I wish game devs would pick up the pace

Arg Clin

Senior member
Oct 24, 2010
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Now that ME3 and Diablo3 are out and done with, I can't really see much on the near horizon (2013), except maybe for XCOM.

I would think the market could support quite a bit more high quality releases pr year than what we see now. Especially in the interactive story/RPG genre.

Maybe a high quality game pr month - it would still only end up at $ 50/month. Way less than what I until quite recently paid for a crappy tv package that I never watched.

Given sales numbers and enthusiasm around many game releases, it seems to me that might be a lot of unused market potential - then again maybe my perception is clouded by my own preferences.

So what do you think; am I overestimating the market or is it lack of talented people behind the fact that we only get so few quality game titles pr year?
 
Oct 25, 2006
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AAA games are extremely complicated, requires large staff, heavy investment and very few companies can pull it off.

So yes, by definition big budget games do not come out very often.
 

cl-scott

ASUS Support
Jul 5, 2012
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I think you're vastly underestimating just how long it takes to develop a quality piece of software, be it a game or almost anything else. It's probably at least a good 2-3 years for the average game, and RPGs are probably a year or two more because you have to pen the story, cast voice actors, do translations, etc.

That's assuming all of the boring business side things are already taken care of and don't change. Financial backers don't suddenly pull out, the publisher doesn't suddenly demand this or that, the company remains solvent, etc. It's not like you can just crank out a AAA game every 3-6 months.
 

Kalmah

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2003
3,692
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If somebody would just make a classic style top-down-view game engine with today's graphic capabilities that can easily be modded then some good rpgs could be pumped out left and right. A modern version of Bioware's Infinity Engine with 3.0 dnd ruleset. I don't need voice overs.

An engine that supports 'Dungeon Keeper'-like gameplay could easily be built as well.

We don't need cutting edge graphics, just some good games. Nothing this year has qualified as a 'good game' in my book yet.
 

wuliheron

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2011
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A lot of them are in the process of automating a great deal of the work so they can increase the pace and some are working on games that won't be released until the new consoles come out.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,558
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AAA games are extremely complicated, requires large staff, heavy investment and very few companies can pull it off.

So yes, by definition big budget games do not come out very often.
I think you're vastly underestimating just how long it takes to develop a quality piece of software, be it a game or almost anything else. It's probably at least a good 2-3 years for the average game, and RPGs are probably a year or two more because you have to pen the story, cast voice actors, do translations, etc.

That's assuming all of the boring business side things are already taken care of and don't change. Financial backers don't suddenly pull out, the publisher doesn't suddenly demand this or that, the company remains solvent, etc. It's not like you can just crank out a AAA game every 3-6 months.
A couple months back, Rockstar had a Q&A session on their website regarding Max Payne 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5, and it was open to absolutely anyone who wanted to ask them a question. There were a couple of doozies.

This one guy in particular was pretty stupid. He asked something like: "hey guyz howcome it takes so long for u to make games? u have millions of dollars and lots of staff so you should release lots of games every year not one game ever few years hurr durr why does it take you so long??"

Rockstar handled the question professionally, but seriously, it just goes to show how little people truly understand what goes into making an AAA video game. Even I readily admit that I don't understand everything.

Modern games take an INSANE amount of work to create and polish. Seriously, look at Max Payne 3. The production values in that game are so high it's almost unfair. Do you have any idea how many programmers, artists, designers, engineers, testers, and actors is took to make that game? (That's still simplifying it by a lot; I know there's a lot more roles I'm forgetting about.)

I wonder if OP understands how much work it takes to create a video game?
 
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AlexAL

Senior member
Jan 23, 2008
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I expect GTA 5, Saint's Row 4, and Just Cause 3 in 2013. Granted that might not be exactly everyone's genre, at least one of those games should get the formula for great fun right. I don't expect a fun Heroes of Might and Magic 7 out, if that even happens. And hoping for a Mass Effect-styled game from a different developer, but sponsoring a different theme.
 

Arg Clin

Senior member
Oct 24, 2010
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I'm not saying the same people should run faster. A game takes time to develop - no different form a movie really. In my mind however I don't really see that as an argument for the pace that games come out - unless it is in fact a matter of limited talent and/or funding ressources. Because otherwise it would just come down to matter of allocating enough ressources and then getting the pipeline up and running.

If it is a case of lack of funding then that also means the market is indeed undersupplied. Inthat caset there's hope for it to pick up over times.

If we're just not blessed with anymore talent than those working on the games then there's not really much hope on the short-mid term.

If the market is not undersupplied there's not much hope either, but I doubt that's the conclusion.
 
