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DICE – modern setting getting stale, FPS needs innovating

Thursday, 5th July 2012 17:08 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson has said the FPS genre needs to innovate as many studios aren’t taking “revolutionary,” or at “least evolutionary,” steps when it comes to tech as well as producing something other than a “modern setting.”

Speaking with Edge, Troedsson said the core FPS shooter crowd has “extremely high demands on what the games are,” and how they are developed.

“If [players] don’t see some kind of new, if not revolutionary then at least evolutionary, step of rendering in every game they will start to lose interest,” he said. “And I think that is what’s happening. Because a lot of franchises out there don’t take this seriously; to actually make sure that we don’t just challenge ourselves on the gameplay aspect, or perhaps some other area like distribution method, but also how it [feels], how it looks and how it sounds.

“It might just be a rendering feature but in the end it adds up to the complete experience of what we’re doing. I think we’re going to start seeing people moving away from the modern setting, because every now and again settings or themes start to get stale and then everyone jumps over.

“At some point dinosaurs are the hottest thing and everyone is making games with dinosaurs, but there are trends. It used to be WWII, and recently it’s been the modern era and people are now moving towards near future.”

Troedsson feels that a developer can only make so many games “in one particular era,” before it starts to get boring.

“I think it’s our responsibility as game developers to always push ourselves when it comes to the experience of games,” he said. “I’m not saying we’re going to build an FPS that will make you cry, or anything like that [laughs]. But we want people to be amazed when they look at our games. And I think this is more important than becoming number one… we want to make the best game that we can, and we want that game to be the best one on the market.

“If gamers think that, then we’ve done our job. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.”

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27 Comments

  1. Malmer

    Why NOT make an FPS that “makes you cry or anything like that”? Or atleast make one that is a little more balanced in terms of story and shows the dark side of war, and perhaps a more personal story. Right now they are all explosions and not much else.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Maximum Payne

    Modern setting is not a problem , but so much linearity is.
    I don’t say every shooters need to be open world like far cry 2 or 3 but at least some kind of freedom in level and not constantly to follow AI from one scripted scene to another.
    Far Cry 1!! had more open levels in 2004 with all vehicles and physics then most of shooters today combined!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OrbitMonkey

    Female avatars in multiplayer would shake things up ;-)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    Here’s a related article I saw, around some indies thinking the same thing, and seeing what they could come up with in a week: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/173165/Indies_challenge_themselves_to_find_innovation_in_the_tired_old_FPS_genre.php

    The organiser seems to argue that in order to innovate in FPS, you should reinvestigate its past, from the start. That shooting towards what is popular today can only result in oversaturation and repetition.
    I agree very much with the DICE man though, both in that I think it could well benefit the whole gaming machine…But also that changing superficial parts, such as the theme, or the time in which the game is set is no real solution.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Edo

    Shut up and make Mirror’s Edge 2 :) .

    #5 3 years ago
  6. xxJPRACERxx

    For me WWII is still the best setting.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    So why aren’t DICE doing anything about it?

    #7 3 years ago
  8. manamana

    ^ they probably will with BFBC3.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    ^cause they already did it with innovative destruction, pushed visuals and they created Mirrors Edge this generation.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 Right, that graphically impressive modern military shooter sure was a daring creative move!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Malmer

    @10 And on consoles it wasn’t graphically impressive either. Not even close to what CryEngine does on the same hardware.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. silkvg247

    Innovative idea: Include female avatars in game… ;D

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Ireland Michael

    @12 Pfft! We want innovation, not women!

    #13 3 years ago
  14. absolutezero

    Innovation. Move even further away from story driven character based games and turn everything into an RPG.

    I demand more self insertion and Mary Sues!

    (Or Marty Stu just so we’re all perfectly equal)

    On Topic all this really makes me think is that theres going to be a 2143.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Bluebird

    Could start by letting you play as a human rather than a floating camera with arms. Mirror’s Edge was on the right track already.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    @DSB, Well, Destruction for example is the thing that will be on the next gen consoles in FPS titles all the time in most cases.
    Battlefield 3 is not just another good looking game, they pushed the boundaries of what FPS could look.
    Besides, these guys have plenty to say because they are also the creators of Mirrors Edge.

    they can say every shit they want right now and no one will whine because DICE do their job. At least from a development perspective they push their games.

    @Malmer, it’s only a Console problem that it has 10 year old hardware and your problem. Battlefield 3 looked like a next gen game on the PC where it has it’s roots. Fact.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 I don’t see how it’s that interesting. Volition beat them to the punch ages ago.

