Game Evolution Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Game Evolution RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The evolution of games - and why it sucks Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:40:01 -0400 Engela Snyman

With the recent addition of DOOM 2016, a very disturbing pattern is forming concerning the evolution of games. They aren't evolving, they're stagnating --or at worst, they're devolving. This is of course subjective opinion, but there is some proof in the proverbial pudding.

Let's look the four stages in the evolution of games in order to understand where we're headed with reboots and re-imaginings like the recently released DOOM:

The First Game in the Series

We know that usually the first title of any series is where developers and designers put a lot of effort and heart into their game. They make a point of 'putting their best foot forward' because they want the game to succeed. 

Most games showcase this quite well: think ICO, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, the first Mario game, first Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront and so forth. These games, although not always perfect, gave us enough to keep us interested.

Second Game: More Content, Better Graphics

The first thing that most developers do with the second game is add more. Coders and programmers are usually excited by the prospect of 'giving the players what they want' and to give them what they couldn't in the first title. Think Silent Hill 2, Shadow of the ColossusDOOM II  or Star Wars Battlefront II.

Third Game: Better Graphics, Same Content

Around this time, it seems like developers get lazy, while players demand more of what they always get. So designers don't dare try anything new. As gamers, we have a lot of sway in what designers will give us. And the more we scream, yell, beg, or demand, the more the face of gaming will change.

Think about DOOM 2016. It's not a bad game, that's not what I am saying, I love the game, but it does stagnate. It offers nothing new really. It's just another DOOM game with better graphics.

Fourth Game: Even Better Graphics, Less Content

And here we hit the current evolution in games. They are dying in their content -- giving less and less to the gamer in order to cater to a broader audience. The end result is older games are better than the newer crop, which really shouldn't be happening. 

Examples would be World of Warcraft Cataclysm, Skyrim or Star Wars Battlefront III.

Dragon Age would be a good example. Dragon Age: Origins was focused on tactics, a lot of choices in character design and up 100 hours of game-play. Dragon Age II was stripped of most of the character customization, RPG elements, and was made overall a lot more flashy.

Why is this happening?

Because gamers are lazy. Think about like this: you only have so many hours in the day, you want to use the few you have to do something entertaining, and that you enjoy. You enjoy games, so you look for games that are easy to learn. Cue ever single horror game ever.

 Every day we find new ways to make gaming easier, simpler, more streamlined and 'better' for a younger generation to get into. Take the concept of VR -- we don't even need to hold a controller anymore.

Horror games are still simplistic in nature; the less you can do, the better. The moment you have to think too much, it tends to pull you out of the dark atmosphere and spookyness of the game. You don't want steep learning curves, you want to enjoy yourself now. And this concept is sliding its way into other games.

The idea is so ingrained in us that when we see a horror game (and you can apply this to FPS/MMO/Strategy), we usually already know how to play it - this is the death of innovation. These themes – amnesia, zombies, hospitals, creepy pictures, light, missing kids – are rehashed to such an extent it is getting laughable. 

Will it change?

No, not unless we do something about it. And with the way things look now, gamers don't want to do anything about it. RPGs are being streamlined, strategy games are dumbing down the strategy, themes are being rehashed to death, and every teenager and his three-eyed cat is a coder.

There really is no point in fighting it. Just close your eyes and let the river of devolution take you away to your simplistic mindless happy place -- dumbed-down gameplay and all. 

Rockstar Games' GTAO: Gameplay Video and Previews Revealed! Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:28:21 -0400 PencilPusha

This morning, shared their first round of gameplay video (which was virtually non-viewable for a while since everyone and their mother decided to get on the site at the same time) and previews of their newest GTA project, Grand Theft Auto Online (GTAO). The title itself is enough to shock and amaze any Grand Theft Auto fan! It's refreshing to know that while we're all waiting for Grand Theft Auto 5 to come out, there's something else even more astounding in the works! Oh Rockstar Games, you spoil us...

So according to, 

"[16 gamers can share] gameplay features, geography and mechanics with Grand Theft Auto V, but will continue to expand and evolve after its launch with new content created by Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto community."

How cool is that?! went on to say that gamers will still have...

"fundamental concepts such as freedom, ambient activity and mission-based gameplay and makes them available to multiple players in an incredibly detailed and responsive online world."


