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Modern Action Game Development: Is It DOOMed??
Split from Doom4 topic as I believe this is a pretty pertninent and passionate issue in it's own right.

All of us folks on func are passionate about some form of old skool gaming, right?? Almost certainly Quake / Doom and some their contemporaries, as well as tangential franchises such as Thief, System Shock, etc.

As such we have a pretty strong appreciation of what made those titles great (and often still great). Including but not limited to: User-friendliness, direct controls, simplicity, freedom of movement and exploration, fast paced action, atmosphere, purity of purpose, etc etc.

But also most of us have some passions about modern contemporary titles. Fallout4, Witcher3, Skyrim, XCom EU, Soma, Wolf TNO. Slick graphics (well okay not FO4...), cinematic presentation, strong stories, dialogue, cutscenes, RPG elements, specific missions etc etc.

(I'm skipping low budget indie games here but feel free to compare those if it's relevant)

Nevertheless, as per the Doom4 thread, I think there is a general feeling that games these days are missing the characteristics that made older games great, and that attempts to recapture those characteristics are incompatible with the demands of modern gamers AND the ethos of modern studios, and that attempts to blend old and new and especially remake or reboot old games are doomed...

So:

Is this the case??

Discuss.
Replying To MH.... 
There's a real element of "they changed it, now it sucks" in this, isn't there? This must be a horrible position for the developers to be in; change too much and they get comments like this, not change enough and they get accused of stagnating or recycling the same game over and over (like what happened to id in the late 90s).

I don't have a lot of sympathy for a lot of game devs....because so much of what they get wrong is so utterly obvious, it seems that they must be doing it deliberately to piss players off.

Such as:

Unbindable controls
Fixed FOV
Un-disablable headbob
Unskippable intro movies / adverts
Unskippable dialogue / cutscenes
Bad save points before such cutscenes
Bad save points related to boss battles
Missing or ineffective skill settings
Onscreen instructions still with console button hints
Wasteful design requiring invisible barriers to herd player.

All of which happen too much in modern games, and almost all of which were the sort of things we could take for granted in older games. Quake I can rebind my keys to play with my dick if I want, just from simple menus. Quake2 if I wanted to skip the intro "cinematic" then I could just do with without editing a fucking .ini file. Unreal if I wanted to save right before fighting a Titan because hey common fucking sense I might die and not want to replay the whole level, then I could.

I know this isn't the main issue, but when a major dev releases a full finished game, that apparently has been playtested, and does something as amazingly fucking stupid as put a savepoint before a long cutscene before a tough arena battle, and somehow thinks that having to rewatch the cutscene every time you reload is a good idea....They deserve to have a horrible time. 
User-friendliness Of All Things.... 
 
 
Bad save points before such cutscenes.

I think there's a special cauldron in hell for devs that place a savepoint before cutscenes. 
 
In the 90s games were made for PC dorks that probably had to have a lot of patience and some technical skill to even get the fucking thing to work in the first place. Game design could be more challenging, non-linear and exploratory because you had these people's attention by the very nature of them.

Games these days are hugely expensive to make and designed to sell to a casual mass market that will get bored in the first ten minutes unless you hit them over the head with easy, non-confusing, visually spectacular fluff.

You are not going to see a big-budget game made with 90s design sensibilities. You might still see it in the indie scene.

Or just shut up and play Dark Souls. 
Did You Sit On A Traffic Cone Or Why Are You So Butthurt? 
Very insightful thread about a topic that was never discussed on func before. Surely it will invoke constructive and interesting discussions. 
Kinn... 
In the 90s games were made for PC dorks that probably had to have a lot of patience and some technical skill to even get the fucking thing to work in the first place.

I find it's worse today. The amount of .ini hunting and editing you have to do to get basical functionality like FOV 90 or something...!

