I played a very old game and i loved it

i don't know if you guys know the Broken Swords game (i think you can downlod it at abandonware-france.org -- yeah, i'm french by the way) . It's an adventure game made by revolution studios, a london-based company. i think it was released in 1997, so it's quite old. there are some cut scenes but the gameplay is centered around guiding (it's mouse-based) a guy named georges stobbard.

well, that was a great adventure that made me say "waoaww, that was way too cool" and makes me a bit dreamy. lots of travelling around europe, action scenes, great story, rhytm, lots of talking of course, cheesy jokes and a cool character.

i think it is one of the best games i played, even if the screen resolution&graphics looks *bad* compared to today's superior special effects.

that makes me into thinking about the "performance race" i am seeing nowdays. i am not saying cheesy 3D graphics are bad, but if a gamer has some kind of superior gaming experience with plain old graphics, why spend millions on graphics engines and super-sized photo-realistic textures ?

i mean, i think nowdays game designers focus too much on technical aspects of their game. they 'd say they want 500k + polygons and lens flare and everything without thinking first about the gameplay and the EXPERIENCE the game is going to give to the kid or guy playing at the other end. on this forum for example, there is this maitrek guy who says far cry is not a game. i agree with him because now i just feel 3d fps games are just technical applications showing how good the developers' 3d engine is.

so maybe people working in the game industry should consider themselves as entertainers, creators and artists than technical developers. they should aim to entertain gamers and give them an experience. maybe try to express some kind of personal vision. exactly like creating a movie or writing a book.

in fact, i'd like one day to be in an industry that has the same objectives ( and coolness) as the film industry, with a different medium. making memorable and breath taking products. not just some kind of quick-fix-and-throw-away-technical-products.

codyalday's picture

I am hearing you. I would rather prefare Game Play then Graphics. How many times have you Played Call of Duty, and stopped and thought, " Wow, this looks nice " unlikely, you will be to busy playing as the Game Play is Good.
Anyways, I have Played Broken Sword, The Shadow of Templers, really good game. Just a tip, watch out for that damn goat.

bullet21's picture

I believe maitrek said far cry is not a game because, not becuase it lacks gameplay, but it makes you a nervous wreck while you are playing, whereas games are meant to be fun. I agree about gameplay over Gfx, remember that old game Shadow Knights, that would have to be one of my all time favourite games.

But still i'm sure you can achieve both gfx and gameplay, sure it is a lot harder thing to come by these days but it can be done. A few games are the Final Fantasy series they had gfx and gameplay and Hitman, i also wreckon Farcry achieved it as well, that's why it made you so nervous cos you were so involved.

Although i would like to see gameplay be taken more serious as well, I still love my gfx and so do a lot of other people, that's why they go out and by $1000 video cards, that's why there is such a gfx race betwwen Nvidia and ATI.

Blitz's picture

A game not being a game because it isn't fun is kinda silly imo. You wouldn't call a movie not a movie because you didn't laugh or anything, games as well as movies are designed to evoke all sorts of different emotions. They exist to entertain their audience, give them an experience they don't have in their everyday routine etc.
1997 is an old game! Now you're even making me feel like an old man :P
Oh, and btw, graphics and licenses sell more games than good gameplay.
No-one would pay $89.95 for monkey island these days, because it just doesn't look up to scratch.
CYer, Blitz

bullet21's picture

There's also no real way of measuring gameplay. In a magazine when you read a review, the writer might say it's gameplay is good, but it's his opinion. But graphics can be measured, everyone knows a good looking zombie or night elf when they see one, where as gameplay is all matter of opinion. Seeing as a lot of people purchase games on reviews, this might also be an explanation for why game developers are going for graphics these days.

Wizenedoldman's picture

Reading the title of the thread I expected you talk about something like Wizball or Pong, not a game from 1997 ;) Guess it's just funny what some people term 'really old'.

unknownuser2's picture

Yeah what would people class, Barbarian ? and Pitfall ? maybe Hunchback ? Ghost'n'Goblins ?

Blunt Instrument Studios's picture

quote:


1997 is an old game! Now you're even making me feel like an old man :P

being in the computer industry where the chips are supposed to double their power, i think 1997 is quite old. the games nowdays cannot just be compared to (at all) to the games made 7 years ago.

quote:


Oh, and btw, graphics and licenses sell more games than good gameplay.

i don't really know the games market, but let's just take the example of blizzard
these guys prefer to make a game with a perfect gameplay, true story and a great ambiance. and they are not afraid to release it monthS later. i remember they had the capacity to make warcraft 3 full 3d with full camera control for the gamer and they just dropped it. they also have 5 races at the beginning and they dropped it because it was too much elements for the gamers and didn't bring nothing worthwile for the gaming experience.

did they sell the games ? yeah, sure i think they are among the best selling studios out there. they sell their copies with a minimum of 3 millions copies each. and they still do.

gameplay&story is also important because it builds fidelity. i tried one day warcraft2. it made such an impression on me that i just had to buy diablo and warcraft 3 when they got out, knowing i'll get qaulity games with great story. there are millions of gamers who behaves like me out there.

for bullet21, i also want to say that good gameplay didn't stop them to make great graphics, so yeah a game company can do good gfx but they definetly have to emphasize the gameplay&experience of the game

bullet21's picture

quote:


i just had to buy diablo and warcraft 3 when they got out, knowing i'll get qaulity games with great story

And some of the most kick arse, best looking orgasmatic cut scenes you will ever see. Shit, i'd buy blizard games just for the cut scenes. They should release a DVD ;)

palantir's picture

7 years ago really isn?t that old ? it?s just not current, that?s all. Like Hazard said, stuff from the 80?s, now that?s old! [:)].

