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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...

So:

Is this the case??

Discuss.
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Hmmm, usually for first-person view different set of hands is displayed, well maybe except for those games where you can see your body from chest and lower.
Thus, your eye height are not limited by your character's height. 
 
The last title I worked on was FOV 75, but for a few weeks the default got changed to 90 mistakenly

More like "it started at 75 mistakenly". 
 
Someone should plot revenue against FOV or number of available settings. 
Replies... 
#26 posted by DaZ

All that makes a lot of sense yes.


Nothing in game dev is simple. That "one simple tweak" doesn't fucking exist.

Surely the "save point after a cutscene instead of before it" tweak fucking exists ;).


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).

I play with FOV90 in Quake games and try to get FOV80-90 in modern FPS. Is that okay? I'm personally not that hung up about FOV, it's just one example of user-friendliness.


#37 posted by Daya

All that makes a lot of sense yes. I think some complexity can come from giving the player options and see what they can do with them (more on that later). 
Some Newer Games With Old Skool Qualities. 
Throwing this out there...

Dark Souls series - Daz can justify this one. I think they went too far with no difficulty/save settings, but then again if there was an actual PC release I might even find out.

STALKER series - another one for Daz.

Mad Max - and one for Von (is this actually good with old skool qualities, or just good as a game?).

WOFLNTONTN - modern gfx and presentation, cutscenes, stronger story, NPCs etc. But the devs were pretty clear on having some old skool action, including lots of weapons (at once!) and getting you to do lots of shooting with them.

Dishonoured - not so modern GFX, a strong style / theme, and a really strong gameplay style with giving the player lots of combat options and route choices, and letting them get the fuck on with it. Not super-obviously "old skool action" style, more like old skool Deus Ex style "give the player tools and let them have fun rather than holding their fucking hand all the time".

Left 4 Dead / 2 - Partly included because it just fucking WORKS. Great functionality all round, and pretty much just relentless killing things with little extra nonsense to get in the way of that.

RAGE - bear with me on this one. As discussed in Func the other night, this *could* have been a flagship classic FPS for the recent gaming age (but wasn't). Great gfx - check. Stunning locations - check. Good weapons - check. Decent enemy - check. Solid FPS gameplay - check. NPCs and story that didn't get in the way much - check. BUT.... Driving stuff thrown in so Id could pretend to be innovating - uh HUH. A bit too linear - uh HUH. Not quite visceral enough - uh HUH. Ending that disappeared up it's own arse - uh HUH (this falls into the bloody obvious things to fix category too). So this was almost there but the clear old skool qualities (shoot ugly monsters in cool environments) were partly unfulfilled and partly obscured.

There may be others.... 
Shambs 
I play with FOV90 in Quake games and try to get FOV80-90 in modern FPS. Is that okay? I'm personally not that hung up about FOV, it's just one example of user-friendliness.

It's not about what value of FOV is "ok", it's about the fact that it is variable. Others in this thread have given tons of examples how variable FOV has a knock-on effect on vast swathes of the game's visuals and functionality, and building all these systems and artwork with a variable FOV in mind adds complexity and overhead.

But what you are really asking is not for variable FOV, just that you want all games to have FOV 90.

A more interesting question to ask could be "why do modern FPS games choose to use an FOV of [X]?"

I'll leave others to weigh in on that. 
 
Low FOV makes camera rotation looks less like 3D rotation and more like 2D scrolling. Appeasing players whose brain is unable to think in terms of 3D spaces may have been another factor. 
Errr. 
But what you are really asking is not for variable FOV, just that you want all games to have FOV 90.

Nope. 
FOV 90 Doesn't Exist Anymore. 
"FOV 90" is the horizontal FOV of a 4:3 screen. The vertical FOV in Quake is around 72.

In widescreen monitors, the horizontal FOV is actually much larger, and the "90" number is just a fictional reference.

;) Just my two cents, to fuel the fire. 
Yeah 105 Or So Looks Right In WS To Me 
as compared to 90 for 4:3. 
 
Shambler wants variable FOV because he wants all gamers to be able to play with settings that suit their personal tastes. The fact that he prefers FOV 90 is neither here nor there.

There have been many explanations of why a variable FOV is difficult (or more accurately "inconvenient") for devs to implement, but that is still a decision taken by the dev to spend their time/money doing something else.

I think what must be one of the most galling things for a lot of non-dev players is seeing just how many millions of dollars go in to AAA games and then still having to put up with these perceived "compromises". 
 
