Improving Graphics Makes For "Shallow" Games
Richard "Lord British" Garriott, Ultima developer-turned-social gaming boss, has slammed the current state of the console market - suggesting that there's probably only one more generation left before mobile and social games overtake their living room brethren. On top of that, the need for increasingly pretty games is apparently stifling creativity and depth. We're "fundamentally doomed," I tell you. Doomed!
Or maybe not. Click through to read Lord British's latest bombshell in full.
Speaking to IndustryGamers, Garriott makes his case for consoles nearing their last generation - and why mobile gaming is bound to overtake it.
I think we might get one more generation [of consoles], might, but I think fundamentally they’re doomed. I think fundamentally the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we’ve thought of as a console.
I play most of my games now on my iPhone and my iPad. In the last two years I’ve found more games that I’ve put way more hours into playing as a player than I have in any other period of my life. So I’m very excited about the new era, I’m a big believer in this new era, but it is very early on in this evolution, so there’s still a lot of work to do.
Improving graphics and high visual expectations for new games is apparently also holding us back. Garriott believes that each new advance is followed by shallow, vapid but beautiful games - and only periods of stability allow developers to focus on gameplay over style.
There are also major moments of technological improvement. Things like going from floppy disk to hard drives, the invention of 3D graphics processors, the emergence of the Internet to connect people together.
As soon as there’s one of those big technological upheavals, I’ll say, the emergence of the CD drive. Immediately the graphic quality of the way you would draw your hallways and corridors in a simple first-person shooter became so much more beautiful that the game design, it allowed a great-selling game to be nothing more than a run-around-the-maze-and-shoot-things. It went back to its simplest form again, you didn’t need the depth.
Every one of these inflection points resets gameplay back to where games are very shallow, but much more beautiful than they ever were before. But to a person who appreciates the art form of computer games, it’s during those periods of stability of the platform that force developers to compete not just on my game looks better than yours, but my game is more interesting than yours.
Actually, we agree with him on that point. Just look at most historic launch titles. He makes an interesting argument, and you can read more through the link. However, as far as "doomed" consoles are concerned, we'd love to get your feedback!