You are certainly right about the direction of accessible games
changing over the last few years. Mostly it was a good thing.
Like you said from 2000 to 2004 most of the games were arcade affairs
like DynaMan, Aliens in the Outback, Troopenum, Dark Destroyer, Pipe,
Pipe 2, Hunter, Tarzan Junior, etc that were a throwback to the 1980's
style of gaming. One reason there were so many game releases back to
back is an arcade game like Troopenum is relatively easy to create
compared to some of the games we have seen over the last three/four
years or so.
For instance, in 2006, I believe it was, Che mentioned to the list his
idea to create Rail Racer. When he finally released 1.0 in 2007 or so
it totally changed the way VI gamers think of racing games and raised
the bar considerably. I litterally had to rethink Raceway from the
ground up because of it.
What I mean by that is that the original plans for ESP Raceway was for
a racing game on par with Poll Position. You'd have like 8 different
tracks, and up to four cars on the track. There was no season mode, no
points, no upgrades, and all and all just a plane Jane racing game. I
realized with games like Rail Racer coming out and free games like
Topspeed and Mach1 already out there Raceway wouldn't do well
financially. So I decided to rethink the game and use something like
Nascar Thunder as my basis which is a mainstream game with a lot more
features etc that would be selling points.
Then, of course, there is Entombed. Again this is a game right up
there with mainstream RPG games, and has totally redefined what I and
others are willing to pay for in terms of games. People know I've been
thinking of an RPG game for a while now, perhaps one like Sryth, but
I've realized that a text-based game alone is not going to sell. Now,
days there is this expectation of fighting sounds, weapons, background
ambience, some music, etc followed by some narration voice which means
a strict paper and pen style game isn't probably in demand any more.
Something more roguelike such as Entombed is the style accessible RPG
games will most likely take.
Last, but certainly not least, is Time of Conflict. Once again GMA has
amazed me, as well as everyone else, with something new and
revolutionary. It reminds me of the various Civilization games were
you build an army and then proceed to take over the planet by whiping
out the enemy forces. It is a game with no parallel in accessible
gaming and even SoundRTS, which is a decent real time strategy game
itself, doesnt' quite compare to Time of Conflict in the RTS genre.
I've litterally spent more than a week fighting a single campaign in
Time of Conflict. So I agree that expectations for commercial games do
get higher and higher as time goes buy.
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