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cl-scott

ASUS Support
Jul 5, 2012
457
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If somebody would just make a classic style top-down-view game engine with today's graphic capabilities that can easily be modded then some good rpgs could be pumped out left and right. A modern version of Bioware's Infinity Engine with 3.0 dnd ruleset. I don't need voice overs.

An engine that supports 'Dungeon Keeper'-like gameplay could easily be built as well.

We don't need cutting edge graphics, just some good games. Nothing this year has qualified as a 'good game' in my book yet.
While I agree at least in that graphics should follow gameplay, even if you had some kind of common engine, you'd still have all kinds of licensing issues, and then maybe game developer X wants to do Y, which the game engine they licensed can't do... Or there's a bug in the engine, and the developer of the engine is kind of slow to fix said bug. Maybe at some point during the development of the game, the engine developer goes under or is bought out. It's not necessarily a silver bullet solution.
 

imaheadcase

Diamond Member
May 9, 2005
3,850
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I can't help but think you need to change the type of games you are interested in. Those 3 games you mentioned are terrible examples.

Guild wars 2, Planetside 2, Borderlands 2, etc are high quality games. plus many more i can't think of off hand. This is prob the best month for games i can remember in a long time.
 

EDUSAN

Golden Member
Apr 4, 2012
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borderlands 2 in a couple weeks
torchlight 2 in a couple weeks

dishonored next year
bioshock infinite next year

just the ones that come to my mind fast....

if you liked Starcraft 2, the expansion is coming soon
 

diesbudt

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2012
3,393
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I'm not saying the same people should run faster. A game takes time to develop - no different form a movie really. In my mind however I don't really see that as an argument for the pace that games come out - unless it is in fact a matter of limited talent and/or funding ressources. Because otherwise it would just come down to matter of allocating enough ressources and then getting the pipeline up and running.

If it is a case of lack of funding then that also means the market is indeed undersupplied. Inthat caset there's hope for it to pick up over times.

If we're just not blessed with anymore talent than those working on the games then there's not really much hope on the short-mid term.

If the market is not undersupplied there's not much hope either, but I doubt that's the conclusion.
A) game developers already work 10+ hours a day.

B) More developers will NOT increase the speed of the product being created, as enough people go into games, and each person added brings less to the table (Logrithmic effect, aka reverse exponential) So more resourses and/or more people WILL NOT increase the speed of the game being made.

C) It takes A LOT of time planning, designing, producing, editing, writing, putting it together into an executable code.

D) Then it has to be tested. Internally in both a zeta stage and alpha stage. Then it is beta tested by either a small group or large group. During this time and afterwards any bugs that were found are fixed and any adds/subtracts to the game are made. Until they are happy they have a product. (Also quality check at this point)

E) Then this code has to go to a company that either can mass open files of it electronically (Steam) or produce enough on disks, to reach demands in all the market places. (If on disks they have to work with the stores they will be selling it in to sell to them for a price in which the store will gain money for selling it, but also enough money the company gets for making it.)

F) Then if it is on disks, it has to be packaged, shipped to the different stores. Then it has to be counted, and checked to ensure the shipping was good, while setting up a spot on the shelves for it. Then the shelves have to be stocked.

(These are for the big games, Indie titles will take more time, and include much less content and/or not the same graphics. However that in no way shapes how much fun a game can be.)
 
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BrightCandle

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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I no longer write games professionally but its worth noting my mentality as a developer:

If I need to do something today, then something is really wrong in the development process. Nothing takes less than a day and nothing is so important that it needs to be done today.

I would hazard a guess a modern game is around 1 million lines of code, to mention the millions of textures, 3d models, audio snippets and everything else. Just for the code alone you can imagine it trying to work and edit a 19000 page word document where every line is a mathematical statement describing some small part of the game. That is not a quick process to a) get to that size and b) to then edit once you are there.
 

diesbudt

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2012
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I no longer write games professionally but its worth noting my mentality as a developer:

If I need to do something today, then something is really wrong in the development process. Nothing takes less than a day and nothing is so important that it needs to be done today.

I would hazard a guess a modern game is around 1 million lines of code, to mention the millions of textures, 3d models, audio snippets and everything else. Just for the code alone you can imagine it trying to work and edit a 19000 page word document where every line is a mathematical statement describing some small part of the game. That is not a quick process to a) get to that size and b) to then edit once you are there.
And don't forget, the nature of computing. 1 line hundreds of thousands away from a different line of code can cause fatal bugs and errors. Then sweeps have to be done over the code to try and find that 1 little issue (per bug) that is breaking the game.

Then it has to be tried again and again and again and again until all the major bugs are gone.

