Wish List 2007

introduction

Throughout the world many millions of children will be writing letters to Santa Claus, listing the present they want, well here is my wish list for gaming in 2007.

Can you guess what they are?

  • Top of my list is much better A.I. I want to play games against enemies that are nearly as smart as me (not hard), not ones that have almost infinite health or ammo (which reminds me why do enemies never reload?), or ones where every shot is perfect. I don’t want them to stand there just staring at me, even a dog will run away when you hit it! Maybe we need to have sacred enemies? Ones that run when they see you and only fire if they have cover. At least that wold be more realistic.
  • Next comes games that are delivered on time. In fact I would like ALL developers to get together some time in June and set release dates for the following year. One good FPS game per month will be fine. I will pay now and if the game is delayed then I get a refund and a free game.
  • Special Edition/Collectors Editions or whatever you want to call them that are actually SPECIAL. Something that you can’t buy anywhere else and is cool.
  • A game that has a 30 minute CGI movie as the prologue. Something that builds a story around the characters and not just around guns and locations. See my recent Gamovie post. Of course two teams would be needed but perhaps game developers need to work more with the people how make machinima.
  • A game without Cliches. Please, Please please, no more huge boots and huger (new word, before you ask!) rockets. The size of my gun isn’t related to my manhood (No offense intended to female PP readers). No more post-apocalyptic futures. Why not a paradise where everything is perfect? Well, not that perfect or there would be no shooting, but you know what I mean.
  • One, just one, new weapon that makes me go “WOW, this is cool!” Yes, I do know how hard that is but with the combined creativity of all the world’s developers (not to mention the millions of dollars invested) is it too much to ask? I don’t think so. In fact, I publicly announce that as part of the new features that will appear on PlanetPhillip I will be having a WEAPON OF YEAR award. It will be for any FPS game, SP or MP. More on this in January 2007.
  • A game with no blood. That’s correct, no blood. Blood doesn’t make a game any better.
  • A game not from Europe or America. There must be some other cultures capable of making an FPS game? Perhaps it’s a reflection of the gun society? Why not a Manga-inspired game.
  • Voice generation software supplied with a game, just like a mapping editor or modelling software. Something that empowers the modder with a way of including new voices in the game. Yes, I know this is unrealistic but when did you ever expect to get EVERYTHING on your Christmas list? Maybe they could at least include lots of phrases or sentences that weren’t used in the game. See Voice Acting for the Masses for a specific idea about game voices.
  • Last but not least is Return To Castle Wolfenstein 2. I really enjoyed the first one and hope that this is going to rock! I’m hoping for an August release because then I can play it through the night without having to get up and go to work the next day.

Well, there you have them. I’m sure yours are very different, so let’s hear them.

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18 Comments

  1. Technoblue

    “which reminds me why do enemies never reload?”

    omg, they reload in half-life 1 :/

  2. Fluffy The Hamster

    Top of my list is much better A.I. I want to play games against enemies that are nearly as smart as me (not hard), not ones that have almost infinite health or ammo (which reminds me why do enemies never reload?), or ones where every shot is perfect.

    Reason we do that is because it’s nearly impossible to create a truly *smart* AI. Quake 4 tried this, having an AI that would dive behind objects (And that was barely scripted) and fire out. This also stems to why developers throw aliens and animals into their games, to ensure that nobody will whine about them.

    I’d demand for better AI if I knew better AI was possible at this day and age. From what I’v seen, it isn’t.

    Next comes games that are delivered on time.

    Easy way to fix that is just to say “Released when it’s done”.

    Special Edition/Collectors Editions or whatever you want to call them that are actually SPECIAL. Something that you can’t buy anywhere else and is cool.

    The ability to spend money in order to make yourself feel special? Okay…

    A game without Clichés.

    When it comes to making money, it’s better to use a cliche that you know works rather then try to *innovate* and lose thousands…

    One, just one, new weapon that makes me go “WOW, this is cool!”

    One word and one acronym: SMOD Shovel

    A game with no blood.

    Bullshit. We have grown to a people who expects blood in games. If there’s no blood around dead bodies, we say “What the hell? Are they sleeping?”. In our mind, blood equals death. This creates the atmosphere that developers are usually trying to create.

