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'Games 3.0' Is Nothing New

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the been-making-things-for-a-while-now dept.

Games 41

At Next Generation, author Matt Matthews points out that gamers have been 'making things' for a while now. Sony's Phil Harrison touted the 'Games 3.0' vision at his GDC keynote last month, saying that the new thing is gamers making their own entertainment and sharing it with others. "[Harrison's view] ignores an important fact: the tools of game creation have been given to players over and over again for almost a quarter of a century, since at least 1983. The lessons learned since then will be instructive as Sony again puts the players in control." He goes on to discuss titles like RPGMaker, Pinball Wizard, and some of the famous mods that have changed the industry.

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41 comments

why did not talk about Visual Pinball? (2, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 7 years ago | (#18612795)

http://www.randydavis.com/vp/ [randydavis.com]
http://www.vpforums.com/forum/index.php [vpforums.com]
VP + Vpinmame is real cool!
VP lets build your own pinball games.

Re:why did not talk about Visual Pinball? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18622061)

I don't agree that this counters Sony's claims.

It's like how 360's acheivment system. Many games have had the same thing before (like Perfect Dark) but putting a heavier emphasis on it made it better.
Sony is trying to put a heavier emphasis on it than just the occasional game.

Oh, and the only games I feel matche Sony's 3.0 claims, are Timesplitters Future Perfect (PS2/XBOX), and Field Commander (PSP) which let you upload and download custom designed levels from an ingame interface.

What about MUSHes? (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about 7 years ago | (#18612809)

Virtually every MUD and MUSH I ever played with had a way for players to create their own rooms and decorate them however they like (which was easy since it was all ASCII). These were one of the biggest draws of MUSHes in fact, since there often wasn't much else to do there. People would create elaborate recreations of college campuses or spaceships or whatever else they felt like. The quality varied a lot, but you can't discount the power of one obsessed fanboy with far too much time on his hands.

Re:What about MUSHes? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | about 7 years ago | (#18615107)

Indeed, it was one of the great appeals. The fact that you could create almost anything in your imagination meant there were quite a few obsessive types who made some top quality work. Well personally I can't wait for the Lego MMO. I think it will draw out the same types.

What's new? (3, Insightful)

cxreg (44671) | about 7 years ago | (#18612811)

Accessibility. Could you see your average non-geek using "RPGMaker" or "Pinball Wizard"? Clamor all you like about the superiority of PC gaming, but that type of thing is NOT mainstream.

Sony isn't inventing this concept, certainly, but making user-created content a quick-and-easy thing *is* a new concept. Other examples are Spore and Line Rider [wikipedia.org]

Re:What's new? (2, Interesting)

joe_cot (1011355) | about 7 years ago | (#18612973)

RPGMaker and the Half Life sdk? yes, fairly hard. The Neverwinter Nights Aurora toolset has been out for years, and it doesn't take a genius to do it unless you're adding custom scripting. When I was 13 I was downloading custom coasters for Rollercoaster Tycoon, downloading custom houses for the Sims, etc. It wasn't brain surgery to make or to use. The new part of this is the automated distribution of said content.

Re:What's new? (2, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#18613411)

I think the main part that is new is that custom content is getting part of the game itself, instead of it being stuff that you create with an external editor or you download from some webpage and then patch into your program, custom content happens as gameplay in the gameworld itself.

Re:What's new? (2, Interesting)

Flentil (765056) | about 7 years ago | (#18614059)

The Neverwinter Nights Aurora toolset has been out for years, and it doesn't take a genius to do it unless you're adding custom scripting.
You hit the nail on the head there. NWN pre-release hype promised you'd be able to recreate all your favorite pen-n-paper adventures with the easy to use editor that had a slew of wizards to help a newbie do pretty much anything they wanted. In fact the wizards were very limited and anyone who wanted to make anything but the most simplistic hack-n-slash dungeons was required to learn NWN script, which is basically a watered down version of C. This is good for C programmers, but for normal people it is mind boggling and nearly impossible. It didn't help that they released it with no script documentation. It was a terrible bait and switch. It's like saying that designing a suspension bridge is easy and anyone can do it (fineprint...provided you already have a degree in engineering).

Re:What's new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18618381)

The real disappointment with NWN for me was the tile-based graphics that ensured that every adventure, wherever it was set and however brilliantly it was designed, looked identical.

