What new features would you want in a hypothetical modern Wing Commander remake?

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by Buccura, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Buccura

    Buccura Rear Admiral

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    I often find myself wondering, if I was designing a modern remake of Wing Commander, what features I would implement. The ideas that came to mind are;

    The ability to customize Blair's gender and appearance, though have the default be the classic blue hair design.

    The ability to walk around the Tiger's Claw in a fully 3D Space.

    Multiple romance options that are not gender restrictive.

    More dialog options than just 2.

    Highly customizable difficulty. Make the game easy and casual or into the Dark Souls of space combat sims.

    Co-op feature where other players can play as wingmen on missions.

    A visual style that is AAA, but also retains the "cartoon" look. Perhaps cell shaded a la Borderlands?

    These are the ones that pop into my head the most. Naturally, some of these take ques from Mass Effect, which is only natural since I always felt Mass Effect took ques from Wing Commander.
     
  2. Whiplash

    Whiplash 1st Lieutenant

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    It's not so hypothetical anymore...

    Log onto twitch.tv/starcitizen in about 2.5 hours from now to get a glimpse of Wing Commander for the 21st century.

    Squadron 42 is what Wing Commander would be if Chris Roberts remade it now. Which he is, in all but name.
     
  3. st3lt3k

    st3lt3k Rear Admiral

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    Playable on a smartphone (think Galaxy on Fire)


    Extremely varied missions, including ground attack, recon, racing, exploration, secret missions/special operations . . .

    Wing Commander II style graphics and ship colors (mixed feelings about FMV)

    Ability to play as a different faction (Kilrathi, Firekkan, Steltek, Retro?) with different storyline and objectives. These might be add ons

    Well thought out storyline (not sure a traitor is needed)

    not use the freemium pay model
     
  4. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

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    I'd hate to see a Wing Commander reboot, because canon is canon and the originals don't need touching. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a sequel or prequel, but I'd be very precious about a remake as I'd want it to be done carefully and not to in any way contradict the first game.

    If it were to happen, I'd absolutely despise the idea of a love interest - the original did fine without it; the game was all about a rookie fighter pilot making a name for himself and out of nowhere, finding himself playing a pivotal role in winning the sector. The other games didn't benefit from such things either - @Quarto pointed out a few threads ago that WC3's love story felt cheap and out of place, and in my opinion WCIV was all-the-classier for the lack of romantic narrative. I don't really see the point in changing the hero's gender either, I'm all for female protagonists in games, but unless we're re-writing the story, Blair is Blair, and making him a gender fluid avatar of whatever you want him to be still doesn't make the idea of having Paladin or Halycon as love interests any more appealing.

    I'd want a remake as close to the original as possible but with modern graphics and updated physics, in fact, Star Citizen's engine would do nicely ~ but with simplified controls for the authentic WC1 'arcade' combat feel. I really wouldn't change much in the way of story, nothing that could interrupt canon anyway. I'd have most of the missions as we know them, perhaps throwing in a few more, I'd also include some other, non-flyable fighters that we know are old enough to have been in WC1 but otherwise not seen - for instance, when you rendezvous with an Exeter, maybe have a couple of MK1 Rapiers flying her escort, and cutscenes showing Arrows flying escort to Raptors and Broadswords. Otherwise, I wouldn't change much - I'd be all for a redux or modernisation of the early games, but certainly not for a wholesale reboot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  5. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Look, I'm not gonna touch the gender-bending thing. I do think it's utterly stupid, and I think it weakens the stories and characters whereever it appears. Choices are interesting when they matter. "Be anyone you want, do anyone you want" is a pathetic attitude for a game designer to take. It's an attitude that deprives all relationships and choices of any real value. Dragon Age and Mass Effect characters are ultimately just blow-up dolls for players to play around with.

