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Modern Action Game Development: Is It DOOMed??
Split from Doom4 topic as I believe this is a pretty pertninent and passionate issue in it's own right.

All of us folks on func are passionate about some form of old skool gaming, right?? Almost certainly Quake / Doom and some their contemporaries, as well as tangential franchises such as Thief, System Shock, etc.

As such we have a pretty strong appreciation of what made those titles great (and often still great). Including but not limited to: User-friendliness, direct controls, simplicity, freedom of movement and exploration, fast paced action, atmosphere, purity of purpose, etc etc.

But also most of us have some passions about modern contemporary titles. Fallout4, Witcher3, Skyrim, XCom EU, Soma, Wolf TNO. Slick graphics (well okay not FO4...), cinematic presentation, strong stories, dialogue, cutscenes, RPG elements, specific missions etc etc.

(I'm skipping low budget indie games here but feel free to compare those if it's relevant)

Nevertheless, as per the Doom4 thread, I think there is a general feeling that games these days are missing the characteristics that made older games great, and that attempts to recapture those characteristics are incompatible with the demands of modern gamers AND the ethos of modern studios, and that attempts to blend old and new and especially remake or reboot old games are doomed...


Is this the case??

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Poop Shoots 
The issue as I see it is that games cost a fuck ton of money to make these days compared to the 90's, which means that there is a ton of risk involved in making something that breaks from the accepted mold of modern gaming standards.

Jill game designer loves old skool shooters and has painstaking spent years creating the sickest design doc ever for a modern old skool shooter. Jill shows it to the directors at her game studio and gets laughed out of the room because it isn't accessible enough and the demographic isn't large enough to cover the costs of AAA development. Jill cries, and goes back to work the next day on her run of the mill no-risk franchised console game like all the other game dev people who have awesome ideas but can't do them.


Every so often something fucky happens and a AAA game comes around which takes risks and does new and exciting things. The souls games are an utterly brilliant example of this. Razor focused on the hardcore gamer demographic, they are punishing and relentless - and utterly captivating. The STALKER series is another great example. I'm sure there are many others but my brain is shit right now.

Really, I think people are looking in the wrong places for real innovation if you are staring at the AAA bubble and ignoring the indie scene.

"Is it that hard to put in an FOV slider? That's not a snide remark, maybe it really is that hard, I don't know."

I hate hate hate tiny fixed FOV, but the honest answer to that is "yes"... or at least harder than it used to be, given the fancuer nature of game's presentation these dats.

Reminds me of 
(sorry for typos... that's what I get for typing one-handed while eating an apple) 
FOV affects more than people think. It's not just a number passed to OpenGL ... 
...those damned apples!

also, i think FOV is more complex than just affecting the camera. I've played some games where messing with the field of view introduced bugs. in some games, the bugs could be ignored (eg: gun model didn't have any polys at the back), but in others, they would make the game unpleasant to play (not quite unplayable, but unfun at least; eg: clicks don't line up, text on screen doesn't appear...). 
The Issue With Fov 
It is an art & performance problem, not just a player choice issue.

How many times have you seen a videogame where when you increase the fov using a hack or ini tweak the characters arms stop before they leave the screen, or other npc's don't interact with the player view properly, or the players hands don't reach the correct location when you use something. Etc etc. FOV is a right pita!

The performance thing is fairly obvious I should think. You can see more = the engine has to draw more = the engine gets slower at drawing things.

Then there is UI to consider. If the game uses in world ui drawn to an in-game model/plane (there is a fancy word for this that I've forgotten) then when you increase fov you can possibly make the entire ui unreadable or too far away.

Nothing in game dev is simple. That "one simple tweak" doesn't fucking exist. You increase the fov by 5 and suddenly the game runs at 10fps, characters shoot around at 900mph and your gun starts shooting body parts instead of bullets. Trust me, I checked! 
*Not a game dev, I just hear things

Good read, I think I've actually read that post before. The narrow FOV in Borderlands is actually what prevented me from playing it. It came to me highly recommended, but I just couldn't push past the FOV induced headache.