So it sounds like a regular Grand Theft Auto game, but you can do everything you could do in the traditional games online with up to 16 other people! Wow. And "all with the personality and refined mechanics of Grand Theft Auto V", as worded it. So I guess it should be referred to as GTAVO? Nah, too many letters... also added that...

"players can invest in their character through customizing their appearance, improving their stats, owning customized vehicles, purchasing personal property, and taking part in missions, jobs and activities to earn reputation and cash to open up new opportunities to rise through the criminal ranks. The world of Grand Theft Auto Online will constantly grow and change as new content is added, creating the first ever persistent and dynamic Grand Theft Auto game world."

How cool is that?!

The best part? "Access to Grand Theft Auto Online is free with every retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V and launches on October 1st", according to October can't get here fast enough!

So how will this differ from the past GTA games we've all enjoyed up 'til now? Well it seems as though GTAO will be an extension of the GTAV entity and then some. There's more detail in every aspect of the game, you can create and destroy this time around,  there will be more people involved (like how Call of Duty operates), and it will still be a great addition to the same old GTA series we've known and loved for years.

I'm still unsure if we can make our own characters - if I read Rockstar Games' GTAO Q&A page correctly, I think we only get to play as Trevor, Michael or Franklin. And that's okay because that's the way GTA has always been!

If you want to check out more about GTAO, log on to

*Special note: Keep in mind that all the past GTA games, and most of Rockstar Games' stuff in general, have been rated M for Mature (like we adults pay attention to that), so if you parents out there have young children who are old enough to understand things like profanity and adult content and you'd rather not have them play or watch you play something like this, take charge! 'Cause let's face it - if a kid wants it, they'll find a way to get their hands on it via older friends, neighbors or "more understanding/lenient relatives". Remember parents, you're the boss. And kids, do what your parents say because they know best! Stop getting Rockstar Games into trouble!

Indie Horror Games: The Tester Series? Thu, 20 Jun 2013 21:48:58 -0400 Post_Mortem

Did Indie Horror Games Serve More of a Purpose than just Entertainment?

Ever since the introduction of Slender: The Eight Pages game, the indie game marketplace has been flooded with first person horror-genre games. It was clear that once the Slender achieved an almost cult-like following, people realized that their own horror style game ideas could very easily become popular; there was now a clear desire for this type of game. Not only that, but this form of game was very easy to create, using game engines such as Unity3D and UDK.

However, now we see that although many indie horror games are coming, AAA titles are starting to get pumped out of studios with budgets FAR beyond that of an indie studio. Seeing this trend made me think that these indie horror games are almost the beta phase of new game genre concepts. This may allow gamers like myself to predict what may come down the pipeline from larger studios.

So What Kind of Titles Are We Looking at Now?

Well, thanks to E3, there are a number of survival-suspense and survival-horror games coming soon. One game that really caught my eye was Outlast. The style is a first person camera view, without the ability to fight the evil that is chasing you. I'm very excited about this game and I can't help but imagine that it was likely influenced by many of the popular indie games that have been coming out. After all, before this FPS horror indie craze, there were very few mainstream horror games in general willing to take risks. Sure you could look at Dead Space, but the vast majority of the games at the time were still time tested styles.

So Why Do I Care?

I guess what I am getting at with showing the connection between popular indie game mechanics, and the big studios following suit, is that indie games play a very important part in the video game evolution chain. Whether or not the developers at indie studios or big name studios realize, the indie community is incredibly important. 

Because indie develops tend to have far less to lose if their game is a flop, they are much more willing to try something new and exciting that hasn't been seen by many. The best part about video games is that virtually anything can be done, because the developers are essentially gods of their own world.

However, if the indie community was less inclined to explore new and innovative mechanics, many of the large budget video games would be very lack luster. Certainly game giants such as EA or Blizzard would argue that they lead innovation in the next gen games. But their innovation stands on the shoulders of the indie games that tried the mechanics and ideas before them.

My message is that every gamer, casual or hardcore, should keep a close eye on the indie development scene. These games often point to what is coming next. By playing these new and innovative games, you are shaping the evolution of gaming. Although games like Son of Nor, or Paranormal, may not have the newest cutting edge graphics, but the mechanics and game styles that they experiment with are changing how we game and allow us a blurred glimpse into what may be in store for our community at large.

Indie for life!