The rest of your post....maybe... 
There's Still Hope 
as machinegames and avalanche studios still manage to make proper games (wolf: tno, tob or mad max respectively). i think it mostly depends on a studio and on how people in there motivated to make certain title.
if they're under top management press to produce boring bollox (even if it's franchise but they're forced to make it as being said) there's no hope, if they're passionate of what they're making and have certain freedom then there's good result.
so i think it's getting harder for big studios with big publishers to make something original nowadays due to costs and pressing from indie devs with their originality.

ps. mad max fanboy here. 
 
I find it's worse today. The amount of .ini hunting and editing you have to do to get basical functionality like FOV 90 or something...!

Ah yes but you're not supposed to be changing the FOV. Configurable FOV is never part of modern game design and probably hasn't been since, I dunno, 1999? In fact, only someone who was brought up on Quake would even think of doing that. It's a dev feature at best, like all the hundreds of other obscure tweaks and cheats you can muck around with in that .ini file. 
 
Quake was a 4 person/5 person team of kids making a game. Kids still make games today.

Some of them are incredible:

Check out Unturned made by a 16 year old. It is a zombie survival game with crafting, vehicles, deathmatch and coop, a myriad of items.

Video: http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/2032712/movie_max.webm?t=1402962994

http://store.steampowered.com/app/304930/ <--- notice the 160,000 ratings. The game is $5, but there are purchasable items.

This isn't the only example, but is exceptionally notable because it was work of a 16-year old. 
What Kinn Said 
Stop hacking, hackerfuck 
What 
several modern games i played recently had fov slider! (still sadly limited by 100 or even 90 degs) but yea, general trend sucks.. 
 
In spite of their many flaws, I've really enjoyed the trend of a few modern games (like Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and Alien: Isolation) to rely on the thematic roots of their respective franchises while still being treated as modern releases.

Sometimes that works really well. Revelations 2 plays in every way SO much better than RE5 or RE6 and is still a spooky and goofy third-person shooter, and we'll see what the RE2 remake will be like - while sometimes it doesn't work so well, like Alien, which, as much as I loved it, was yet another stealth/craft/shoot AAA title that a lot of people didn't bother to finish. 
 
I definitely play more modern indie than AAA games but that's mostly because my newest console is a PS2 and my Macbook has Intel HD graphics (and frankly at this point even new indie games are starting to outstrip my system). I might as well get a PS3 at this point but the only games I care about for it are Demon's Souls/Dark Souls and Deadly Premonition. The Last of Us is great too (despite some flaws) but I already played it on a former roommate's console.

Indie games are cool because there are tons of young devs out there with lots of news ideas, as well as people who are making loving "retro" titles, usually in the vein of 2D action games and platformers, adventure games, or vaguely Earthbound-ish RPGs (Undertale, Lisa, OFF, etc.). Then again there's a glut of arty-farty games with really terrible writing that get heaps of praise for some reason, Dear Esther and Her Story being the worst offenders imo.

Unfortunately you won't see much nowadays like the games Shambler mentioned, afaik but hey�there's always mods and custom levels. Do you *really* need a Thief reboot when there are lots of quality fan missions out there? Still, I'm waiting for a small team to do the equivalent of a Cave Story or Shovel Knight for old school FPS. 
 
I don't have a lot of sympathy for a lot of game devs....because so much of what they get wrong is so utterly obvious, it seems that they must be doing it deliberately to piss players off.

You really should try being a game developer.

You'd be able to put your money where your considerable mouth is and show all these chumps how it's really done, totally eating their lunch with the magic bullet of old school game design, and all the pros and ex-pros on this board can watch the games industry grind you into a greasy paste. 
Lun. 
You should really try sniffing my balls. They're extra greasy after being to the gym.

Seriously though. I'm talking about deliberate choices to GET IT WRONG (and I don't mean subjectively wrong like turning Doom into a slow horror-themed game). Choices which sometimes seem to be more obtuse and complicated than actually just letting things be functional for the player. And choices that concern aspects of games that were default RIGHT with the dawn of 3D FPS gaming.