    I won't go deeper into that, however, because it's ultimately an irrelevant sideshow. What I'd really, really like to object to, is this whole "in the future, our military will head out into space and spend their days having sex" thing that seems to be creeping more and more into our sci-fi. What in blazes gives with this? I totally get that you'll have the occasional romantic subplot, as we see time and again in WC (actually, too often - and I say this as someone who wrote such a subplot for Standoff), but for crying out loud, officers and soldiers don't spend their days looking for someone to have sex with, regardless of whether we're talking random casual sex, or deep relationships. They have actual jobs to do, you know, and there are regulations against this kind of thing. The last thing a commanding officer will tolerate is out-of-control relations-building in a military force. That's why historically combat forces have tended to be segregated by sex - because the last thing you want is a soldier disobeying direct orders in order to run off and save a lover in the middle of battle, or to the contrary - holding back because they don't want to assist someone who jilted them. I loved how WC actually played around with these points - Spirit's internal conflict in WC2 made sense precisely because it was built around one of the inherent dangers of battlefield romance. WC3 had you lose the game if you tried to avenger your dead lover - and then if you went for another romance, you had to deal with one of two very stupid and immature "unrequited interests", who all of a sudden refused to do their jobs (and come on, who at the time didn't think - hey, Rachel/Flint, get with the programme). WC4 had Sosa acting stupid if you chose to do your job and let Catscratch die. WCP's main character is actually the orphaned product of a wartime relationship, who's still dealing with the consequences of his father's spur-of-the-moment romance. Even Standoff had its duty-vs.-romance conflict. But all these things worked, because they were used so sparingly. The moment things moved towards a "90210, but in space and with evil cats" feel, in Academy and the movie, you could see straight away that something just wasn't right here. There are so, so many positive things to say about both Academy and the movie, but both of them would most certainly be far superior stories if the romance was restricted within the bounds of what WC usually tolerated. Ironically, this was less a problem for the movie, which even had a sex scene, but at least touched on the negative consequences of wartime entanglements, than for Academy, even though all the romance there was limited to the middle school "she's got the hots for you, man!" level of infantility.

    So, yeah, building on what @-danr- said (and what he said I said :) ), I would really hate to seea Mass Effect-ised Wing Commander. I always loved that Wing Commander, while always pulpy, managed to generally retain a reasonable degree of emotional realism. I loved how we've had many ex-military fans over the years who'd say, that yeah, when you lose someone from your unit, Wing Commander gets it right. I can't imagine anyone ever saying that about Mass Effect.


    Oh, and what would I actually like to see in a Wing Commander 1 remake? While probably it's best if no such remake is ever made, I actually do think it would be pretty cool to have a remake that integrates Academy and the movie into its storyline (...while perhaps having the player play LaFong instead of Blair? :D). Beyond that, though, I'd stick to a close replication of the original. For instance, I don't see what being able to walk around the Tiger's Claw could possibly add. Sure, have a few more locations for the sake of cutscenes (and yes, have more cutscenes, and more actual story in cutscenes), but don't make me work to get to them. Wing Commander is about flying, not walking.

    I'd also love to see such a remake buck the trend by not offering an array of difficulty and customisability options. Look, both approaches are fine. I have no real complaint about WC3 and onwards offering such options. But I also rather liked how with WC1, everyone played the same game. How "I save the Ralari" brags were never tempered by someone saying "yeah, but you played on rookie!". I think for all the accessibility-related benefits of customisability (and these are huge benefits, undeniably - especially these days, time and again I find myself playing games on easy simple because I want to experience the game, but don't have the time to learn to play them properly), games lose something through customisability. We don't expect a movie to be tailored to our level of competence.

    I think that's about all I'd have to say on this topic. I'm tempted to fantasize about other details, but at the same time, I don't really want to be drawn into a lengthier discussion, but because I'm perpetually short on time, and because these days I just don't think there's much value in talking about hypothetical remakes.
     
  6. -danr-

    -danr- Rear Admiral

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    ^ Confession: I summoned you because I had a feeling you'd be able to articulate your feelings about unnecessary space lust better than I am able, or have the vocabulary to. Superbly put.

    This part of the OP didn't trouble me as much since I did enjoy the immersion of exploring the Victory and Lexington, I enjoyed searching for a character to talk to - and seeing a comrade looking out of the window in the gunnery room for instance was pleasing in the same way as in the early days of receiving a new text message or e-mail; just the notification was something of a thrill. I will admit the actual moving around the ship starts to become rather tedious, especially watching the Victory's lift travelling up and down - I didn't realise this until 20 years too late during my latest WCIV playthrough, but Origin actually realised this and in IV implemented a map-view of the Lexington with a kind of 'fast travel'. But you already know this because I was the last to notice it.

    I wouldn't have a fully explorable Tiger's Claw but I might have some of the conversations and cutscenes take place in different places, so that the barracks became more than just a place for saving the game, and we might got a better look at the Bengal's flight deck and repair areas. I'd also include new dialogue, that again does not shatter canon. I guess that's pretty much what you said anyway.

