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Forums - Gaming Discussion - We are living in the best era for gaming

Doctor_MG said:
Conina said:

So no difference than in the past.

Doom 1993 was an exception, not the rule.

Yeah, there isn't a significant difference. However, there are less publishers now than before, and publishers are less willing to be risky, and game development costs more overall. This is why I don't think it's so easy to just say "there is way more variety today". There are way more games absolutely. But variety? I don't think it's as easy to tell. There were some real groundbreaking change-the-gaming-industry type games back in the day. Even ones that were self-published like Wizardry. 

That is actually untrue, there are literally hundreds of publishers. You choose to ignore everything that is not big, but that is on you. Publishers like Ratalaika Games. Chucklefish, 3909 LLC, Nacon, Paradox, NCSoft, Annapurna, Circle Entertainment and many others. SImilarly to developers, publishing is actually as easy as never before.

And about variety. Look around, the indie scene produces experiences that push the boundaries of gaming, while also reproducing the experience of the 80s and 90s which are abandoned by the big companies.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

10 years greatest game event!

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Mnementh said:

You suggest that self-publishing is pointless, as you drown in an ocean of titles. But somehow the better titles find publicity over time. Undertale, Bastion, Minecraft were all self-published, yet still found success. So no, self-publishing is far from pointless.

I agree about the shortcomings of the big studios, but people here seem to believe Indies are somehow irrelevant or pointless. They aren't. And I am a big fan of 90s gaming, I grew up with it. But the reality is also, that back in the 90s we had a few studios making games. These days we have far more indies that operate similar to game studios in the 90s, and the tools and experiences allow for far more diversity and creativity. In this regard I consider today as a time, that is about 10 times the 90s, in number and quality of studios and games in the indie scene. And additionally we have the shitty AAA-industry, but I can choose to ignore it and play indies instead.

I didn't say self-publishing was pointless, I said it's hard to get places by self-publishing. For every Minecraft there are a thousand games lost at sea that barely make a hundred bucks (which barely covers the self-publishing cost), if they make anything at all.

I would argue that the limitations of hardware bread more creativity than not. For example, the stealth genre was invented because not enough sprites could be rendered at once. 

Definitely agree on quantity, don't really agree on quality. At least, not as far as impacting the game industry goes. Only a few games come out that really shake things up these days.



Mnementh said:

That is actually untrue, there are literally hundreds of publishers. You choose to ignore everything that is not big, but that is on you. Publishers like Ratalaika Games. Chucklefish, 3909 LLC, Nacon, Paradox, NCSoft, Annapurna, Circle Entertainment and many others. SImilarly to developers, publishing is actually as easy as never before.

And about variety. Look around, the indie scene produces experiences that push the boundaries of gaming, while also reproducing the experience of the 80s and 90s which are abandoned by the big companies.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_publishers

It's actually entirely true. Anything in yellow is defunct. Anything in blue is bought up. There is FAR more yellow and blue than white. Take a look yourself. People are fooling themselves about the state of the games industry.



Doctor_MG said:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_publishers

It's actually entirely true. Anything in yellow is defunct. Anything in blue is bought up. There is FAR more yellow and blue than white. Take a look yourself. People are fooling themselves about the state of the games industry.

There are also FAR more people dead than living (over 100 billion people died, only ~8 billion are still living). That doesn't mean that now less people are living on earth than 20 / 50 / 100 / 200 / 500... years ago: https://www.prb.org/articles/how-many-people-have-ever-lived-on-earth/

Also your Wikipedia article seems to be focused on the defunct & bought up publishers. Lots of active publishers aren't listed.

Where are f.e. King Art, Phoenix Online Publishing, Wadjet Eye Games; Thunderful Publishing, Digerati, Nightdive Studios, TinyBuild, Wired Productions, The Irregular Corporation, Goblinz Publishing, Headup Games, WhisperGames...

https://kingart-games.com/games

http://www.postudios.com/company/projects.php

http://www.wadjeteyegames.com/games/

https://thunderfulgames.com/games/

https://digerati.games/games/

https://www.nightdivestudios.com/games

https://www.tinybuild.com/games

https://wiredproductions.com/games/

https://theirregularcorporation.com/games/

https://store.steampowered.com/publisher/goblinz_publishing

https://headupgames.com/

https://store.steampowered.com/publisher/WhisperGames

There are also wrong infos in that list.

F.e., Soedesco is marked "defunct / no longer active", but they are active: https://www.soedesco.com/news

Last edited by Conina - on 10 July 2022

Doctor_MG said:
Mnementh said:

You suggest that self-publishing is pointless, as you drown in an ocean of titles. But somehow the better titles find publicity over time. Undertale, Bastion, Minecraft were all self-published, yet still found success. So no, self-publishing is far from pointless.

I agree about the shortcomings of the big studios, but people here seem to believe Indies are somehow irrelevant or pointless. They aren't. And I am a big fan of 90s gaming, I grew up with it. But the reality is also, that back in the 90s we had a few studios making games. These days we have far more indies that operate similar to game studios in the 90s, and the tools and experiences allow for far more diversity and creativity. In this regard I consider today as a time, that is about 10 times the 90s, in number and quality of studios and games in the indie scene. And additionally we have the shitty AAA-industry, but I can choose to ignore it and play indies instead.