Semi off-topic though so feel free to ignore those issues... 
 
Can you give an example? I'm honestly curious what you think devs miss that is totally obvious. 
See List Above, Warren 
 
 

Unbindable controls
Fixed FOV
Un-disablable headbob
Unskippable intro movies / adverts
Unskippable dialogue / cutscenes
Bad save points before such cutscenes
Bad save points related to boss battles
Missing or ineffective skill settings
Onscreen instructions still with console button hints
Wasteful design requiring invisible barriers to herd player.

I pretty much agree. You can find all of the above in most of the big titles released in the last 5-10 years. Not all in every game, but usually more than one.

Fixed FOV I could live with if the default wasn't almost always poorly chosen. 75 degrees? Really?

Unskippable intro spam. Almost every game seems to think this is the most awesome feature ever. Wrong. Very, very wrong. Possibly the most annoying thing ever put in a game. One time only, please, and skippable if not plot or specifically game related

Onscreen instructions with console button hints. I always feel embarrassed for the dev who forgot to fix this obvious error.

Invisible barriers. This is bad, but what I think is worse is when you can't backtrack even though there is absolutely no reason to prevent it. 
 

Unbindable controls
Fixed FOV
Un-disablable headbob
Unskippable intro movies / adverts
Unskippable dialogue / cutscenes
Bad save points before such cutscenes
Bad save points related to boss battles
Missing or ineffective skill settings
Onscreen instructions still with console button hints
Wasteful design requiring invisible barriers to herd player


Actioning that laundry list of pet peeves will do absolutely nothing to turn a modern game into an oldskool-feeling game. 
I Can Only Guess Of Course. 
Since most AAA titles nowadays is really just a complex screenshot generators, they care only about the looks and extreme low FOV might be a cheap hack to solve every FPS problem - wrong scale of characters comparing to world.

I think most of modern games issues could be divided in 2 groups:
- it makes better screenies for adds, so screw the player
- whole product has only 2 hours of pure gameplay so we will use any possibility to waste player's time 
Except 
the invisible barriers one. That is the only thing in the list that touches upon a non-trivial difference in design philosophy between oldskool and nuskool. 
Kinn. 
Which is exactly why I say it is semi off-topic. But I think some of those aspects are symptomatic of some modern game design. 
BTW. 
It is worth pointing out, that despite my little rantful list, in general there is a lot that I like in modern gaming. I've enjoyed loads of games in recent years, haven't even got around to Alien Isolation and Metro 2033 Redux and Legacy Of The Void and am thoroughly looking forward to XCom2, Dishonoured2, Total Warhammer, and seeing that Doom4 is like, to name a few examples.

Personally I've enjoyed diversifying into other genres, I am also not so attached or even experienced in certain franchises to find their reboots abominable, and have enjoyed Doom3, Tomb Raider 2013, Thief 4 etc. Which is fortunate for me I guess.

OTOH I still find the issue in general rather interesting, especially since my favourite recent games have not been pure FPS (as it would have been in the past). Daz and OTP and others were chatting about this in #terrafusion the other night, about how in certain eras there would be truly great and longstanding FPSes, but recently there haven't been. For example in the late 90's: Quake, Q2 Unreal, Deus Ex. In the early 2000's: HL2, Far Cry, Crysis. In recent years.....well WTNO is good but it didn't seem that memorable. STALKER got mentioned but seems a bit specialist. I personally think Dishonoured is the latest brilliant FPS for it's gameplay options (and a neat setting). But the numbers of classics seem to be diminishing.

Obviously there is a LOT of subjectivity and personal opinions in the last bit, but I think the point is reasonably valid. 
And Moar.... 
Games these days are hugely expensive to make and designed to sell to a casual mass market that will get bored in the first ten minutes unless you hit them over the head with easy, non-confusing, visually spectacular fluff.

You are not going to see a big-budget game made with 90s design sensibilities. You might still see it in the indie scene.