    A game not from Europe or
    America

    There are thousands of games from Japan, Korea , South America and Australia. Just that the big guns of today are American and European.

    Voice generation software supplied with a game, just like a mapping editor or modelling software.

    I’d still rather hire voice actors without any money. Even if the results are pretty bad (Rock 24.. Rocket.. Guy…).

    My chrismas list just said Peace on Earth (stifles a rain of laughter), you selfish person.

  3. Really looking for Stalker next year…hope I can spend more time playing addon reviewing and starting some that I never tried (Unreal)

    And hope that PP will continue growing as this year

  4. I’m not going to counter-argue all your points Fluffy but None of the weapons from SMOD made me go WOW. And whilst we may have grown to expect blood I simply want one game without it. I’m not saying it not needed, just I don’t want it, once anyway.

    Lastly I was talking about FPS games when I mentioned cultures. I don’t consider mys
    elf and expert on anything, least of all gaming, but I don’t believe I know of an FPS game MADE by another culture.

    omg, they reload in half-life 1 :/

    Why have I never noticed this before?

  5. Fluffy The Hamster

    The SMOD Shovel made me go wow.. No.. WOW.. WOOOWW… MY DREAM HAS COME TRUUUUUEE!!!

    *cough*.

    That being said, I think my opinion on the matter of shovel weaponry in games is somewhat biased.

    In some games, you can disable the blood. Try http://www.christiananswers.net/spotlight/games/platforms.html . They usually tell you if the game allows you the ability to disable blood or not.

  6. Hl 1 has a lock for inapropriate content but I have never used it so I dont know if that removes blood or not.Also HL 1 does have the enemy reloading not sure anout HL2

  7. Fluffy The Hamster

    HL2’s gun-wielding enemies and allies both reload.

    There are many other games where enemies reload too. I guess you just don’t notice it.

  8. JC

    If people at 3DRealms released “Duke Nukem 4Ever” next year, then it would be the greatest present for gamers all over the world…. Oh well, I guess that’s TOO much to ask for… LoL

    Let’s just hope STALKER is released without any delays next year 🙂

  9. If people at 3DRealms released “Duke Nukem 4Ever” next year, then it would be the greatest present for gamers all over the world…. Oh well, I guess that’s TOO much to ask for… LoL

    It’s five year that i’m waiting for it but still believe it will come one day

  10. shungokusatsu

    If it was return to castle wolfenstein 2, it would be the return of the return to castle wolfenstein XD! Very good post, it got me thinking. Concerning your wish for a game with no blood, i’m yet to find a non bloody fps game, though you could just play half-life with content control enabled… I look at the original doom game today and think that the blood levels are incredibly modest, yet when the game was released there were many protesting against it’s high levels of violence! Just goes to show how our culture is changing, perhaps in the future a 5 year old will be able to walk into a games store and buy a copy of grand theft auto without the clerk even so much as raising an eyebrow (though personally I have never liked GTA anyway.)

  11. David

    Reloading:
    The AI is getting better at relaoding at the very least, they do reload in Half Life 2 and FEAR. Cant vouch for many others cause those are the only ones Ive played recently.
    But I would like to see some of the enemies suck at relaoding and be slower at it than others. I would also like to see the hero be slower at reloading.
    Being from Texas Ive grown up shooting guns and hunting. I can reload a pistol fairly quick, but if someone were shooting back at me I think I’d fumble about a bit more and be quite a bit slower. I dont see why this shouldnt apply to enemies as well.

    Also, I havent seen anybody (not to say there isnt someone) who can reload a shotgun near as quick as they reload in games.
    AI:

    However, the AI is getting smarter but its still just a pre-determined sequence of actions. When you play a game its not you versus the enemy, its you versus the programmer. What we need to develop is an AI that is capable of learning and adapting. The AI at first would be bewildered by your movements because it has no clue what kind of cover you dive behind or if you prefer to charge. But as the game goes on it learns your style and adapts to it so that by the end youre fighting an enemy that has evolved specifically to how you fight and move in game. This is probably impossible, but if I had a lot of money and a team of programmers Id sure as hell be trying to figure out how to do this.
    CGI:

