First off, this is the second time I've written this post so it will probably
be of lower quality this time around. My browser decided to glitch and I lost
a very lost post, that was probably a full page if not a page and a half.
As one of the new guys in the community, relatively speaking, I debated even
commenting on this topic. I wasn't around for the "golden era" so my
perspective is extremely limited compared to those who have been around long
enough to see the bigger picture.
That being said, I don't doubt things have slowed down with audio game
development to some degree, I believe that is normal. I do, also, agree with
Dark that a well made game can still use old ideas.
Recently I assembled a list of the audio games and tools I have released. I
was honestly shocked by how short that list was! I kept thinking I had left
things out, and it took me a while to accept that the list was accurate. The
reason I felt like I had done more is because for every game/tool I've
released, I have 2 that were only partially finished. While developing a new
game, if I discover existing games that use the same general idea, I will get
discouraged. The same is true when I read that someone else is currently
developing a game with a similar style. In those cases, I will just push my
project aside and start work on another. Part of the way through that design,
there's always a chance the same thing will happen again.
Even if only half of the other developers are like me, that is a lot of
developers holding off on projects because they are searching for a unique
idea. Sure, if we stuck with it our games would be different in some ways, but
they are still similar to something already out there. I always ask myself the
question, "Why waste time when I could be making something totally unique?"
Over the years, many audio games have been created, and they represent many
different game styles. For anyone trying not to repeat an existing game, this
means our options are getting smaller and smaller all the time. New ideas are
tricky, and they take longer to develop than the games based on old ideas. It
is only natural for things to slow down because of this. I believe that this
would still be true even if the old classic game companies were still around.
They probably rode out the market until the trends started to change. It was a
smart move on their part, if that is what they did.
New ideas also run the risk of being rejected. I released Daytona to be
unique, and many people played it, but also many more didn't even care to try
it. That's not meant to put anyone down, but it is just a reality. The more
new and unique you make a game, the more likely it is that you've narrowed down
on your potential player base. For this very reason I set my combat game aside
because I didn't have faith that my player base would be large enough to help
me support the ongoing server costs. I'm also fairly certain my next Daytona
game will be completely passed over by a sizable portion of the community
simply because it requires the mouse to play. I built Lunimals to be as close
to "standard" as I could, and I'm sure its recent popularity speaks loudly in
support of my theory.
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