Is there still a market for 2D games?

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Post: #31
Yeah, Descent was cool. I loved the music. The only game that caused me motion sickness was Duke Nukem 3D, probably because I was playing it too much.

BTW, I searched for Dragon Clash and aparently the company that made it doesn't exist anymore. Oh well, I still have SNES9X Smile

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Post: #32
Dragon clash:
http://www.monteboyd.com/monte_boyd_games.htm

I wish Nintendo would re-release the a combined/condensed NES + SNES. They could even sell all the games on optical discs to save money because entire games could easily be loaded into RAM, now. Love

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Post: #33
The Gameboy Advance is basically the same as the SNES, at least in terms of graphics. But if you want to play the games on a bigger screen you'll need a gamecube.

I wouldn't be surprised if some hacker made a SNES emulator for the PSP, or even the iPod Rasp

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Post: #34
Yes, I have a gameboy player for my Gamecube, but it doesn't play my original NES or SNES games, and Nintendo is only releasing the biggest hits as gameboy games with the resolution slightly off (at $20 a pop!) Some of the update/remakes are cool, like Gradius Galaxies and especially Metroid Zero Mission (any metroid fan who hasn't played this through isn't actually a metroid fan), but I just want an official system to play, with authentic feeling controllers.

I don't think the PSP can run executables off of the memory sticks and the UMD format for PSP is currently locked (no burners), and there is no way any current iPod (including iPhoto) could come close to playing those games.

Anyway with all of these TV games selling so well (like the Atari 2600 controller that contains the whole system) I'd think that Nintendo would get something out there. Maybe Nintendo's next system will have a cartridge slot for old games. Rasp

Anyway, you can see there is at least a ton of interest in 2D games from my direction. I agree with the notion that most "3D" games are actually 3D representations of 2D gameplay. The best 3D games take advantage of the extra dimension (like the Water Temple in Zelda Ocarina of Time.)

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Post: #35
You guys want to play emulated games on your TV like the good ol' days, then go look into a Dreamcast. I never worked on any of the emulator projects myself, but I helped a lot of them use my toolkit Grin and played around with them a bit. Many of the emulators are pretty high quality.

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Post: #36
@aaronsullivan: there's already a freeware NES emulator for the GBA out there somewhere (lost the link ages ago...), although you'll need a flash-cartridge for it to be useful, and a Windows box to collate the NES ROMs prior to flashing.

Lots of video options for playing NES games with a resolutaion greater than that of the GBA, but the best feature is undoubtably the use of the SRAM for save states...

And all of this evangelism is so useful when I still can't remember the name of the emulator Mad

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Post: #37
...and I'm pretty sure that there are versions of MAME and SNES9X (or ZSNES) available for the GamePark (GP32).

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Post: #38
The closest thing to what I want is the Pocket Famicom with a "family converter" (sounds religious, but it let's you play the US NES cartridges or European PAL cartridges.) You can hook this baby up to a TV and apparently hook up other nintendo controllers to it.

Problem is the controller is ALL wrong. Those control pad on a disc things that are everywhere are so much less precise than one where you can feel the surface of the controller under your thumb (in order to tell when you are pressing diagonal.)

What I really need to do is dedicate a mac to playing on the TV and just invest in some authentic SNES and/or NES USB controllers. A great job for a Mac mini, but that's a little pricey for this purpose. My older iMac and iBook might have some issues running SNES and Genesis emulators super perfect smooth. (Last I checked, those SNES emulators still had the occasional graphical imperfections, too.)

I do have a couple of old NES's at the house, but the connectors are overused and I don't really want to replace them, but that is another option. Problem is, the controllers are beat and that doesn't get me an SNES.

I'd just like to get something new and official from Nintendo. They could add some value to it all (bonus features like historical interviews, box art, etc.) and keep it more simple and, of course, completely legal.

EDIT: I'm attempting to buy those authentic SNES controllers from RETROZONE (linked above.) I'll let anyone know how that turns out if you're interested.

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Post: #39
These posts about retro gaming may seem off topic. So, I just want to make this discussion somewhat relevant.

I have played only a couple 3D games that really warrant being 3D in the first place AND capture the magic of some of the original raw gaming found in early arcade games, a few Atari 2600 games (like Yar's Revenge) and NES games.

These games were limited in graphics and music and control capabilities. In order to make up for this designers were forced to maximize the play experience. Rewards and scoring and incentives all had to come from the interaction, NOT just visual eye-candy, or amazing music.

Because of this, you sort of get these games that to today's audience seem like they have been boiled down to the very marrow of what makes a game fun. But, there is more to it than that.

The 2-D abstraction allows for very intuitive and precise control. Many of the best games actually required the player to become "skilled" at manipulating the game. Bionic Commando, for instance, is loved by many because of the imposed limitation of the grapple. You can't just press a button and jump, you need to learn how to utilize this extending arm. Timing and assessing distances and trajectories become a skill the player needs to perfect in order to succeed.

Try implementing something similar in a 3-D environment and it becomes dumbed down. Take Metroid Prime, for instance. The grapple beam is supposed to act in a similar way, but in order to make it playable, there are only key dots (with big glowing icons) that you can connect to. Trajectory is all but impossible to predict and jumping locations are made obvious and easy to manage. Usually, grappling is a separate event from the rest of the game instead of feeling integrated (like attacking enemies and dodging shots simultaneously as in Bionic Commando.) Considerable effort was made in Metroid Prime to make it more interactive than previous attempts (like cheap pull-me-to-the-point imitations in games like Half-Life), but it is MUCH more rewarding and interactive in the 2-D blocky pixelated Bionic Commando.