I didn't say self-publishing was pointless, I said it's hard to get places by self-publishing. For every Minecraft there are a thousand games lost at sea that barely make a hundred bucks (which barely covers the self-publishing cost), if they make anything at all.

I would argue that the limitations of hardware bread more creativity than not. For example, the stealth genre was invented because not enough sprites could be rendered at once. 

Definitely agree on quantity, don't really agree on quality. At least, not as far as impacting the game industry goes. Only a few games come out that really shake things up these days.

The argument of getting lost in the releases is nothing new really and nothing limited to digital publishing. The more serious part is, that modern AAA games have millions in marketing budget to avoid exactly that fate, but it still happens. Remember Ubisofts Hyperscape? Yeah, that happens even with big budget and big marketing.

My argument is that the great games exist. Maybe you have to look for them and they aren't presented to you, but in comparison with the 90s - back then it was worse because games were so niche and hadn't really any outlet to present themself. You learned of them by friends or if you consumed niche media, like game magazines.

And yeah, the quality games exist as well.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

10 years greatest game event!

bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

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Doctor_MG said:
Mnementh said:

That is actually untrue, there are literally hundreds of publishers. You choose to ignore everything that is not big, but that is on you. Publishers like Ratalaika Games. Chucklefish, 3909 LLC, Nacon, Paradox, NCSoft, Annapurna, Circle Entertainment and many others. SImilarly to developers, publishing is actually as easy as never before.

And about variety. Look around, the indie scene produces experiences that push the boundaries of gaming, while also reproducing the experience of the 80s and 90s which are abandoned by the big companies.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_publishers

It's actually entirely true. Anything in yellow is defunct. Anything in blue is bought up. There is FAR more yellow and blue than white. Take a look yourself. People are fooling themselves about the state of the games industry.

Yeah, that list is massively incomplete. Some of the ones I mentioned aren't in the list. Actually most of them. Of my list only Nacon, NCSoft and Paradox are mentioned here. You make the error you make throughout the thread: you take the big companies and believe they are represent all of the gaming landscape. They don't.



3DS-FC: 4511-1768-7903 (Mii-Name: Mnementh), Nintendo-Network-ID: Mnementh, Switch: SW-7706-3819-9381 (Mnementh)

my greatest games: 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

10 years greatest game event!

bets: [peak year] [+], [1], [2], [3], [4]

Mnementh said:
Doctor_MG said:

I didn't say self-publishing was pointless, I said it's hard to get places by self-publishing. For every Minecraft there are a thousand games lost at sea that barely make a hundred bucks (which barely covers the self-publishing cost), if they make anything at all.

I would argue that the limitations of hardware bread more creativity than not. For example, the stealth genre was invented because not enough sprites could be rendered at once. 

Definitely agree on quantity, don't really agree on quality. At least, not as far as impacting the game industry goes. Only a few games come out that really shake things up these days.

The argument of getting lost in the releases is nothing new really and nothing limited to digital publishing. The more serious part is, that modern AAA games have millions in marketing budget to avoid exactly that fate, but it still happens. Remember Ubisofts Hyperscape? Yeah, that happens even with big budget and big marketing.

My argument is that the great games exist. Maybe you have to look for them and they aren't presented to you, but in comparison with the 90s - back then it was worse because games were so niche and hadn't really any outlet to present themself. You learned of them by friends or if you consumed niche media, like game magazines.

And yeah, the quality games exist as well.

These AAA devs announce some online multiplayer game ever time someone take a breath and 99% are forgotten. AAA devs just make the same tiny handful types of games. EA.Ubi. Activision all interchangable anymore. It's at that point they all look the same.



Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Whether you think this is the "best era" or "worst era" or somewhere in between can vary a lot based on: 1) where you live, and 2) what parts of gaming you consider important.  Some of the best things to happen to gaming in the US and Japan happed at a time when the rest of the world couldn't experience these things.  It is really more productive to talk about what parts of modern gaming are actually good and what parts are actually bad.

What matters to me, personally, is if I find the games to be fun.  Right now, if you focus on the games that get the biggest budget, most advertising, etc... I do not find these games to be fun.  They are at the worst state that they've ever been.  A lot of fun comes from innovation, and innovation for these "top" games is at an all time low.  Most of these games are sequels.  Very few are original IP.  Currently the most original game big budget game is Elden Ring, which is actually Dark Souls but now in an open world.  While I like this game a lot, it's kind of pathetic that this is the ceiling for originality.  In earlier eras they were inventing whole new genres of games, and they were the big budget games of the time.  That just doesn't happen anymore.  

Our "best" is just not as good anymore.  At the same time the worst parts of big budget gaming are terrible: microtransations end up compromising the design of a game and make it worse.  Highly anticipated games like Cyberpunk 2077 release as a buggy mess and still sell millions of copies. GaaS was at its best about 10-20 years ago during the best days of MMOs.  In general, if we look at only the big budget games, today is not a great era for gaming.