And, as I suspected, implementing a custom FOV has its own set of challenges. 
Yeah, imagine you're the artist whose level gets bounced because it hits an unacceptable frame drop in a couple of areas - but only when you have it on the highest FOV setting (that no-one but the Shamblers of this world are going to be playing with).

Multiply those sorts of situations by a thousand and you realise why devs prefer to have things like FOV fixed at a constant value. 
Multiply those sorts of situations by a thousand and you realise why devs prefer to have things like FOV fixed at a constant value.

Maybe taking a page out of CS:GO's book would be a reasonable solution. That is, have two FOV settings: narrow for people sitting on there couch and standard for people wanting to play at their desk without vomiting.

Devs get constant FOV value(s) and the players get at least some option. 
that no-one but the Shamblers of this world are going to be playing with

i find with these new wide screens, fov of about 100-105 is comfortable (and looks like old school 90 on 4:3s). 
I Think One Major Problem Is 
Developpers who are afraid their game would be uninteresting, so they clutter it with everything that would make the game "complex" on paper, whle it's the perfect way to make a mess of a game, much like what we see in AAA games today:
You can have an actual dev team whose publisher would let them do whatever they want, but because of the scale of the public or "fear" the game would be uninteresting, they think too "complexily" and thus the final game becomes a mess. The key thing then would be to have a free spirit, be down to earth, and focus on prioritizing as well as knowing what makes a good game in general ever since video games were a thing.
A perfect example of this is Square Enix: after the 2000s their FF games became a mess of too complex game designs and stories, and now people are more fond of Bravery Default than the recent FF games.

John Carmack said it himself anyway: complexity comes from the eyes of the player. Good game design does simple designs that naturally expands while still being simple, because the utter basis of the game, if done right, allows said simple design to expand, thus creating the illusion that it's "complex".

In fact, there's a recent video that talks about this:

Finally, I'd like to speculate Bioshcok Infinite went from this: to the final product we all know and love (lol) because Ken Levine got a panic attack during development because he doubted his game's quality, while he should've calmed down and continues on the path he set himself on. And we all know game development is quite a stressful situation to be in. 
Console Bullshit 
Maybe it's not always as easy to implement adjustable FOV (and similar things we 'take for granted'), but it's one of the main reasons games are perceived as being dumbed down in functionality and accessiblity compared to older games - regardless whether it's fact or just biased perception.

For example, playing Fallout 4 right now, I can confidently say that the restricted FOV (and awkward/unreliable way of trying to change it) is hampering my immersion considerably, almost to the point where it makes me dizzy. And that is despite the fact that the game already has a higher default setting than several others FPS games.
Is it the developers' "artistic vision" that the game should be played like this.... or is it just some bullshit tradeoff that has sadly become accepted over the years? Hell, I'd take a stretched, cut-off or distorted HUD any day if I could have a proper field of view in games like this, individually adjustable to user preference and system specs.
Incidientally, I also believe that, among a few other things, the restriction to low FOV settings is responsible for the decline in navigation skill of many players, and subsequently the need for constant handholding. How are you supposed to find your way around if you can only see a small fraction of the scene.... but at least more explosions and particles at a constant frame rate!!! 
...haven't even got around to Alien Isolation...

Don't bother, it is not worth the frustration it inflicts on the player. At least, don't pay more than $5 for it, because there's an hour or so at the beginning where it's okay for looking around. 
Fov Shit 
extreme low FOV might be a cheap hack to solve every FPS problem

no, it isn't. please listen to the devs in this thread when they tell you it isn't.

The last title I worked on was FOV 75, but for a few weeks the default got changed to 90 mistakenly, and unfortunately it coincided with me beginning to focus on one map. I had to redo a lot of the work I did in those three weeks, because I was making everything way too huge. Props were all scaled wrong, and when I fixed that they had acres of empty space around them because the room was too big so brushwork had to be torn up too. This is why the characters in Kingpin and RTCW were all fat-limbed gorillas, and why characters in UT have tiny heads and huge feet: assets made for one FOV look completely wrong at another. 15 degrees severely affect the way the art and environments look, but it changes the game not at all.

the restriction to low FOV settings is responsible for the decline in navigation skill of many players, and subsequently the need for constant handholding

But not for you. You're better than everyone else, because you play at fov90 like a man.

