Gamers: What gaming advancements are you waiting for?

I’ve been gaming since video games were invented. Pong came into my home around 1975; since then I’ve kept my eye on all the various generations of games. The games that are coming out now were the stuff of science fiction ten years ago.

So what about the next ten years? What are you longing to see?

My list:

  • I can’t wait for NPCs in games to start acting more realistically. I’m not sure why this doesn’t happen now - the technology certainly exists. When I walk into a store in real life, for example, the employees generally aren’t standing upright behind a counter, doing nothing but waiting for the next customer to come in. They’re putting out new stock, answering the phone, cleaning or tidying, or sitting and doing paperwork/reading. There’s also usually a few other customers in the store.

I’d like to see in-game NPCs act the same way. Make 'em DO things. Sure, some games attempt this, but I have yet to see anything realistic.

On a simliar vein, I think it would add a lot of realism if you couldn’t just walk into people’s homes in most games. Most RPGs that I’ve seen, if they include NPC housing, allow you to just walk into a house and the people who live there just sorta look at you. Make 'em act they way real people would if you just walked into a house - they should confront you or call the guards or something. Put doorbells on houses and make the NPCs answer the door.

  • I can’t wait to see MMORPGs move away from the “multiple players pulling 1-2 monsters at a time” model. A typical scenario in WoW or EQ2 or <insert game here> consists of 5 or 6 players standing in one corner of a room filled with monsters. The group of players carefully pull however many monsters they can handle and kill them in the corner. The other 900 monsters in the room don’t seem to notice that 1-5 of their friends are being killed in a corner about ten feet away from them.

Raids are similiar; 40 people pull one dragon, or maybe 10-15 lesser monsters, and kill them all. I’d like to see a real time “war” kind of thing. Think 100 orcs against 100 characters. You just wade into battle and kill things. There’s not 20 orcs in clear view on a ridge who simply don’t notice the war going on within plain sight.

So what are you waiting to see?

I was fascinated by the VR helmets of about 10 years ago. I would love something like that so no matter where I was looking, my character would look. You would have to have some sort of very simplified macroset to replace the keyboard as most people cant proficiently touchtype. Hell, I have worked on keyboards for the past 25 years and I cant touch type. With the advent of teamspeak and ventrilo it would take care of the need to talk to your party members in type-chat. This would be better for something other than MMORPGs like WOW because I cant imagine 500 people in lagrimmar all chatting in teamspeak :eek: and being able to converse with specific people.

I would love to be able to kack my brain into the computer cyberpunk fashion. Talk about total immersion=)

I’m waiting until november to see if the Wii controller is as good as the reviews seem to say. If succesful, it could open the door for a lot of gaming advancement.

Destroyable and movable environments.

Larger spaces that don’t require massive loading times.

Just like the OP, NPCs that interact with the environment and do natural things- get in bed at night, vary their work during the day, go home at night. Eat dinner, and use the outhouse.

Also, the ability to negotiate out of any fight- not just those which are specially scripted.

To a large extent, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has such an NPC system. Radiant A.I.

I want worlds that react to the actions of my characters. If my party gets invited into Castle Goodfellow only to kill the guards, loot the treasure, and tip the cows, and then wanders down the road to Castle Neutralfellow, King Neutralfellow shouldn’t say “Welcome brave travellers, come on in”. He should say “Hey, aren’t you the guys who sacked Castle Goodfellow? What do you think I am, stupid?”

No, it doesn’t. It’s supposed to, but Oblivion was specifically what I was thinking about when I wrote the OP.

I’m really looking forward to what might result from Nintendo’s recent acquisition of the makers of the Fleshlight ([link](you didn’t really think I was serious, did you)).

One thing that I loved about the AI in Morrowind is that when a merchant buys something wearable from you that he likes, he puts it on.

In WoW, there is a little “stage business”, such as creatures in the barrens chasing down and killing critters (like bunnies or prairie dogs). And the water elemental outside Sun Rock retreat that periodically attacks the campfire set up by his humanoid counterpart.

I wish there was more of that stuff.

I can’t wait until games are affordable for a college student.

lol you had me going there. Good one!

Holodeck technology.

I am by no stretch of the imagination a gamer, but Mr. Del is and I do play “over his shoulder” a little bit. Which I’m sure is very annoying, but I have good qualities, too.

Anyway, one thing I have noticed is that the primary factor to advancing in a lot of online games is time, the time you are able to devote to playing the game. And goodness knows I wish I had more time for play and entertainment. But the reality is that I simply can’t rack up the hours the way a lot of players can.

