tradition of absorption and repetition is set to continue.

As one message board poster observed, commenting on the game's E3 promo video: "Gosh how cool it is to take other content and just render it in your engine and make money off it. Duke3d's references were for the most part, just lines Duke said. DNF seems to encompass entire SCENES from other movies."

Another 3D Realms title, Max Payne, currently in development at Remedy Entertainment, is said to have been heavily inspired by action film The Matrix, offering such innovative features as slow-motion fight sequences and so-called "bullet time" effects. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.