My point here is that I think many gamers yearn for that core gaming experience they once had, but can't grasp why they aren't getting it in newer games. Sadly, it is easier to get excited about an upcoming game based on pictures and sounds and video. Generally, there is no demo of the game play early in the hype machine... just screenshots.

Very little has been added to the game play possibilities by the ability to simulate 3-D. Wolfenstein 3D had most of what FPS offer today (can you honestly tell me that Doom 3 is that much different concerning game play?), and Mario 64 is still the best 3D platform game I've ever played. Zelda OoT maximized the feeling of immersion and overcame some 3D limitations with the "lock-on" system for adventure games, but the core of the game still came from the original Zelda on the NES. 3-D combat games like UT or Battlefield have added death match and team play, but that is more a result of ubiquitous networking than 3D simulation. (i.e. 2D games could also have death match and team play.)

2D games, in my estimation, end up being MORE interactive than 3D games. The trick is to get past that 3D stigma that is created by the giant hype machine. Honestly, I think there is a trend starting that will usher in many more 2D games, even on consoles. Those Warioware games on the Gameboys, Viewtiful Joe, and Alien Hominid are just the beginning. Developers are somewhat disillusioned with the upcoming consoles and the expense/risk of giant games with warehouses full of content. Meanwhile there are these little Atari controllers you can hook up to your TV with ancient 2600 games in them that are selling like mad.

If anything I'd say we are the verge of a comeback wave for 2D.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." - Wizard of Oz
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Post: #40
I've been kind of out of the loop playing mainstream games, but did anyone play any of the relatively recent Spiderman 2 game? That seemed to have some sort of 3d grappling mechanism and it's supposed to be a pretty good game, though I'm curious exactly how that worked.

It seems even portables now are getting all crazy-3d, so I'm not sure if bitmapped 2d games are going to make much of a comeback on consoles. I definitely do enjoy the 2.5d genre of stuff like Viewtiful Joe, which I think was first done really well with Nights into Dreams. One of my favorite platformers of all time is Gunstar Heroes, and Treasure had made a game like that called Mischief Makers on the N64 that was a lot of fun to play, though I wished they had just made Gunstar Heroes 2, which would have been out of control. This is not the original question, but I don't know how well these games do- probably not any worse than your run-of-the-mill 3d game.

For the purposes of shareware/indie games, I'd say a large segment of consumers for this sector are looking for retrogames, so there's definitely a market for 2d bitmap graphics. There's absolutely no question about that at all. I don't know the original motivation for this poll, but if it's about what sort of shareware game is going to sell, I think your best bet is to rip-off a puzzle game or card game, and do it really well- a really polished casual game can go far, and those you can do pretty well in 2d.
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Post: #41
I wanted to add to my point one clarification: I consider a game using polygons/3-D imagery but with 2-D game play to be 2-D. (As some call it 2.5D) The method of generating the imagery hardly matters, it's the interaction and interpretation of the abstracted images that's important.

3D games do have the possible advantage of making you feel like you are there (until you grapple with interacting with the world. Smile ) I play WoW, and that's half the game.

I wouldn't call the gameplay revolutionary, however. Smile

As for the indie market, it may take awhile, but I think there will be a demand for lower budget and indie console games. Yes, the console companies have a tight control over the games due to licenses, but I think Nintendo, in particular, is beginning to see the value in lower budget games and letting their developers take risks. Look at the DS for instance and, again, those Wario ware games. They have also, in the past, funded small development projects. It's no where near the open platform we get from PC's and our beloved Macs, but I think the big guys might discover a hidden market there.

I'm just thinking that the console developer community is going to have to do something about this MORE MORE MORE attitude coming from Microsoft and Sony and even Nintendo. I used to dream of working for Nintendo, but now I don't think I'd enjoy working on a mega project at all. I'd have so little influence on the game itself.

One way to minimize cost is to 2D. Smile

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Post: #42
Very much so. PC casual games (mostly 2D) market is HUGE. I'm not sure what to say about the Mac side, but my company is working to change that Wink
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Post: #43
maaaaark Wrote:Very much so. PC casual games (mostly 2D) market is HUGE. I'm not sure what to say about the Mac side, but my company is working to change that Wink

What company? Huh

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Post: #44
aaronsullivan Wrote:Developers are somewhat disillusioned with the upcoming consoles and the expense/risk of giant games with warehouses full of content.

This is going a little offtopic again Wink but most people don't realize just how disillusioned the mainstream game industry is with the console treadmill. It was cool for a while when they were getting significant improvements in capability, but at this point I've been reading interview after interview where major developers (I'm thinking of Yuji Naka in particular here) are talking about how they probably aren't going to bother with new consoles for a while due to the increased complexity in making a decent game for them, the increased lead time that gamers won't want to put up with, etc. Something tells me the treadmill trend can't last much longer.

You guys mentioned homebrew/indie on consoles... I point you once again at the Dreamcast. Smile Not trying to sound like a broken record here, but we've spent years building up the tools and commercial indie community on that console, and it requires no mod chips or anything. There are already three published indie titles, and more on the way. So if you have an itch to develop commercially on a console with indie release possibilities, look there. Not a huge market, but it's good for getting experience if you want it.

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Post: #45
Dan Potter Wrote:So if you have an itch to develop commercially on a console with indie release possibilities, look there. Not a huge market, but it's good for getting experience if you want it.

We need consoles sold... what if Sega (or someone else) started making them again, and included independent games with the system?
That processor is plenty powerful for a lot of things, and it could be made for a very cheap amount (I imagine) at this point in time, since the technology is a little older.

That's a great idea.

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