    ...and I'm aware that by being a bit of a jerk about preserving canon that I'm trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted, and long died (in the way that there are already contradictions and canon breaking throughout the original series anyway). I guess what I'd be most concerned about in a remake would be an utter scrambling of the universe as we know it - it's one thing that the Tiger's Claw looks wrong in WC2 and there are a few inconsistencies in plot, but I'd be very disappointed if suddenly we had Wing Commander 1 change everything for the sake of 'rebooting' it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  7. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

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    I just heard that in Kevin's Sorbo's voice... :D

    If a remake would occur, there will very likely be some influences of "these days", such as the possibility to CHOOSE the gender of the protagonist, and likely it will involve social media, selfies, etc, to make it more relatable to a modern audience.. There is no getting around it, but like every remake it will be "in the now", and age faster then the original if they just "redid it in the starlancer engine"
     
  8. Lilja

    Lilja Master Chief Petty Officer

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    I'm not a fan of remakes, especially when aspects of the original are changed just to appeal to a wider audiance, i.e. the past few offerings of Star Trek.

    However I am currently playing through Black Mesa (very slowly) and I'm enjoying that, but the last time I played Half Life would have been around 2002, so now can't remember how true it is to the original.

    As for extra features, well I think Star Citizen is covering pretty much everything that anybody could wish for - Squadron 42 is the next WC and the Persistant Universe is the next Privateer.
     
  9. L.I.F.

    L.I.F. Rear Admiral

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    It won't surprise anyone, but the one thing I would really love would be a game made with modding in mind. Having accessible tools for the community to build up its own campaigns and scenarii would be wonderful.
     
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  10. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    I would change very little personally. I think for the first game I would trim down and edit - reduce the mission count to the essentials, and subsequent titles I'd just adopt ingame cutscenes to make modding easier, let the community keep it alive as time went on. I'd be liberal with dialogue changes - but by and large I'd just want a faithful recreation. A more consistent art style would be nice, Wing Commander was a victim of its times in that respect, but also I'd want to keep the distinct visual feel of each title.

    Frankly there are just technical limitations on the earlier games that make a replay harder with each passing year - I'd just want to retouch the titles, create the video game equivalent of digitally remastered, and hope that if EA ever chose to pick the franchise up agian they would do so some years in the future, and not jump up on the remake bandwagon.

    Oh and NO MOBILE. Oh how I hate touchscreen controls.
     
  11. st3lt3k

    st3lt3k Rear Admiral

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    I'm generally not a big fan of touchscreen controls either. You can play Galaxy on Fire with tilt controls and minimal touchscreen use. I think it works really well.

    Maybe in addition to iPhone and Android, a port for Nintendo 3ds!

    Didn't Origin embrace multiple platforms and cutting edge technology?
     
  12. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    I've tried other space combat titles on iPhone - not a fan, even less so of gyro controls than touch screen.
    And iPhone, Android and Nintendo 3DS are the definition of not cutting edge technology, I say this as a 3DS developer, it's dozens of times slower than what I was working with when I graduated 10 years ago, has no pixel shaders, vertex and geometry shaders are assembly only, 233MHz - writing a Wing Commander remake around that hardware wouldn't allow you to achieve anything more impressive than Prophecy + the OpenGL patch. Writing for it has created the most optimized engine I've ever worked on, the unique component entity system essentially eliminates any branching in update code, it's been fun - but I would want to do a wing commander title on hardware more likely to do it justice (and the 3DS only has months left on its clock).

    Good mobile games are built around the limitations of the device, hence the new mario being a constant running game. Wing Commander didn't embrace limitations, it defied them - it sent people out to buy custom hardware.

    VR support would be more in keeping with the spirit of wing commander than mobile.
     
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  13. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

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    Definitely not a fan of mobile/touch screen controls, but even so, most phones are pretty powerful compared to what we were running WCP on when it came out. Most phones accept bluetooth gamepad controllers as options for controlling games, though I highly doubt most people play the games that support the feature that way. I'm sure in the future, there's a scenario where I'm sitting in front of my mega TV/VR setup with my phone either using AppleTv/chromecast-like device to broadcast the game to the big screen and am using a wireless flightstick of some sort to play a new Wing Commander title. (I can probably actually do this already with the existing games and whatever version of dosbox runs on android).
     