It really is an extremely long process.
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
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Wishing devs would pick up the pace would mean people would start hating them for releasing new games every year. "Oh they are just like EA and Madden." I can hear the internet cry already. "A sequel in a year! OMG they are trying to milk us."
 

diesbudt

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2012
3,393
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Wishing devs would pick up the pace would mean people would start hating them for releasing new games every year. "Oh they are just like EA and Madden." I can hear the internet cry already. "A sequel in a year! OMG they are trying to milk us."
yea. And new games of very similar playstyle like Madden, isnt as trying, as you basically have a strong skeleton code to work with and not from the bottom up.
 
Nov 7, 2000
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thats just not how it works

also, im certain there are plenty of worthy games you arent even acknowledging
 

Arg Clin

Senior member
Oct 24, 2010
416
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I can't help but think you need to change the type of games you are interested in. Those 3 games you mentioned are terrible examples.
I like pizza - that's not going to change either. :biggrin: Given the sales for the type of games I generally prefer I'd say I'm not cursed by unusual preferences.

Wishing devs would pick up the pace would mean people would start hating them for releasing new games every year. "Oh they are just like EA and Madden." I can hear the internet cry already. "A sequel in a year! OMG they are trying to milk us."
Releasing the same game just in smaller bits more frequently wouldn't really count. I'm talking more quality content/game hours.

For a start they could go back to 50+ hour RPG games instead of these puny 30-40 hours games we get these days. Talk about milking...

If I need to do something today, then something is really wrong in the development process. Nothing takes less than a day and nothing is so important that it needs to be done today.

I would hazard a guess a modern game is around 1 million lines of code, to mention the millions of textures, 3d models, audio snippets and everything else. Just for the code alone you can imagine it trying to work and edit a 19000 page word document where every line is a mathematical statement describing some small part of the game. That is not a quick process to a) get to that size and b) to then edit once you are there.
My point was in no way to belittle the time/ressources it takes to create a game. Nor to suggest that the people developing games are doing less than what they can.

My point was rather that the developers should invest more ressources in order to crank out more games. Parrallel development.

My postulate is that the market for AAA titles is vastly undersupplied.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
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I am more interested by a number of Indie (or Indie'ish) and some of those kick-started games lately (some of those have quite a large team and might not be considered "Indie" as much as the likes of Trine or World of Good for example) more than any incoming "AAA" titles. I am of course curious and waiting for some AAA games to come but really almost all of those I am waiting for will be console ports (they might still be decent on their own though).

The only "truly" (for me) AAA game I would really like to see become a reality is Half-Life 3. Now that indeed Mass Effect 3 is done for (and honestly the franchise too, for me anyway) and now that Diablo 3 convinces me that the ARPG genre is also done for I can't help but imagine myself on two extremes. I'll either be playing Indie type games or MMORPGs and that's probably going to be it for... I don't know how long, maybe many years to come.

I mean next week I'll buy Guild Wars 2, and I am very optimistic about that kick-started Planetary Annihilation game which looks terrific (honestly can't wait for it). Between that I find myself playing Trine 2, Gratuitous Space Battles and some "The Last Stand" mode in Dawn of War 2... that's about it. I stopped playing Diablo 3, Mass Effect and Dragon Age long ago (and... I can try my best but I can't find the strength nor will to care about Dragon Age 3).
 

xSkyDrAx

Diamond Member
Sep 14, 2003
7,707
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I see what the OP is trying to say.

He doesn't necessarily want developers to make games faster. He wants more developers (and studios) overall to make more AAA title games. That way there are a greater number of good games being released per year/month though not necessarily from the same developers.

While wishing for this is nice, there's really no way to magically make this happen. Like others have said, AAA titles require a large financial investment and likewise it is a huge risk to investors.

You can't tell them to throw more money at new and untested developers to create a AAA title that may or may not sell.

That's like if you asked someone to give you 100 million to build a supercar but you and your team are fairly unknown and have no real proven real-world experience, you can't add seasoned pros to your team cause they're all working for the big players, and you have no way to prove your car will make the investors their money back plus profits. There's almost no way you're going to get the funding it's just not going to happen.

As a random consumer for video games you can wish for this but you should be able to understand why the creation of new IP is restricted the way it is.
 

nitromullet

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2004
9,031
36
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I no longer write games professionally but its worth noting my mentality as a developer:

If I need to do something today, then something is really wrong in the development process. Nothing takes less than a day and nothing is so important that it needs to be done today.

I would hazard a guess a modern game is around 1 million lines of code, to mention the millions of textures, 3d models, audio snippets and everything else. Just for the code alone you can imagine it trying to work and edit a 19000 page word document where every line is a mathematical statement describing some small part of the game. That is not a quick process to a) get to that size and b) to then edit once you are there.
What developer writes an entire game in a single 19,000 page file of code with MS Word?
 

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