With your WarCraft example, I?ll just point out that they are nearing completion of World of WarCraft, which will be a stunning 3D technical achievement, yet will still probably have great game play. - So even Blizzard try to make visually impressive games.

2xp, you commented about developers spending millions on graphics, without worrying too much about game play. As Blitz pointed out, it?s because graphics is what sell games, and making money is what it?s all about. It?s like the film industry with their special effects ? if a movie looks incredible it will do well at the box office, though if it also has a great story it will do even better.

It?s not like game developers aren?t concerned about making good game play, of course they want the best possible end-product, though sometimes unfortunately the end product isn?t as fun as they were hoping.

BTW, I think the main point of maitrek?s Farcry thread was that the game is more like a sport then a game, where the focus is on achieving a goal instead of plain old fun.

You know, those old games that have ?superior? game play were once the cutting edge of graphics too, and back then some people used to complain that the graphics were too much the focus and there should be more focus on game play. :P

People will always complain about lack of focus on game play, but personally I don?t think it?s a very sensible argument. Getting back to the movie analogy, it?s like saying that movie producers mainly worry about special effects and don?t care enough about the story. Of course they want an engaging story, just as game developers want a fun game, but the effects or graphics are a necessary part of the production, and often end up being better then the story or game play. But that doesn?t mean attention wasn?t given to making an entertaining movie or game, it just turned out that the movie wasn?t very interesting, or the game wasn?t very fun.

Most games are actually pretty fun to play, though different types of games appeal to different people. In the end, it?s all about personal preference. If you play enough games, guaranteed you?ll find a high-tech modern game that is the most fun game you?ve ever played. The technology is just a necessary part of the game.

Wizenedoldman's picture

quote:


Shit, i'd buy blizard games just for the cut scenes. They should release a DVD ;)

Not sure if you meant the wink to be 'as if they would' or 'I know, they already have', because yes, they have released a DVD with a collection of their cutscenes. I'm sure you could poke around the Blizzard site to find it.

Maitrek's picture

Broken Sword is definitely not 'old' however it is certainly dated :)

quote:


these guys prefer to make a game with a perfect gameplay, true story and a great ambiance.

I would have to totally disagree with that...I'm not going to go completely into it - perhaps we are just caught up in nomenclature - but 'perfect' gameplay is complete bollocks, especially when talking about Blizzard. Blizzard do not make 'perfect' gameplay. What they do excessively well is make very balanced, very accessible games. I wouldn't say that their recent sequels (Diablo 2, Warcraft 3) have had anywhere near the broad impact that their predecessors have - in fact I think Blizzard have basically just cornered a market and are now hammering it to death.

This is because they are over-complicating the games, and over-specialising (something that I see alot of across the board in modern games - how often does a brilliantly simple entertaining game come out these days).

And for all those not exactly sure what I was going on about with the whole Farcry post, I'm getting to explaining that in full :)

As for Broken Sword? Well, I wouldn't say it's anything outstanding either - it does do what it does very smoothly and effectively and it's quite accessible. I have alot of disdain for 'adventure' games even though I loved them, it's foolish to think that they are going to be successful in these times because they are simply a too restrictive form of game - I'm not just talking graphically, but interfaces have developed, NPC technology has developed, AI has developed. To go all the way back to a linear story, with some clicking to interrupt it, would just be daft.

Now, as for the whole focussing on graphics more than gameplay? I agree with everyone else, there's no sense in the argument, graphics can't make gameplay WORSE so there's no reason that they shouldn't be as polished as possible. What does suck is how lazy game designers are. How come we haven't developed our game design mechanisms to allow for greater experiences? We just can't blame the graphics tech for that one, it's purely the designers fault.

souri's picture

I love old games as well - most of the games from the 8bit and 16bit era are simple and have a quick pick up and play quality to them. I guess this is why a lot of them translate well to the Game Boy Advance. Maybe because of the quick turn around, or perhaps publishers were more open on what's released because of the smaller budgets, but there were lots of game ideas that were explored in 2d back then too. Many ideas which are worth looking at for inspiration...

There were, however, tonnes of old games that were extremely crap and I'm sure there was a large ratio of bad games to good ones back then. I definately played a lot of crap games in the 80's [:)]. But the really good old games will be fun and playable forever!

And yeh, I played Farcry at my friends a while ago.. having a rocket hit you from a far away boat, getting machine gunned by the damn helicopters, or being sniped from 5kms away gets annoying [:)].

lsdod's picture

Gameplay VS Graphics is an age old debate. And i think its a pretty common consenus amongst gamers that gameplay always wins hands-down.

However, its obviously about the complete experience. Doesn't matter the silghtest bit what each aspect of the game is like. If the total package makes you want to keep playing and playing, its a winner.

That said, someone who has just forked out $500 for the latest & greatest video card, probably wants a game to show it off. Ultimately, you want a game to excel in as many areas as possible and most importantly, have an overal positive effect on you.

Sometimes games seem to have brilliant graphics, ai, gameplay, etc. But something is lacking, call it spirit if you want, but basically, no-one enjoys playing this game. This happens. No one aspect of a game can define whether or not its good.

A good game is so because a majority of people who play it, come back for more.

The thing I find with old games though, is while sometimes they can be very strong in what I call "spirit" and I can certainly look past dated graphics, but unfortunately often what happens is that if a game of the old days was good, then many newers games have incorporated its best elements into a more complete package. So it can be hard to find an old game that is both great, but also hasn't got a newer/better clone.

But there will always be some oldies, that will remain the kings of their genres. Especially something like a 2d-platformer, because that genre has died off, to play the best 2d platformer, chances are you'll be playing an old game. Same with text adventure games, point-click adventure games, etc.