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  14. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    I'm curious to see where gaming goes; it certainly isn't consoles in their current form. Steam Link is superb, I adore it despite the compression artifacts, 60hz with compression or 30hz without? 60 for me, and I'm sure the tech will improve.
    I do think you're right about the future of the apple TV too, the rumour is the Nintendo NX is doubling up as handheld and new console.

    But in any case if you're going to do a remake, especially for a franchise that was known for pushing the envelope, targetting hardware with is "pretty powerful" compared to what the titles originally ran on seems slightly redundant to me.

    As long as most, or any people, don't have gamepads mobile games will always treat them as an afterthought.
     
  15. DefianceIndustries

    DefianceIndustries Captain

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    My guess is that it'll trend toward cloud-based/IP streaming. It would drive the cost of in-home hardware down if the consumer only had to buy a dummy terminal and it would eliminate a lot of the hardware disparity that developers currently need to keep in mind when developing. It also pushes the heavy lifting to server/processor farms which, in theory, would reduce the energy consumption overall (if you're into that green thing) Plus if you factor in everyone pushing to a gigabit standard (at least those of us here in the States who are a bit behind the times generally) and the next generation of HEVCs geared toward 4K streaming, it seems to all fit rather nicely.

    As to what I'd like to see in a WC "reboot": Not sure it needs a reboot, the universe in WC is rich and varied, with a ton of unexplored stories - why reboot it at all? Why not take the core game and make it more feature-rich. For example: in WC3 & 4 you play a wing commander but your choices are limited largely to which wingman you want and what loadout you'd like. I'd love to have your choices be more consequential - you have the core mission you fly but there are other missions as well (patrols, CAP, etc.) you would have to assign pilots to these missions as well and couple that with a persistent set of resources. At the end of your mission you can see how the others fared, you could lose pilots, fighters, etc. As the game wears on, these other missions become harder (or easier) based on winning or losing track to accomplish due to resource constraints in pilots and equipment. At some point it would be great to have your crew chief say: "Sorry sir, but we're all out of IMRECs until we get a supply convoy in" Or "Well that last run cost us our last pair of working Raptors, you'll have to make due with Scimitars until we get some birds up and running". Conversely as pilots succeed in these missions, their stats increase over time. It'd also be pretty cool if the AI pilots had some kind of exhaustion metric, so as they are forced to fly over and over, their stats suffer, and dialog changes accordingly. I think that would make you care more for the pilots under your command. Of course the core game is still the pulpy flight sim we all know and love.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  16. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Cloud gaming I think is a dead end, it always was. At least in the sense of how it captured peoples imaginations - owning nothing but a dumb terminal and streaming apple TV style. The theoretical minimum latency of internet d/c*2 will never be achieved - and more realistic, yet optimistic, numbers introduce latency around 90ms which would make you queezy on a TV (especially when added to what will be atleast 16ms for its own latency), let alone trying to do something like VR where tricks such as grabbing the headset matrix *just* before commiting the already generated command list are being employed because a few ms delay makes all the difference.
    Right now more than framerate latency is the buzz word. Whether VR or AR take off or not, it's a number that is getting increasing focus.
    There have been talks about using predictive algorithms, similar to dead reckoning for online play, or even rendering multiple possibilities - but truth be told this will never feel as good, especially if you are a Call of Duty fan (and Call of Duty is what sells hardware).

    Besides, whats the advantage over streaming from within your own home? Sharing the hardware between a dozen people which is all good and fine until you hit peak hours?

    There's more scope for cloud gaming for online games, procedural generation, global illumination calculations etc. Things which can take a long time and won't suffer from being delayed slightly - they might reduce the cost of the hardware you have at home; but they won't replace it.

    As for a reboot - I don't feel the two are exclusive, why not have your cake and eat it? Put aside whether the new Ghostbusters was any good (don't know, I haven't seen it yet) - I'm always going to want to watch the original movie on occassion, but I'll want to see the digitally remastered version and wouldn't say no to a bit of *good* CG to replace the bear in the apartment.
    For games like wing commander which pushed technology to its limits and past them I'd want a remake to experience what I originally felt. There's a neat documentary on a remastered Doctor Who story, Day of the Daleks, about the cheating memory. Those who watched the serial as a child remembered large invading Dalek armies where the reality was the budget had meant it was just a couple trundling down someones lawn. Games are more so like that, when we played at the time we didn't recognise the problems they had to have, that every game had, and marvelled at what they did accomplish.
    In order to allow me to enjoy the classic games in a way that I now struggle to do, I would love some faithful remakes that create the experience I remember having, rather than the experience I *actually* had.
     