Good reply. I think that is a big part of the issue, and indeed confirms that it IS an issue.

However I don't think it's out of the question. I've seen devs responds to the backlash by, for example, putting in FOV sliders, and highlighting their action orientated gameplay (and indeed isn't Doom4 doing the latter??). And like Vondur mentions, some games are putting in old skool style stuff - WNTOTOT was quite clear that you could have lots of big guns and shoot them lots. And dropped flaming zombies from the sky - which is definitely in the ethos of things.

Are AAAAAAA+++ WB 10/10 cinematic experiences and visceral action / user-friendly controls and options really incompatible?? 
Meh 
...what they get wrong is so utterly obvious, it seems that they must be doing it deliberately to piss players off.

I don't believe there is a conspiracy among devs to piss off their player base, but I can relate to the sentiment in regards to certain things.

For every single thing the devs 'miss' there are a thousand other things they saw and addressed. Time, money and sanity are finite resources. I suspect that large amounts of thought and time are put into simply listing and prioritizing things like this to be taken care of and, sometimes, things just don't get addressed in a way that is satisfactory to everyone.

That being said, there are some things that I have a hard time rationalizing, like fixed FOV. That shit keeps me from even buying/playing the game. Is it that hard to put in an FOV slider? That's not a snide remark, maybe it really is that hard, I don't know.

In any case, it would be nice to see things like FOV sliders, skippable intros, and mouse smoothing options become a standard. 
Poop Shoots 
The issue as I see it is that games cost a fuck ton of money to make these days compared to the 90's, which means that there is a ton of risk involved in making something that breaks from the accepted mold of modern gaming standards.

Jill game designer loves old skool shooters and has painstaking spent years creating the sickest design doc ever for a modern old skool shooter. Jill shows it to the directors at her game studio and gets laughed out of the room because it isn't accessible enough and the demographic isn't large enough to cover the costs of AAA development. Jill cries, and goes back to work the next day on her run of the mill no-risk franchised console game like all the other game dev people who have awesome ideas but can't do them.

:(

Every so often something fucky happens and a AAA game comes around which takes risks and does new and exciting things. The souls games are an utterly brilliant example of this. Razor focused on the hardcore gamer demographic, they are punishing and relentless - and utterly captivating. The STALKER series is another great example. I'm sure there are many others but my brain is shit right now.

Really, I think people are looking in the wrong places for real innovation if you are staring at the AAA bubble and ignoring the indie scene.

/ramble
/rant 
 
"Is it that hard to put in an FOV slider? That's not a snide remark, maybe it really is that hard, I don't know."

I hate hate hate tiny fixed FOV, but the honest answer to that is "yes"... or at least harder than it used to be, given the fancuer nature of game's presentation these dats.

Reminds me of http://www.gearboxsoftware.com/community/articles/1061/inside-the-box-field-of-view 
 
(sorry for typos... that's what I get for typing one-handed while eating an apple) 
 
FOV affects more than people think. It's not just a number passed to OpenGL ... 
 
...those damned apples!

also, i think FOV is more complex than just affecting the camera. I've played some games where messing with the field of view introduced bugs. in some games, the bugs could be ignored (eg: gun model didn't have any polys at the back), but in others, they would make the game unpleasant to play (not quite unplayable, but unfun at least; eg: clicks don't line up, text on screen doesn't appear...). 
The Issue With Fov 
It is an art & performance problem, not just a player choice issue.

How many times have you seen a videogame where when you increase the fov using a hack or ini tweak the characters arms stop before they leave the screen, or other npc's don't interact with the player view properly, or the players hands don't reach the correct location when you use something. Etc etc. FOV is a right pita!

The performance thing is fairly obvious I should think. You can see more = the engine has to draw more = the engine gets slower at drawing things.

Then there is UI to consider. If the game uses in world ui drawn to an in-game model/plane (there is a fancy word for this that I've forgotten) then when you increase fov you can possibly make the entire ui unreadable or too far away.