Nowhere was the problem starker than in the main campaign that came with the game, where we were somehow expected to suspend disbelief when the home of the Fire Giants was indistinguishable from the ten-thousand-year-old Creator Ruins.

Ah well, it was a brave attempt.

well how about back in 1983 (3, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | about 7 years ago | (#18613591)

Pinball Construction Set [mobygames.com] was easy to use for pretty much anybody. As was Racing Destruction Set [mobygames.com] . Adventure Construction Set [mobygames.com] was more complex but still didn't require anything like scripting.
This "Games 3.0" concept has been around just about as long as the industry. I think the question of ease of use and making it mainstream is complicated. The more you dumb down the editor, the less you can do with it.

Re:well how about back in 1983 (0)

MilenCent (219397) | about 7 years ago | (#18616399)

As someone who spent a large amount of time with Adventure Construction Set (or "ACS") back in the day, I can confirm that it was actually quite involved making good custom content with it. It didn't have literal scripting, but you did have to make use of "stacks" of objects with magic effects, which came down to about the same thing.

Even earlier.... (1)

VValdo (10446) | about 7 years ago | (#18618041)

Ah, pinball construction set... Other Apple II "3.0" games I missed in the article:
  • 1980's EAMON [wikipedia.org] let you create entirely new text-based adventures.
  • 1981's Castle Smurfenstein [uic.edu] was "Silus S. Smurf"'s modded version of the original Castle Wolfenstein.
  • 1983's Lode Runner [wikipedia.org] had a built-in level editor.

W

yeah it was easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18614645)

It was as easy as moving a cursor with your joystick, picking up "pieces" and dropping them on the pinball table. Then hit the button to make the table active and play it. So easy your grandma or 5 year old kid could use it.

Frivolous version numbers (5, Insightful)

CelticWhisper (601755) | about 7 years ago | (#18612921)

I hate to be the wet blanket here, but what's the deal with this trend toward "versioning" things that don't need to be versioned or for which version numbers make no sense? "Web 2.0?" "Games 3.0?" Especially since as far as I can tell, there's no good goddamn reason to assign arbitrary version numbers to entities which are constantly changing and evolving as it is.

Maybe I'm a curmudgeon or maybe I slept through "Marketroid Bullshit 101," but I fail to see any point in taking something like the web, which is simply a term used to refer to the (arguably) most human-readable facet of the Internet, or games, which come in all shapes and sizes as it is (much like websites) and slap a version number on them. It reeks of "hey, Jim, wanna inflate our stock prices overnight and take that Tahiti vacation we've been eyeing for the past 6 months? Or hey, we could use a few new espresso machines in the managers' lounge"

A game or a website can have a version number. Just keep the damn things off of categories, classes, genres, and other intangible/abstract/nebulous concepts or entities that have no clean-cut and intelligent basis for versioning.

Re:Frivolous version numbers (2, Funny)

Loadmaster (720754) | about 7 years ago | (#18613009)

I agree, and his view of Games 3.0 seems a lot like MySpace with Flash games. If that what he wants he might as well name it Games i. As in I don't want anything to do with it.

Swi

Frivolous version numbers 2.0 (2, Funny)

happyfrogcow (708359) | about 7 years ago | (#18613015)

I hate to be the wet blanket here, but what's the deal with this trend toward "versioning" things that don't need to be versioned

I think you are just upset that you missed the bandwagon.

See you missed it again, watch how my "Score" goes up and up. Tahiti here I come! ...What's that? JetBlue doesn't take Slashdot Karma as currency?

Re:Frivolous version numbers (1)

JFMulder (59706) | about 7 years ago | (#18614479)

or maybe I slept through "Marketroid Bullshit 101,"
I think you meant |Marketdroid Bullshit 9.1".

Re:Frivolous version numbers (3, Funny)

RyoShin (610051) | about 7 years ago | (#18615059)

I can't believe you're still using that old Discussion 2.1 mentality.

Get with the times and move on to Discussion 4.0, man!

Rampant already (4, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | about 7 years ago | (#18612971)

Well, FPS's have had this running rampant for years. Argueably the most popular multiplayer game ever (counter strike) started as user made content. Morrowind/oblivoin has as much mods as actual content fromt he developer. 60% of all games on battle.net for warcraft 3 is custom maps. Might be new to the console but PC has had this rampant for a long time.