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  17. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    I don't disagree with what you say about latency, and this may indeed be quite limiting in some ways. I do disagree about cloud gaming being a dead end, though. The way you've phrased your argument reminds me a lot of those people who claim that VR can never replace consoles for gaming. No, indeed, it cannot - but who said it needs to, in order to be viable? VR experiences are radically different to console gaming experiences, and that's fine. Similarly, cloud gaming does not need to replace every type of game imaginable in order to be viable.

    Certainly, there is nothing whatsoever preventing cloud gaming from being viable for a huge range of casual games. Cloud gaming can easily handle many other genres, too - in particular, MMO games, but even many FPS games that are not as fast-paced as Call of Duty (and no, Call of Duty does not sell hardware. Call of Duty has always been one of the least relevant franchises as far as hardware is concerned - it's a game that always strives to be available for all platforms, and hardly anyone ever buys a console because of Call of Duty). RTS games are also no problem, just as long as we're not talking StarCraft II with its extreme fast pace. In short: anything that's not an e-sport-oriented game, or as fast-paced as Call of Duty, will work fine.

    That does not leave a lot of games out in the cold. Those games that are out in the cold can comfortably stay there - nobody said that you can't still have traditionally distributed games, after all. Especially those games that are PC-centric can stay PC-centric. But, something else could conceivably happen, too. Remember how everyone once said that there will never be a good FPS game on a console? Even GoldenEye didn't change minds about that. But then Halo came along, and all of a sudden - it turned out that if there is a conflict between hardware capability and genre, then genre adjusts to hardware. Same thing happened with Westwood's RTS games. The same thing could potentially happen with regards to cloud gaming - yes, you could see games that are adjusted towards the cloud gaming experience, perhaps using those predictive algorithms you mention, perhaps simply by slowing the game down a bit, I don't know. It doesn't matter. And yes, the truth is, this will never feel as good. But hey, FPS games still suck on consoles just as much as they did before Halo came along - it's just that very few people care :). All this would mean that you'd be left with a strong and viable cloud gaming platform, an equally strong and viable PC, and strong and viable VR. Each of these three platforms would cater towards a different experience, and between the three of them, there would be little room left for a viable traditional console. Presumably, this is why the consoles are pushing to integrate VR - it's the logical step in order to ensure that they retain a viable future by changing into something else.

    Why would this happen? Why bother with cloud gaming? Look, I think this is one of the technologies that's going to be obsessively researched for years to come, and I think absolutely it will come to fruition, because there's too much at stake from the perspective of game publishers and hardware manufacturers. A technology that enables companies to completely bypass software piracy? Absolutely, they'll research it. A technology that enables hardware manufacturers to drastically reduce hardware development costs? Absolutely, they'll research it. It's not that they're interested in cloud gaming - no, they are absolutely desperate for it.
     
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  18. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    I'm a little surprised to hear this considering they were able to port a fairly large game like Xenoblade Chronicles to the new 3DS.
     
  19. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    The original Xenoblade Chronicles was for the Wii, which actually had no shaders of any kind, assembly or otherwise. The developer is good at what they do, hence Nintendo partnering with them for the new Zelda title.
    That said the New 3DS has a significantly more powerful processor, inline with the Wii's (3 times the speed of the original 3DS). Whilst Xenoblade is new 3DS exclusive that's hard to justify for most developers given the comparative sales figures.

    Q, yes it could work for some titles, but why would you? If you're not enough of a gamer to target with exclusive hardware then you're not going to be too concerned about visual quality. I think a technology that induces nausea is a far harder sell for casual markets than cartoony visuals rendered by the phone you already have in your pocket. If it's not a fast paced game with stunning visuals then the hardware you need is already cheap, if it's fast paced then cloud gaming isn't your option. Where is this market for slow paced titles with stunning visuals?
    Cloud gaming can and will come, but as I said originally it simply won't be used in such an obvious manner.