Nothing in game dev is simple. That "one simple tweak" doesn't fucking exist. You increase the fov by 5 and suddenly the game runs at 10fps, characters shoot around at 900mph and your gun starts shooting body parts instead of bullets. Trust me, I checked! 
Disclaimer 
*Not a game dev, I just hear things

;) 
#27 
Good read, I think I've actually read that post before. The narrow FOV in Borderlands is actually what prevented me from playing it. It came to me highly recommended, but I just couldn't push past the FOV induced headache.

And, as I suspected, implementing a custom FOV has its own set of challenges. 
#31 
Yeah, imagine you're the artist whose level gets bounced because it hits an unacceptable frame drop in a couple of areas - but only when you have it on the highest FOV setting (that no-one but the Shamblers of this world are going to be playing with).

Multiply those sorts of situations by a thousand and you realise why devs prefer to have things like FOV fixed at a constant value. 
 
Multiply those sorts of situations by a thousand and you realise why devs prefer to have things like FOV fixed at a constant value.

Maybe taking a page out of CS:GO's book would be a reasonable solution. That is, have two FOV settings: narrow for people sitting on there couch and standard for people wanting to play at their desk without vomiting.

Devs get constant FOV value(s) and the players get at least some option. 
Kinn 
that no-one but the Shamblers of this world are going to be playing with

i find with these new wide screens, fov of about 100-105 is comfortable (and looks like old school 90 on 4:3s). 
I Think One Major Problem Is 
Developpers who are afraid their game would be uninteresting, so they clutter it with everything that would make the game "complex" on paper, whle it's the perfect way to make a mess of a game, much like what we see in AAA games today:
You can have an actual dev team whose publisher would let them do whatever they want, but because of the scale of the public or "fear" the game would be uninteresting, they think too "complexily" and thus the final game becomes a mess. The key thing then would be to have a free spirit, be down to earth, and focus on prioritizing as well as knowing what makes a good game in general ever since video games were a thing.
A perfect example of this is Square Enix: after the 2000s their FF games became a mess of too complex game designs and stories, and now people are more fond of Bravery Default than the recent FF games.

John Carmack said it himself anyway: complexity comes from the eyes of the player. Good game design does simple designs that naturally expands while still being simple, because the utter basis of the game, if done right, allows said simple design to expand, thus creating the illusion that it's "complex".

In fact, there's a recent video that talks about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxRxh8Ka5H8

Finally, I'd like to speculate Bioshcok Infinite went from this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGXZ2VKRpwk to the final product we all know and love (lol) because Ken Levine got a panic attack during development because he doubted his game's quality, while he should've calmed down and continues on the path he set himself on. And we all know game development is quite a stressful situation to be in. 
Console Bullshit 
Maybe it's not always as easy to implement adjustable FOV (and similar things we 'take for granted'), but it's one of the main reasons games are perceived as being dumbed down in functionality and accessiblity compared to older games - regardless whether it's fact or just biased perception.

For example, playing Fallout 4 right now, I can confidently say that the restricted FOV (and awkward/unreliable way of trying to change it) is hampering my immersion considerably, almost to the point where it makes me dizzy. And that is despite the fact that the game already has a higher default setting than several others FPS games.
Is it the developers' "artistic vision" that the game should be played like this.... or is it just some bullshit tradeoff that has sadly become accepted over the years? Hell, I'd take a stretched, cut-off or distorted HUD any day if I could have a proper field of view in games like this, individually adjustable to user preference and system specs.
Incidientally, I also believe that, among a few other things, the restriction to low FOV settings is responsible for the decline in navigation skill of many players, and subsequently the need for constant handholding. How are you supposed to find your way around if you can only see a small fraction of the scene.... but at least more explosions and particles at a constant frame rate!!! 
 
...haven't even got around to Alien Isolation...

