Poll Question 004 – What is the most important aspect of a game?

10th November 2006

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half Life 1, 2 and 3


There’s no doubt that game graphics have improved tremendously over the last few years, the same seems to be happening with game physics. Unfortunately, game A.I. is lagging behind. I’m sure things will improve but who knows when?

Out of the three areas listed above, which is more important to you?

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Graphics
  • Physics

Of course having all three is obviously what we want but you can only choose one.

I chose A.I because I would prefer a game look like Half-Life 1 but play fantastic. Graphics are nice but they don’t really improve the gameplay for me. Physics are cool but the thrill of exploding barrels wore off rather quickly for me.

  • Artificial Intelligence = 75%
  • Graphics = 16%
  • Physics = 9%
  • Total votes: 64

No surprise about the winner but I am surprised that 9% voted for Physics. yes, it’s fun but certainly not more important than the other two choices. Perhaps the readers who voted for physics prefer a different type of gameplay?


  1. Zockopa

    I agree with you. In an SP-Game a good AI is essential. I think GFX and Physics have gone far in the last years. Now is the time to improve AI and game mechanics a bit.

  2. Definitely AI, a lot of FPS games at the moment seem to make human enemies with laughably pathetic AI, give them cheap hitscan weapons and throw hordes at you somehow thinking that constitutes to “gameplay”. If they’re going to do that I’ll take Monsters/Aliens/whatever over “Humans” any day as at the very least the gameplay will be kept from hitscan crap that turns the game into a luckfest (though I guess that’s another matter entirely).

    The only recent FPS I can recall that had fun human enemies is F.E.A.R, to the point where I didn’t mind that you fought them for 90% of the game. Speaking of F.E.A.R part of good AI is “artificial stupidity”, as they didn’t become completely psychic when alert and you could still outsmart them during battle (even if it was difficult to).

    Physics does have potential to bring a lot of things, but it’s not really developed enough for me to say it’s anywhere near as essential to develop as AI for now.

  3. Zockopa

    MMAN@: Yeah,your right. F.E.A.R. is the only game of the past couple years that managed to
    keep closed quarter fighting human enemies
    the whole game entertaining. Thanks to the effort of the devs in AI and well tuned mapping.
    Monolith sets a new standart here.
    The thing with F.E.A.R. is that it appears
    unspectacular at first sight,but once u get immersed it becomes kinda addictive and has a
    real replayvalue.

  4. AI

    I just finnished playing F.E.A.R. Extraction Point tonite! I would say my little namesakes (AI’s) were doing very well! They were reacting with much improvement! I run this and others on an Nvida 7800GS 256mb video, but ofcourse it’s out of date already! I realy like HL2 but F.E.A.R has got the AI part beat, That’s only my opinion tho!

  5. AI. It’s not that it’s the most important aspect, it’s the most sorely lacking. We have good physics, we have good graphics, but the more realistic we make the graphics and physics, the more pathetic the AI looks in comparison.

  6. Chris

    It pisses me off that most of the people I meet are more hyped about the Graphics than the gameplay in a game.
    Really, if I where to work on a game, it would be the AI that I would start scripting first, a few test models for it and a small test map, when the AI is in a temporary working condition, continue to work on Physics while working on the AI on the side to update it to the progress. and the last thing really, is to add the polish, at this point some models would be replacing the test models and the Hi-Poly models would be developed and then converted into a lower poly model for gameplay, some maps would slowly take shape, and I would be working on the layout of the map first, moving on to fix up the bugs in the AI with the newer workings of the engine. then when some nice props or static entities are pretty much done they will slowly make their ways into the maps. etc… I rambled to long and to off topic here. time to stop 😛

  7. esswok

    not using NOCLIP is the best improvement

  8. Joe

    AI of course. Because graphics and physics don’t contribute to the game-play as much, they are more aesthetic. I’m sure most of us have played some truly awful games that have had amazing graphics. Physics tends to be “never quite right” though its good fun when they get some good physics puzzle going. Not as fun battling against/with a reasonably intelligent AI

  9. not having to use noclip

    door or a vent that is impassable

  10. Rikersbeard

    The most important aspect of a PC game is good quality stereo, (as a baseline), sound.
    All PCs have good sound these days, but graphic card capabilities swing through a wide range depended on price. Outstanding graphics in a game are pointless if the average Joe has to turn off all the pretty extras just to run the game in low resolution!
    As for “AI”, it should just clever enough for the enemies to move in a life-like fashion but still be dumb enough to get shoot. But companions AI should be very high so they can back you up in a fight, swap guns and ammo with you and take out the bad guys if you are still hiding behind that safe wall!

    People always like good voice acting in mods and games. Thus proving the importance of sound. Both talking, soundtrack and effects………

  11. Me.
    Then A.I. as I’m sure AI would readily agree.

  12. Re-playability. One thing I’d really like to see are alternate endings, routes and other things. Surprises… This would be difficult even knowing nothing of mapping not to mention all the other things that go into making these mods. Still it would be fun…if it could be done. When they made the head crabs detachable from the dead body that was pretty fun..

    The AI has come along way since HL1..In the next decade it can only get better.

  13. Rethinking this one.. AI has lagged far behind, sure they chase you, and can see you often before you see them, But get AI up to speed so that you could sneak up on them with a garrotte (that would make a cool weapon add-on) or what ever, as one could in real life situations (been there,done that) it would really improve overall game play.

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