    If you want to know how bad that latency is even on slower paced FPSs try turning off game mode on a modern TV and then attempt any 3D game of your choice, no cloud gaming would not be sufficent to run WoW, I think you underestimate the problem. You could offload a lot of the CPU work to the cloud on top of the global illumination that I mentioned earlier such as pathfinding and so on (which are all already placed on non time critical threads anyway). GPU work such as generation of blurry maps that already don't tend to be updated every frame. You're just going to see more and more work offloaded to the cloud, the hardware you need at home will get cheaper, but streaming just introduces problems to be solved without good cause.
    There's a reason a lot of the buzz within the industry about cloud gaming has died down significantly of late, a lot of good money poured after bad.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  20. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Because you can sell two million units for a game that normally got half a million sales plus two million pirated copies? From a gamer's perspective, obviously cloud gaming brings nothing onto the table, other than a small boost in convenience. From a publisher's perspective, it's a change so revolutionary, that it would even justify abandoning the most popular genres, or severely changing the gameplay in those genres in order to mask the inferiority of the cloud gaming experience. It's a bit like copy protection - time and again, publishers introduce new and extremely inconvenient forms of copy protection, and they're always perfectly ok with a certain group of people being turned off by these new forms. Heck, Ubisoft severely curtailed its own market by introducing copy protection that required a near-constant internet connection at a time when many people around the world still treated the internet as something you switch on when you use it, and switch off when you stop using it. This is just more of the same - it's ok to lose some customers due to dissatisfaction, if you can force some non-customers (who were playing your games, but not paying for them) to become customers.

    These days I don't like including multiple quotes in a response, but this bit I do want to address directly...

    Are you kidding? :) Do you remember what the top selling game was for most of the 1990s? Myst. Because it was beautiful, and accessible. Of course people want slow-passed games with stunning visuals - and there's enough such people that games of this kind will regularly outsell the latest AAA FPS hit. Can you identify any problems that would prevent endless millions of middle-aged adults, who may not regularly play a console, but regularly update their TVs (and therefore, will end up with a cloud gaming-enabled TV perhaps even without consciously buying it), from enjoying Obduction, or Firewatch, or Everybody's Gone to Rapture, Lifeless Planet, Dear Esther, or The Witness?

    Being lazy, I'll just quote Wikipedia on The Witness:
    "Within a week of release, Blow stated that sales of The Witness had nearly outsold what Braid had done during its first year of release. He later specified that first week sales were over 100,000 copies with gross revenues over $5 million, on track to break even with development costs, with which Thekla will start considering porting the game to other platforms, potentially including iOS, Android, OS X, and Xbox One. During this time, Blow observed that the Windows version of The Witness was one of the top downloads through illegal BitTorrent sites, comparable to what he had seen for Braid. He had opted to forgo strong digital rights management for the title, as he believes "people should have the freedom to own things", but has said he may change his mind and software piracy controls "might happen on the next game"."

    There is nothing whatsoever in The Witness, or other games like it, that would prevent it from working well on a cloud gaming system. Maybe some slight changes would be needed in the gameplay to adjust for latency, but that's about all. And the advantage? That apart from those 100,000 copies sold and hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent downloads in that first week, you'd be looking at two or three hundred thousand sales and no downloads. Worth it? Worth it. Feasible? Feasible.

    I do find it fascinating to be talking to a programmer about this, by the way. The technical issues you're raising and the potential solutions you discuss... well, you could just about be talking in a different language, I don't get half of what you're saying :). I certainly take your word for it, there are very serious problems with cloud gaming. And yes, the buzz around cloud gaming has died down recently. However, from the perspective of someone who may not know that much about programming, but knows enough about games design and the games industry to be teaching about it at university, I think you need to look at it from an industry perspective as well. At the end of the day, any technological issue can be solved - sometimes solved well, sometimes badly, but you can always solve it, if the attraction of the new technology is sufficient to justify some sacrifices. And why has the buzz died down at the moment? For two reasons. Firstly, because our industry is incapable of being focussed on more than one shiny trinket at once. Currently, that trinket is VR. Secondly, because the hardware manufacturers have understood that cloud gaming offers little benefit for them at the moment - they need to recoup the costs of developing the XBOne and the PS4, it's not in their interest to endanger sales of these consoles. But there is somebody else on the market, for whom cloud gaming can be very interesting indeed - TV manufacturers. The change will be fairly low key - just another new feature added to smart TVs. Initially, they'll have to chase after developers to get them to make games for new TVs. They'll have to chase after publishers (or perhaps TV stations) to set up cloud gaming channels for them. But eventually (and I don't think it's more than a decade away) they'll reach critical mass. That will also be the point when Sony grandly proclaims that the new PlayStation (5? 6?) will be integrated into their latest TV models.
     

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