What I would like is a MMORPG that rewards me for … well, for being smart (I was trying to come with something less blunt, but hey, let’s cut to the chase). I don’t have a lot of time, but I do have a lot of smarts. Other players have a lot of time, which is an advantage. So far, I haven’t come across any good games where other aspects of play can make up for the time advantage in any significant way.

I’m talking about stuff that would reward you only if you solved problems or mastered scenarios that required serious logic and strategy and other smarty-parts skills. Above average skills. If it was just average, it wouldn’t really be an advantage. The situations would have to be unique, so that you couldn’t wait for a smart person to come along and solve it and then slap a FAQ up on her web site.

If people have game recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

Man, that was probably the snobbiest thing I’ve ever posted in a public forum, but I figure if it’s going to fly anywhere, it might be at the Dope.

Maybe some people have time AND are smart – great, they can rule the game.

Detailed fire modelling. I suppose this is a subset of destructable environment, but a little more so.

I mean, I’d like to see 3D environments where materials have combustion properties, and if a fire starts, it spreads through the building in a relatively realistic way, consuming material, weakening the structure, etc. You’d have firewalls and countermeasures, of course.

What you described is in a lot of games, except for being unique–that sounds virtually impossible, as it’d have to be randomly generated each time with an algorithm, and algorithms only get so good. Most gamers solve these problems/puzzles by working at them for a long time, but if you tried some games like (I’m giving you old examples because I haven’t played a video game in several years) FF7 or Metal Gear Solid, you’d find some things that you just have to strategize your way through, and if you’re as smart as you claim you can do them quickly. In fact, this is a form of pissing contest between gamers–how long it takes them to beat a game.

It’s still generally going to be long, though. Keep in mind that it’s a form of entertainment, and it has to keep someone entertained for a while to be worth $30 or $50.

One really annoying feature of FPS games is the limited environments. Unless a wall is specifically coded as a door, it is unbreakable. So you have a situation where you HAVE to get past this chain link fence. You’ve got a grenade launcher, mines, a laser cutting torch, and a crowbar. So the only thing to do is hunt for the key to the gate. Nope, that there is invulnerable chain link.

Plus, no climbing. What is this? I can’t climb out of a six foot pit? If a pit is deeper than I can jump, I’ll never ever be able to get out? And I can’t climb a chain link fence either? What the hell?

I’m waiting to see which bright star figures out how to bypass the publisher-retailer stranglehold and distribute directly and successfully to the customer. In a business that is starting to show profits equivalent to the film industry, it is inconceivable that developers like Interplay can’t make enough money to keep the doors open. How many hit games do you have to freakin’ sell anyway?

First person or company to cut Walmart et al. out of the picture and out of the profits, whether through technology or business strategy, will have the chance to make world design, storyline, and product quality a real priority again. Of course, since developers in general haven’t got the collective business sense of a pack of marmots, they’ll probably just take the increased profits and blow it all on hats. Or KISS games. Or big ridiculous studios for big giant egos that produce total crap (coughIonStormcough).

But I’m hoping it happens anyway.

After that, I’d like to see better standards on story and plot. The handful of games that have really transcended the tired old save-the-world BS are pearls beyond price, and I continue to be underwhelmed by Oblivion in this regard. Such a pity, after Morrowind’s depth.

X-COM did this back in the early 90’s.

Shot down an alien saucer? Did it crash-land at a farm? Suspect that the alien might be hiding in the farmhouse, barn, or wheat field?

Fire a couple incendiary rounds, put your men into cover on overwatch, and wait for alien scum to come running out of the smoke…


As odd as this may sound, I’m really looking forward to photorealistic graphics. Although it’s debatable, at some point there will be a time at which graphics in games are so good that they’re basically indistinguishable from the real world (well, movies/photos). The idea is that at this point, there are no further “advancements” in graphics. Less and less emphasis (read: money) is put on making “next-gen” games look prettier, and more placed on improving gameplay, AI, scripting, etc.

We’re not all that far from the point now.

I meant to mention that of course there will always be some sort of improvements to graphics. But as we reach the point of photorealism, 10 or 15 year old games can more or less fairly be compared against current games. At the moment, that’s not really true.

Hey, I LOVE X-COM (and still play it from time to time), but when played in this generation it feels dated and old. But it’s only because of the graphics, not the gameplay.