Don't bother, it is not worth the frustration it inflicts on the player. At least, don't pay more than $5 for it, because there's an hour or so at the beginning where it's okay for looking around. 
Fov Shit 
extreme low FOV might be a cheap hack to solve every FPS problem

no, it isn't. please listen to the devs in this thread when they tell you it isn't.

The last title I worked on was FOV 75, but for a few weeks the default got changed to 90 mistakenly, and unfortunately it coincided with me beginning to focus on one map. I had to redo a lot of the work I did in those three weeks, because I was making everything way too huge. Props were all scaled wrong, and when I fixed that they had acres of empty space around them because the room was too big so brushwork had to be torn up too. This is why the characters in Kingpin and RTCW were all fat-limbed gorillas, and why characters in UT have tiny heads and huge feet: assets made for one FOV look completely wrong at another. 15 degrees severely affect the way the art and environments look, but it changes the game not at all.

the restriction to low FOV settings is responsible for the decline in navigation skill of many players, and subsequently the need for constant handholding

But not for you. You're better than everyone else, because you play at fov90 like a man.

There is so much self-congratulation in this thread. You guys label your tastes "hardcore" as a means of elevating them above everyone else's, so you feel justified when you whine that an entire medium doesn't cater to you any more. 
FOV Confusion 
But not for you. You're better than everyone else, because you play at fov90 like a man.

Is this in response to that specific post/this thread or to people who prefer a higher FOV in general?

I don't use a FOV when I can because it causes my e-peen to swell, but because I pretty much have too, otherwise I just get instant headaches and have trouble negotiating the map because I'm disoriented.

I would venture to guess that this is why most people use a higher FOV. There's nothing 'hardcore' about it.

As I said, I'm not sure if this is a straw-man to discredit those who prefer higher FOV or just commentary on certain rhetoric in this particular thread. 
 
I don't think "adjustable" FOV is all that necessary, maybe over a narrow range, but the default setting needs to be somewhat realistic.

75 degrees is like having blinders on. 90-100 usually seems pretty natural to me. I've seen people play Quake at 110-120 and that looks way too distorted for me.

I'd guess normal vision is probably somewhere around 120 degrees or more, but much of that is peripheral and doesn't count for much. 
 
I don't personally have any issue with FOV in modern games, but it's definitely true that some people experience negative physical reactions from narrow FOV in some games. I have friends who literally cannot play recent first-person games because it gives them headaches. I totally sympathize with the developer's perspective�it simply may not be possible to accommodate everyone's preferences and needs given the immense technical complexity of 3D game design these days�but these gaps are there, and they're not *totally* due to personsal bias or misplaced nostalgia. 
Lun 
Provocatively phrased on my part. But low FOV does tend to make games feel wrong for me, especially on a widesceen monitor. And I'm not talking about some pr0 gamer fov 200 thing. Something about moving the mouse but not seeing as much as one should normally. Or maybe I should sit three meters away from the sceen...

Is there a middle ground? Allowing people to change the settings to their liking at their own risk. Though, admittedly, this would get other people to complain as well. 
 
I play games almost exclusively on a standard 42" 1920x1080 TV. For me, 90 degrees is just barely acceptable. 
 
And why can't games get mouselook right? Seems like most are fine, but some make it feel like you're dragging the camera through syrup. I dunno, is that somebody's dumbass concept of how to add "realism"? 
 
the weird games are the ones where y sensitivity is lower than x.

luckily most games let you invert the y axis these days. for a while there seemed like very few games did and you had to get all kinds of weird IO hack programs to invert the axis globally. 
Lol!! 
Shambler with an awesome, provocative thread. Lunaran with another awesome post. Fov 90, like a man! 
Lunaran, Okay 
but how can you know it for sure? Even if last title you worked on had different reasons for having low FOV (btw, what was it?) that doesn't mean every other title glues binoculars to player's head for that same reason.

