"Gears of War has Zero Innovation"

doihaveto wrote:

Procedural content is super-difficult. Now designers can't manipulate the content directly to get the feel they want, they have to manipulate the algorithms that generate the content and try to get the feel they want.

The extra level of indirection makes it hard, unless 1. the system is transparently easy to use, or 2. the users have very clear understanding of how the generation algorithms work. In practice, systems that are being continuously developed satisfy neither requirement. :(

I don't doubt that pc is not yet 'there'. Still, there are ways of avoiding the described issues. Generating the content during the development stage and saving it in a conventional format to allow manipulation of the output, for one.
All said and done, no significant savings will occur with any technology as long as it's not been established as a standard. Let's see where it'll be in two to four years.

I think there just isn't enough reason -- advances in texture processing and storage capacity take care of this from a designers perspective. If they want a hallway to look a certain way, an artist somewhere has to draw it. If that can then be procedurally derived, or just dropped out as a bunch of textures, i doubt the developer cares much, unless it costs him less, speeds up the process, or makes something new possible without any new requirements from the end user.

I have restarted this game 3 times for Co-op with 3 different people. I just beat it for the first time last night. I have so far put probably 20 hours into the game (rediculous, I know) but I and a few others seem to be locked in a battle with our body's need for sleep and chainsawing bits into the early morning.

rabbit wrote:

I think there just isn't enough reason -- advances in texture processing and storage capacity take care of this from a designers perspective. If they want a hallway to look a certain way, an artist somewhere has to draw it. If that can then be procedurally derived, or just dropped out as a bunch of textures, i doubt the developer cares much, unless it costs him less, speeds up the process, or makes something new possible without any new requirements from the end user.

SpeedTree seems to have plenty of clients, but that's the only big success I know of so far in procedurally generated content.

Some of you may believe that it's impossible to make a 12 hour game without filler, and while I'd beg to differ, I'd rather just point to Escape from Butcher Bay. That's not the longest game in the world, clocking in at around 8-9 hours usually, but its a well thought out short game. At 8 hours, it feels like a complete experience. As I said, Gears is a 12-15 hour story that's told in 6 or 7.

From this thread, it appears that you all want to empathize more with the developer, than with yourselves. That's cool. For me, 70 bucks is enough money that I feel entitled to expect something a little special. I expect a good, full featured and decent-lengthed product for my money. I try not to make excuses for the developers.

Resident Evil 4 is a pretty tight 15 to 20 hours.

Morrolan wrote:

From this thread, it appears that you all want to empathize more with the developer, than with yourselves. That's cool. For me, 70 bucks is enough money that I feel entitled to expect something a little special. I expect a good, full featured and decent-lengthed product for my money. I try not to make excuses for the developers. :)

I'm not making excuses for the developer. I thought the single player game kicked ass, and I don't think it needs any excuses. I'm just expounding on why you don't see modern FPS games with more than 8 or so hours worth of stellar content. For me personally, 8 hours of stellar content is just about right.

It's funny you mention Riddick. I agree with you that it's a great game, but it was about 8 hours for me the first time through and 6 the second, which actually puts it at about the same numbers as Gears for me. You could make an argument that the storytelling is more effective in Riddick, but I think that overall the two games are a similar length with a similar level of overall quality in terms of the single-player campaign. Ah, but there's no co-op or vs. multiplayer in Riddick! So...doesn't that kind of give Gears the edge?

IMO, the singleplayer is GoW was long enough due to the quality of the storyline, dialogue, characters, and amazingly fun gameplay. I still would have paid the full $60 even if the game had no multiplayer. With that said, the multiplayer is arguably the most fun I've ever had with a game online. The maps are so well laid out and balanced that they really leave the winning and losing to the teams that are more tactical and those that work together. The fact that everyone starts off each round with the weapons adds an even further evening of the odds and gives a lot of incentive for exploring for weapons as opposed to camping somewhere with your favorite one.

All in all, I don't understand how anyone can knock this game for not having enough content (even if we're only talking about the singleplayer) to justify the purchase. Granted it's obviously not an Oblivion, LoZ, etc. but it's a kick-ass experience that anyone with an HD and 360 needs to see for themselves!

Agreed with Podunk. Riddick took me no longer than Gears, and as fantastic as it was, I had no interest in running through Riddick again. I'm already halfway through my second runthrough of Gears, and I'll no doubt play it again through in co-op, and take on Insane too.

I will agree with Morro in that the STORY of Gears is compressed, but 12-15 hours of story does not make for 12-15 hours of gameplay.

And let's see what downloadable content adds. I wonder if we get more single-player/co-op content.

Well, so far I've but about 40-60 hours into this game. In the single player portion I've probably got 20 hours. The 1UP Show pointed out that they'd rather have a short game that they want to replay over and over instead of a long game that they never touch again. I agree. Another thing someone at 1UP said was that, normally they remember a big cutscene, boss, or finale from a big game; however, in Gears of War they remembered specific battles, maybe a building in the distance, a brief moment, etc. The entire game has weight from beginning to end.

I also feel that Epic formed what is essentially a new genre, and they focused on making that core gameplay as pure as possible. There aren't a lot of gimics in 90% of the battles, just good AI in well designed levels and a lot of freedom to attack however you want to.

After playing the singleplayer mode all the way though I can remember just about every part of every Act in great detail which says a lot for me because my mind is usually flooded with bits and pieces for other games. Playing GoW on co-op was an incredibly fun and memorable experience and wouldn't mind getting together with one of you GWJers this week to start playing it on the Insane difficulty? If anyone's interested send me an invite.

if anyone wants to play coop I am in

I haven't beat the game on hardcore yet but slowly going through

I just played multiplayer for the first time last night and it was an awesome experience, which i imagine coop will be just as good.