There is so much self-congratulation in this thread. You guys label your tastes "hardcore" as a means of elevating them above everyone else's, so you feel justified when you whine that an entire medium doesn't cater to you any more. 
FOV Confusion 
But not for you. You're better than everyone else, because you play at fov90 like a man.

Is this in response to that specific post/this thread or to people who prefer a higher FOV in general?

I don't use a FOV when I can because it causes my e-peen to swell, but because I pretty much have too, otherwise I just get instant headaches and have trouble negotiating the map because I'm disoriented.

I would venture to guess that this is why most people use a higher FOV. There's nothing 'hardcore' about it.

As I said, I'm not sure if this is a straw-man to discredit those who prefer higher FOV or just commentary on certain rhetoric in this particular thread. 
I don't think "adjustable" FOV is all that necessary, maybe over a narrow range, but the default setting needs to be somewhat realistic.

75 degrees is like having blinders on. 90-100 usually seems pretty natural to me. I've seen people play Quake at 110-120 and that looks way too distorted for me.

I'd guess normal vision is probably somewhere around 120 degrees or more, but much of that is peripheral and doesn't count for much. 
I don't personally have any issue with FOV in modern games, but it's definitely true that some people experience negative physical reactions from narrow FOV in some games. I have friends who literally cannot play recent first-person games because it gives them headaches. I totally sympathize with the developer's perspective�it simply may not be possible to accommodate everyone's preferences and needs given the immense technical complexity of 3D game design these days�but these gaps are there, and they're not *totally* due to personsal bias or misplaced nostalgia. 
Provocatively phrased on my part. But low FOV does tend to make games feel wrong for me, especially on a widesceen monitor. And I'm not talking about some pr0 gamer fov 200 thing. Something about moving the mouse but not seeing as much as one should normally. Or maybe I should sit three meters away from the sceen...

Is there a middle ground? Allowing people to change the settings to their liking at their own risk. Though, admittedly, this would get other people to complain as well. 
I play games almost exclusively on a standard 42" 1920x1080 TV. For me, 90 degrees is just barely acceptable. 
And why can't games get mouselook right? Seems like most are fine, but some make it feel like you're dragging the camera through syrup. I dunno, is that somebody's dumbass concept of how to add "realism"? 
the weird games are the ones where y sensitivity is lower than x.

luckily most games let you invert the y axis these days. for a while there seemed like very few games did and you had to get all kinds of weird IO hack programs to invert the axis globally. 
Shambler with an awesome, provocative thread. Lunaran with another awesome post. Fov 90, like a man! 
Lunaran, Okay 
but how can you know it for sure? Even if last title you worked on had different reasons for having low FOV (btw, what was it?) that doesn't mean every other title glues binoculars to player's head for that same reason.

As developer you know that for first-person view world has to be somewhat larger to look right. Roughly 130% scale for FOV ~90.
But! While everything else looks almost correct, other characters appear tiny. Especially noticeable while observed character stands in a doorway (q3, ut etc).

You can scale other characters. Now they and world look fine until you get close to a monster or npc and notice that you are a midget. Your eye sight would be around his chest level.

Well, crap. Lets raise player camera. Same height with other characters and they appear appropriate height. Solves everything, right?

With described changes world appears too small. Upper part of a doorway visually scrapes you head now.

You can never have appropriate scale of player, other characters and world at the same time in FPS game, unless using VR helmet.

I was having Fallout4 in mind in previous comment. I guess they decided to go with later way, since they have a lot of NPC's wondering around.
It appears kind of logical to try and solve remaining problem (world seems too small) with low FOV. 
The scale problem is something of a weird issue ... if I remember correctly, it has to do with the players eye height actually being in their chest so that the gun lines up in a useful way for aiming. So, really, you're fucked from the start. 
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