I own a Ps3 and it does "itch" for the connectivity of Home TM. It feels like a full fledged computer with a web browser, store, and multiplayer but no IM. With IM and chat rooms and it may push the PS3 from "nice but not now" to "must have." User made content delivery may spark the content creators. If Sony allows content creation on a PC to be brought over it may be even bigger for them.

Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (2, Informative)

typidemon (729497) | about 7 years ago | (#18613385)

As far as I could work out - in my sixty seconds of searching google - half life sold ~8,000,000 copies. Not every single one (or even the majority) of those copies would have installed Counter Strike, and out of the remaining copies that did install it, a large percentage of people didn't enjoy it.

How about World of Warcraft? With 8,500,000 concurrent active accounts? Looking at the sheer number of people who've unsubscribe it would have to own any other multiplayer game anywhere.

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18614263)

I know a lot of people that didn't have a 'real' version of HL, but they were addicted to counterstrike.

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (1)

caramelcarrot (778148) | about 7 years ago | (#18614791)

It's admittedly true that WoW is now more popular, but at maximum popularity (which lasted a fair time), CS was the most popular/played multiplayer game.

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18615085)

Yeah, you forgot piracy.

Plus, counter-strike got sold as a seperate box version with no Half-Life, and is availble to buy through Valve's online service. Not sure if you can get it standalone, but you can definitely get Counter-Strike Source (the version with nicer graphics) with Half-Life 2. So, your sales number could be an overestimate or an underestimate...

Plus, Blizzard's 8.5 mil number is possibly a bit suspect too. How do they count accounts that use pay-as-you-go or prepaid card systems.

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (1)

BKX (5066) | about 7 years ago | (#18615703)

Well, if it tells you anything, Valve reports (at their website [steampowered.com] ) that they had over 2 million unique users last month alone. That's the lowest I've ever seen it (I've looked a number of times; it's somewhat interesting.). It's usually more like 4 mil. Anywho, when you consider that Counter-Strike is 9 years old, and they STILL have 2.5 million users per month, you know damn well that's it's more popular than just about anything else. (Consider that Wow is the only game other than CS and games made by Nintendo (And then only like six of them.) that topped 7 million sales, ever.)

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (1)

Agret (752467) | about 7 years ago | (#18615759)

After the update adding in-game advertising the amount of 1.6 servers has drastically dropped, Source has almost got the same amount of servers as 1.6 now.

Re:Counter Strike the most popular game ever? (1)

Retric (704075) | about 7 years ago | (#18619667)

Don't forget about.

A) Piracy.
B) Many WoW players have more than one account. (I know people with 4 but the average HC raider seems to have 2-3.)
C) There are a tun of bot's in the game.
D) Accounts take a while to die after you stop playing.

My guess is there are around 4 million active WoW players.

The Console News Cycle Of Stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18613319)

Fanboy writes indignant article about console company's 'alleged' claims they never actually made.

Fanboy editors sift through the mass of actual console news articles for crap like this article and post them instead of actual worthwhile console news

Fanboys respond with long and pathetic diatribes against the console company

Fanboys mod up diatribes

The 150+ million console owners out there are happily oblivious.

Keep up the good work fanboys! Fight the good fight!

I think the author is missing the point (2, Interesting)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | about 7 years ago | (#18616575)

that Harrison was trying to make. He was drawing parallels between web2.0 and game3.0. There has been user created content in the internet for ages (message boards etc), but it has only recently really changed the concept of content/information on the internet (wikipedia etc). Game3.0 will drive the video game industry in a different direction.

I thought the concept was an elegant summary, really.

Neverwinter Nights/NWN2 (2, Interesting)

LarsWestergren (9033) | about 7 years ago | (#18616707)

I just have to mention NWN and NWN2 [atari.com] , since I didn't see the article doing that. People are modelling objects and monsters, making single and multiplayer modules (adventures basically), making new GUIS as well as backend tools, running persistent worlds. What I like the most about the Persistent Worlds stuff is that some game masters are running worlds that actually change depending on player actions. Some unique monsters don't respawn, or if en enemy fortress is destroyed for instance, the entry point is removed from the main map until the area is replaced with a newly modelled "destroyed fortress". A few GMs jumps around and control scripts and non-player characters to create a more living world.