    Im all for the idea of building a story and a liking to the characters, but 30 minutes is a bit long. However, your idea is good. I’m tired of not feeling any caring for any of the characters except me (exception in Half Life 2 where I cared about Alyx and Barney and in FEAR Extraction Point where I wanted to keep Holiday with me for the whole game).
    Squads:
    Further on this point Im tired of the one man show. No orginization in their right mind sends one guy in, thats just idiotic. Quake 4 did a great job of keeping me with a squad for a bit of time. I want the squad to be self-sufficient though, I dont want a tactics game where I have to chose where to move the men and I can bark a whole slew of orders. I want a squad of 4 or so that move with me but dont rely on me and are with me for almost the entire game (there can be a few select parts where I get pinned down and have to stay alive till my team can come save my ass).

    Also having a squad with you the whole time that is backed by a strong group of voice actors is another great way to build a better story and an attachment to characters.
    Thats my wishlist thats based off of yours 😛
    You brought up some very good points and I believe that game designers could learn a lot by reading all of the gameplay ideas posts you have as well as digging through the comments. You provide a non-biased palce to talk about game design, and thats how games will continue to get better and impress.
    Keep up the great work, love the site

    David

  12. Here are some links readers of the post and comments may find interesting:
    Turining Test For Gamers
    A.I. Cards Coming?
    Personalising Games
    A Unique SP and Mp Gameplay Mode

    David,

    I’m glad you like the site and wish that a few professional game designers dropped by, although being professional wouldn’t necessarily make their viewpoints right! I digress.

    When I started reading you paragraph about squads I initially disagreed because I hate squads but how you described it made me realize that I hate the current implementation of squads (Although HL2 did a damn fine job). The point about the voice acting is well taken.

    Your point about fumbling is interesting. In the past I have suggested a variety of idea to bring more realism to the game (See Sweat and another was where the player takes things from their pocket but the selection is random – the idea was to recreate that feeling of not reaching for the correct object) but I’m not sure players want those kind of features. I personally think that a game should include a HUGE number of those small effects but allow the players to toggle them on or of (See Replayability and Difficulty Settings).

  13. Fluffy The Hamster

    The problem with fumbling when it comes to enemies is that in cases such as FEAR and Half-Life 2, you are fighting enemies that have (for lack of a better word) been designed just for battle.

    As for squads, the most blaring problem with that is relying the entire game on AI. Considering how *still* stupid they are, that can produce a problem that is hard to fix.

    With that comes the fact that you, unless you are severely handicapped, will always do better then an AI. The only way to fix that is to rely on certain AI to accomplish certain objectives, which thus turns back to the reliance on AI that isn’t as solid as we’d like it.

    I’d agree to the implement of a permenant group of soldiers to follow you (or lead you) in what can be described as something the SWAT series did. I just like to see evidence that this is comfortably achievable.

    As per CGI, Warcraft 3 did sorta have around 20 minutes or so of CGA.

  14. Some gas-spring arms to support my two 19inch monitors at whatever height and angle I want…

    A Wowpen cordless mouse:

    Wowpen

    Ah and HL2 Episode 2 and particularly S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

  15. Pasiphae

    Hmm, if I could have anything, it’d be either a sequel or some new content for Vampire Bloodlines, probably one of the most under-rated and misunderstood FPS/RPG games of recent years, buy it and patch it people!
    Another I’d like to see is a proper AVP3, the technology is there and the game doesn’t HAVE to follow the rather awful movies canon, that game was and still is the scariest experiance I’ve ever had on a PC, the m/p wasn’t too bad either.

    How about a law being passed that makes it illegal to leave a coop system out of all new releases? Or one to make each release contain at least 10 easter eggs and loads of little jokes for the more determined player!

    Happy Christmas to you all, and especially you , Phillip, you’ve made a fantastic site and produced some good thought provoking content.

  16. Fluffy The Hamster

    I’m getting a headcrab for chrismas. In all of your faces.

  17. shungokusatsu

    I’m getting a headcrab for chrismas. In all of your faces.

    ok… some people have strange imaginations!

    though I wouldn’t my own pet headcrab to be honest… I would call him “majugarzett”!

  18. I’m getting a headcrab for chrismas. In all of your faces.

    Actually I think it will be in YOUR face! 🙂

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