FOV 90 Doesn't Exist Anymore

You know what I mean. "an FOV that is the same as what I play Quake and similar games with" 
 
I play most modern games at around 80 FOV because it feels closer to Quake. When I bump to 90 it feels like I am playing at 100 or 110 on Quake. 
 
Now, my opinion: You know what? The problem is the pursuit for realism.

The ammo boxes in Quake are huge. They look ridiculous when we walk into them with full ammo and the chasecam activated.

But the reason for this is not FOV; it's that the player must notice the ammoboxes at any costs. If they were realistically sized, they could be mistaken with environment detail, and this is a frequent problem with many FPSs since Half-Life. Who never had any bit of trouble finding exactly where a bullet clip was when leaving it on the ground and coming back for it later?

Screw absolute realism; realism should only matter where it isn't detrimental for gameplay. 
 
"There have been many explanations of why a variable FOV is difficult (or more accurately "inconvenient") for devs to implement"

Yes, redoing art and optimizing levels for random FOV values is ... inconvenient. :-/ 
21:9 
This FOV thing is going to get interesting as ultrawide monitors become more common. Surprisingly high number of games already support the 21:9 aspect ratio, at least ingame. Menus, cutscenes etc. often get pillarboxed into 16:9 (GTA V, Witcher 3)

Interestingly Fallout 4 deals with 21:9 pretty well, apart from UI element background shadings being detached and fat crosshairs (and pillarboxed main menu, but cares about that). 
Mankrip. 
Good post.

Can one balance out realism (I don't mean real world realism, I mean realism as per fantasy universe) with fast paced fun gameplay?? 
Shambler 
Of course. In 2D platformers, Giana Sisters' Twisted Dreams is a great example. The same approach is possible in 3D, but it seems that many devs don't try to do it.

But my experience with modern games is limited, I've been purchasing mostly single-dollar bundles. 
Ammo Boxes, Realism Etc. 
I agree that realism is often afforded too much importance in modern games, but then again you can also go too far the other way. For instance I never liked Quake 3's bouncing health balls, they felt like something out of a cartoony platformer. It's a sort of over-gamification, that often goes hand in hand with ultra-competitive games.

That brings me neatly on to the point that competitive gamers are often afforded a lot more flexibility in their game settings than gamers who go for more story-driven experiences. For instance, you can often switch between 3D and sprite-based pickups, turn graphical settings ridiculously low and indeed tweak your FOV. I guess this is because esports/deathmatch/etc is less about immersing the player in an imaginary world, so it doesn't matter so much if the art starts to look a bit wonky on extreme settings. 
 
Another problem that hasn't been mentioned is text and UI scaling on high dpi displays. Again, this is something that many games have no problems with while others are terrible.

It seems game devs all have perfect eyesight with super sharp monitors right in their face and never gave a thought to what things would look like on somebody's living room TV.

For example, the Fallout3/New Vegas games scale the UI fairly well at higher resolutions. On the other hand, Kerbal Space Program was apparently never intended for anything higher than 1024x768.

The tiny, dot matrix style KSP font is all but unreadable at 1920x1080 from 8 ft away on a 42" TV, and text windows shrink to such a small size, I have to walk over to the TV in order to have any hope of reading them. 
This Would Seem Out Of Place But 
Since we're talking about modern AAA gaming, I say it'll be nice to have limited regenerated health if we have to keep it while still having some tension.
Like, your health can only regenerates a total of two times by sucking up some sort of health-tanks you have on your body/armor, and you gotta pick health-tanks so your health can still regenerates when it has to.

Just throwing that out there. 
 
Apps are guilty of font issues as well. I'm looking at you, ZBrush. 
Remember When Deqer Had Font Troubles In Trenchbroom? 
Lol. LITERALLY AN ANTI-CUSTOMER PROGRAM! 
 
I played FEAR not too long ago. It had two font sizes, really, really small and just a tiny bit bigger. The new Shadowrun series has a high dpi text setting that works pretty good.

Lack of adequate text/UI scaling has been annoying me for a while. I usually end up playing older games at 1360x768 just so I can see stuff. Of course, older games often max out at 1024x768 anyway. 
Limited Health Regen. 
WOFLMAO did that. It would regen to the nearest 20%, so if you got knocked down to 47% it would go to 60%. Still kept the challenge up that way. 
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