It must have been amazing to see tech develop at the time, only four years between Pole Position and Outrun.
Also, the best game of the list is Metroid, but my favourite is Bubble Bobble.
It was. In fact it kind of spoiled me. Not only were the technological leaps amazing at the time, but the improvements in game design were massive. We went from Pitfall to Super Mario Bros in 3 years. Keep in mind that SMB has power ups, pipes, hidden vines, warp zones, swimming, etc... while Pitfall was really just running in a straight line in the jungle. It wasn't just tech, the design behind SMB was massively ahead of Pitfall. Fast forward today, and Super Mario Wonder still has the same base design as SMB 1, just with a few improvements here and there.
Too me, gaming has been advancing at a snail's pace after the 80's, and that pace just gets slower with every decade. I want more games that feel like going from Skyward Sword to Breath of the Wild, because in the 80's lots of games were doing this sort of thing and in a short period of time too.
Well, we are at a different place now. A lot of gameplay ideas have been laid out. Still, I think the industry is too complacent and risk averse. They could indeed try out new concepts - even at the price of being initially not very successful. Although Splatoon (which albeit being a shooter like a lot others was very much trying new stuff) is indeed also successful from the beginning.
In the indie area we see the experimenting needed though. Let me see, rogue is a game from 1980, which gameplay is copied a lot. But there was a lot of deviation in gameplay over the years. Diablo which was clearly made as a rogue clone first changed simply from turn-based to action. But in more modern times we have the introduction of improving stats between runs. Which seems now a defining feature of what people call roguelike , even though the original rogue didn't have that. Another interesting case is Dwarf Fortress. It inspired a million colony sims by now, but here we see a lot of experimenting with the gameplay formula. Minecraft took parts of the experience and moved it to first person (and full 3D representation). Rimworld concentrated on the player with narrators. The gameplay really switches up by turning it into runs (like a roguelike) with Against the Storm. And a recent game I play a lot takes Dwarf Fortress, goes a bit into the run direction, although you can tend to a base long. But it adds elements from god games like Populous and from Tower Defense into the formula, which makes for a really different gameplay experience. It is Rise to Ruins. We have more games trying deduction in different ways, notably here is Obra Dinn. We have games that use gather resources and crafting to set up a shop with it like Dave the Diver. All these ideas and variations of gameplay ideas help bring the needed innovation.
So yeah, we probably don't see the big jumps in game design anymore, as a lot of ground is already covered, but still there is room to experiment, yet the AAA space is too risk averse to explore it. A good thing to experiment with seems to be to mix up gameplay. Adding run based gameplay (aka rogue elements) to another game formula seems to be popular. Another good thing to try is turn-based vs. real-time. In strategy and RPGs both are explored, but in other games? How would a turn-based Jump&Run or shooter work for instance? Or a racer? Could be interesting to explore that.
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