MOST are just running simple hack and slash modules of course, infinitely respawning Diablo/WoW clones basically. But it shows what can be accomplished with some skilled and dedicated GMs.

this is supposed to be game 3.0? (1)

dosboot (973832) | about 7 years ago | (#18617105)

Wake me when _anyone_ with the time, money and inclination is allowed to make and sell real games for a console. Don't get me wrong, I love modding. But I really love my games not being stale in the first place. That'll happen when any individual is allowed to compete on the same field as any of the big publishers. This could have easily happened with internet distribution, but the big 3 all insisted on putting gates to their downloadable games.

Re:this is supposed to be game 3.0? (1)

Haeleth (414428) | about 7 years ago | (#18618409)

Wake me when _anyone_ with the time, money and inclination is allowed to make and sell real games for a console.
Wake up, then. Anyone with the time, money, and inclination is allowed to make and sell games for the most powerful and flexible gaming platform in existence.

Oh, wait, you said "for a console".

Why insist on access to consoles? They were designed from the ground up to be less powerful, less flexible, and full of proprietary restrictions; it's hardly surprising that you can't write your own software for them! But given that there's a platform available that doesn't have those restrictions, what's the problem? Just use the platform that provides the features you want - namely the PC.

Re:this is supposed to be game 3.0? (1)

dosboot (973832) | about 7 years ago | (#18618685)

First of all, there are genres and audiences that basically only exist on consoles and not on PCs, so it's not like they are otherwise identical platforms.

In any case, why should my console be deprived of having more and better games? What bothers me is that all 3 consoles are very well prepared to give downloadable games. You can do that on the PC too, but there isn't any service which gives you access tons of games that interest you. Well there is one, and it is the (slowly dwindling) PC section of your local gamestop or best buy. This isn't good enough though, because only the big name publishers get retail shelf space. The indie PC games are spread all over the net, and probably as a consequence the only real indie PC market is for casual games.

I guess I'm complaining because the whole cliched game 3.0 speech struck a nerve. If one of the big 3 DID make their downloadable network relatively open and used their service as an aggegrator it WOULD be a huge change worthy of being called 'game 3.0'. LittleBigPlanet is just 'gamemaker 3.0' in comparison.

I'm not even asking for console to be an open platform like PCs, half-open would do. It'd be nice if these console companies would at least SELL you (as in anybody) the minimum development tools and the legal license to make a game for their consoles. They don't. Even their online stores are gated like this. This doesn't make sense. Why not sell the license and tools at a standard rate and let the developer choose if he wants to work with a publisher to sell in retail or set up his own servers and sell online?

I guess I'm coming off sounding like a miffed developer or something, I'm not. I just want to enjoy the benefits of a more open console much like one might want to enjoy the benefits of freedom of press not by ever exercising that freedom, but simply by reading the press.

Sony late to the ball again? (1)

shoptroll (544006) | about 7 years ago | (#18619537)

Ummm... Right Sony. Way to be come out and say gamers making the content is the future. Maxis has been providing a central repository for user content since Simcity 3000 and The Sims with their Exchanges. Spore is the next evolution in that.

Even before Maxis got into user content, we had people modding Quake, Doom & Wolf3D. Before that MUDs, MUSHes, etc. And even before that, homemade D&D campaigns.

C'mon Sony. Quit taking credit for other's people's work. Thanks for pointing out the future, but that's a beacon of light everyone has seen for a while now.

MUDs have been doing this for years (1)

Anxarcule (884937) | about 7 years ago | (#18619569)

In a text-based multiplayer game, it's easy for players to contribute content, anything from renaming their items to writing and building large areas that are checked by administrators and then added to the game world. MUDs have been doing this for years and with very good results. It allows the continual creation of new content by people who care about what they're doing.

This is one of the benefits of spending your life playing an independent online multiplayer game, run by players, for players, instead of picking some commercially-marketed corporate game out of Wal-mart (with another benefit, of course, being that there's no monthly subscription to play).

Customizable content in 1983 (1)

CelticLo (575344) | about 7 years ago | (#18623153)

I'd point out ASCII Corporation/Brøderbund's Lode Runner [wikipedia.org] . On several of the platforms it was published on it came with a level editor built in. The Famicom version even supported a floppy disk drive to share with friends.
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