On the other hand, there is the indie scene.  There is a lot of innovation going on here.  The main problem with the indie scene is accessibility.  Most indie games do not have a physical version available.  However, what is worse is that there are really not great ways to find the good indie games.  There are too many, and it can take a while for the cream to rise to the top.  My favorite era for gaming was actually the late 80's (because I live in the US).  Not only was innovation at an all time high in this era, but we had a magazine called Nintendo Power.  This did a pretty good job of steering people toward the great games and away from the turds.  Indie games don't really have an equivalent of Nintendo Power today.  Most reviewers focus on big budget games and Metacritic scores of indie games often don't get enough reviews.  There are indie review sites out there, but I certainly haven't found one that is comprehensive and well organized.  Nintendo Indy Directs aren't really that great either.  When I look back and these Directs and compare them to the Indie games that people really enjoy, there isn't a large overlap.

So, the current gaming atmosphere is not the worse it's ever been, but it's really not great either.  There is a very large room for improvement.  If you go back to the 80's and 90's you would see the most innovative games were getting some the biggest budgets at the time too.  Now gaming is kind of split.  The big budget games are low novelty, and the low budget indie games are where the innovation is.  There is a decent chance that this will actually lead to indie games becoming more popular, but they aren't there yet.  There aren't good tools yet to draw people's attention to the good indie games and away from the bad ones.  Overall, I'd say that this is not a great era for gaming, but it shows a lot of promise for the future.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 10 July 2022

Modern games generally have 3 problems

1) too big. Quantity is not better than quality.

2) open world, a design that works for some games, but is being forced in too many games.  When forced the entire game is bland and generic.

3) too much narrative. I don't need constant stop in playing for worthless chatters. Too many developers think they are Shakespeare... they aren't.

Games in the 90s were better.  Focused, sharp, original and actually put gameplay first.  



The_Liquid_Laser said:

The main problem with the indie scene is accessibility.  Most indie games do not have a physical version available.  However, what is worse is that there are really not great ways to find the good indie games.  There are too many, and it can take a while for the cream to rise to the top.  My favorite era for gaming was actually the late 80's (because I live in the US).  Not only was innovation at an all time high in this era, but we had a magazine called Nintendo Power.  This did a pretty good job of steering people toward the great games and away from the turds.  Indie games don't really have an equivalent of Nintendo Power today.  Most reviewers focus on big budget games and Metacritic scores of indie games often don't get enough reviews.  There are indie review sites out there, but I certainly haven't found one that is comprehensive and well organized.  Nintendo Indy Directs aren't really that great either.  When I look back and these Directs and compare them to the Indie games that people really enjoy, there isn't a large overlap.

Nintendo Power also focused on the big titles or preselected smaller titles.

My tip: use the SteamDB-search, even for Xbox-, PlayStation- and Switch-games... since almost all "commercial" indie games are also on Steam.
(itch.io has also a lot of free indie games that aren't on Steam, some of them very nice, but most of them only very short experiences.)

Now over 70,000 Steam games, almost 40,000 DLCs and some other stuff are listed, sorted by SteamDB-rating:

Now let's filter away for the content you are searching for. The most important filters if you are searching for new games are tags, type, SteamDB rating and release year.

But other filters can also help to find the games you want (f.e. if you want/need support of your native language, if you are on a budget or if you want a specific feature like "full controller support" or if you want to exclude VR games):

For example, I'm a huge fan of point&click adventures (my favorite niche genre) and I want a new good one of 2020 or newer.

So I set the type "game" (which excludes DLCs and other additional content like soundtracks), choose the tags "adventure" and "point & click" and the release years "2020", "2021" and "2022", SteamDB rating should be 70 or better:

This gives me 517 results with many games I already have or are alreeady on my wishlist.
To filter out these games, just check the boxes (the number of search results don't get adjusted by that)

Now I have the search results (of games I don't already have or wishlisted) neatly sorted by SteamDB rating. By placing the mouse cursor over the row of a game, an info box opens on the left. Especially the animated GIF is very helpful to check if you like the style of the game:

Of course you can bookmark your search settings for your next search or to send the URL to a friend: https://steamdb.info/instantsearch/?refinementList%5Btags%5D%5B0%5D=Point%20%26%20Click&refinementList%5Btags%5D%5B1%5D=Adventure&refinementList%5BappType%5D%5B0%5D=Game&refinementList%5BreleaseYear%5D%5B0%5D=2022&refinementList%5BreleaseYear%5D%5B1%5D=2021&refinementList%5BreleaseYear%5D%5B2%5D=2020&range%5BuserScore%5D=70%3A

Now you can select the games you are interested in (I prefer the middle mouse button to open them in new browser tabs).

On these pages there are A LOT of additional informations for the selected games, with the button "Store" you get to the Steam Store page and can check individual reeviews of the game:

On the Steam page of the selected game you have several options to filter reeviews for the most helpful one's:

The combination of the SteamDB-search and review filters is a mighty tool to find the games you want, much better for indie gamees than Nintendo Power ever was.