    Mirror’s Edge was a great example of innovation, but it was also two modern military shooters ago. Certainly Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 did nothing to move anything forward compared to what they did with Battlefield 2, which actually tried to introduce some form of command structure to a multiplayer shooter. That’s something you can’t get in very many places.

    It’s not surprising that a DICE executive chooses to focus on technology, when they’re still playing catch-up with themselves from 10 years ago in terms of gameplay.

    Also, weren’t you skeptical of Sledgehammer because Dead Space was old? It’s only a year older than Mirror’s Edge. What exactly happens to a developer during those last crucial 365 days?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @DSB, Volition Destruction is a horrible mess and without decent physics and it’s TPS.

    DICE pretty much owned Volition with it’s destruction in everything.

    ” Certainly Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3 did nothing to move anything forward compared to what they did with Battlefield 2, which actually tried to introduce some form of command structure to a multiplayer shooter. That’s something you can’t get in very many places.”

    Bad Company 2 and BF3 again is known for great visuals, destruction innovation. Everything else is great as it is. There is nothing much to improve, except for fixing bugs.

    Next Generation they will introduce something new in Battlefield BC series or Battlefield 4. Every time they do something new with their games or make great experiments with Mirrors Edge.

    “It’s not surprising that a DICE executive chooses to focus on technology, when they’re still playing catch-up with themselves from 10 years ago in terms of gameplay.”

    and they should not because gameplay from 10 years ago in Battlefield series works brilliantly and they still make great physics, engines and etc. that supports the gameplay.

    Battlefield 3 is a great example of a good game.

    “Also, weren’t you skeptical of Sledgehammer because Dead Space was old?”

    I don’t see a connection with DICE honestly.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. mathare92

    Frankly, when it comes to destruction being a pivotal tool in the game, I think they definitely regressed with Battefield 3. It may be present in the game, but it’s nowhere as useful as it was in Bad Company 2.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    @19 I think that’s more realistic, really. Levelling a city is tantamount to genocide or at the very least serious war crimes.

    I think it’s a decent gimmick, but it’s hardly a game changer in my opinion. I was a lot more impressed with the command system they tried to implement with Battlefield 2.

    And in some ways that reminds me of Planetside, which is still one of the best wargames I’ve ever played. I can’t put my finger on how they actually did it, but I think the persistent world, the fact that you had to subscribe, and the guild system meant that people were extremely serious about coordinating themselves.

    That’s the kind of innovation that should change everything. Even if it didn’t.

    @18 “and they should not because gameplay from 10 years ago in Battlefield series works brilliantly and they still make great physics, engines and etc. that supports the gameplay.”

    Okay, so it seems we agree. DICE aren’t innovators, they just like to talk about it.

    “Volition Destruction is a horrible mess and without decent physics and it’s TPS.”

    Okay, so you’re saying you didn’t notice the indestructible staircases and floors in Bad Company 2?

    Decent physics indeed! Last time I checked walls were pretty important to the structural integrity of a building.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. CPC_RedDawn

    @#15 Bluebird

    Someone obviously did not look down when playing BF3…

    It has the same effect as Mirror’s Edge. You see your feet and even your arms when you alter the FOV on PC.

    Plus these were not the first games to do this, heck even Halo 1 had this and FEAR 1 had this too.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. G1GAHURTZ

    Isn’t this just a convenient way of saying that we’re going to copy CoD once again with a futuristic setting in our next game?

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Maximum Payne

    @22 Irony is , Black Ops 2 ”art style” resemble Battlefield 2142.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Gadzooks!

    They did so well with Bad Company. Semi-openworld, great story and characters. Combined with destruction it felt fresh.

    Then they made 2 awful CoD clones, so DICE have no right to comment on stale formulas.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Erthazus

    @22, that’s why Treyarch is hard at work making a copy of Battlefield 2142 with corridors.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. OrbitMonkey

    It’ll be difficult to go back in time as peeps love their modern guns. Imagine trying to play a game set in the 1800′s? All muskets and flintlock pistols?

    Future settings are cool, but can sometimes be bogged down in gadgetry and anything really sci-fi has a certain MasterChief to contend with…

    FarCry 3 looks promising. But the fact your not playing a soldier of some recognisable military force, may put some people off. We’ll see.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    Inovation and gaming, two words that really don’t fit that well together.

    Pubs aren’t chasing something new they are chasing something that they know will sell. Millions of CoD fans will buy BLOPS2 this year, and next to none of them will do it because the game has new fresh inovations. They will do it because they want new settings and stages to play the CoD they all already love in.

    Trip A games pubs aren’t remotly interested in Inovation for the sake of inovation. For that, you should start playing more indie games, Steam says “Hello”.

    #27 3 years ago

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