As developer you know that for first-person view world has to be somewhat larger to look right. Roughly 130% scale for FOV ~90.
But! While everything else looks almost correct, other characters appear tiny. Especially noticeable while observed character stands in a doorway (q3, ut etc).

You can scale other characters. Now they and world look fine until you get close to a monster or npc and notice that you are a midget. Your eye sight would be around his chest level.

Well, crap. Lets raise player camera. Same height with other characters and they appear appropriate height. Solves everything, right?
Wrong.

With described changes world appears too small. Upper part of a doorway visually scrapes you head now.

You can never have appropriate scale of player, other characters and world at the same time in FPS game, unless using VR helmet.

I was having Fallout4 in mind in previous comment. I guess they decided to go with later way, since they have a lot of NPC's wondering around.
It appears kind of logical to try and solve remaining problem (world seems too small) with low FOV. 
 
The scale problem is something of a weird issue ... if I remember correctly, it has to do with the players eye height actually being in their chest so that the gun lines up in a useful way for aiming. So, really, you're fucked from the start. 
 
Hmmm, usually for first-person view different set of hands is displayed, well maybe except for those games where you can see your body from chest and lower.
Thus, your eye height are not limited by your character's height. 
 
The last title I worked on was FOV 75, but for a few weeks the default got changed to 90 mistakenly

More like "it started at 75 mistakenly". 
 
Someone should plot revenue against FOV or number of available settings. 
Replies... 
#26 posted by DaZ

All that makes a lot of sense yes.


Nothing in game dev is simple. That "one simple tweak" doesn't fucking exist.

Surely the "save point after a cutscene instead of before it" tweak fucking exists ;).


only when you have it on the highest FOV setting (that no-one but the Shamblers of this world are going to be playing with).

I play with FOV90 in Quake games and try to get FOV80-90 in modern FPS. Is that okay? I'm personally not that hung up about FOV, it's just one example of user-friendliness.


#37 posted by Daya

All that makes a lot of sense yes. I think some complexity can come from giving the player options and see what they can do with them (more on that later). 
Some Newer Games With Old Skool Qualities. 
Throwing this out there...

Dark Souls series - Daz can justify this one. I think they went too far with no difficulty/save settings, but then again if there was an actual PC release I might even find out.

STALKER series - another one for Daz.

Mad Max - and one for Von (is this actually good with old skool qualities, or just good as a game?).

WOFLNTONTN - modern gfx and presentation, cutscenes, stronger story, NPCs etc. But the devs were pretty clear on having some old skool action, including lots of weapons (at once!) and getting you to do lots of shooting with them.

Dishonoured - not so modern GFX, a strong style / theme, and a really strong gameplay style with giving the player lots of combat options and route choices, and letting them get the fuck on with it. Not super-obviously "old skool action" style, more like old skool Deus Ex style "give the player tools and let them have fun rather than holding their fucking hand all the time".

Left 4 Dead / 2 - Partly included because it just fucking WORKS. Great functionality all round, and pretty much just relentless killing things with little extra nonsense to get in the way of that.

RAGE - bear with me on this one. As discussed in Func the other night, this *could* have been a flagship classic FPS for the recent gaming age (but wasn't). Great gfx - check. Stunning locations - check. Good weapons - check. Decent enemy - check. Solid FPS gameplay - check. NPCs and story that didn't get in the way much - check. BUT.... Driving stuff thrown in so Id could pretend to be innovating - uh HUH. A bit too linear - uh HUH. Not quite visceral enough - uh HUH. Ending that disappeared up it's own arse - uh HUH (this falls into the bloody obvious things to fix category too). So this was almost there but the clear old skool qualities (shoot ugly monsters in cool environments) were partly unfulfilled and partly obscured.

There may be others.... 
Shambs 
I play with FOV90 in Quake games and try to get FOV80-90 in modern FPS. Is that okay? I'm personally not that hung up about FOV, it's just one example of user-friendliness.

It's not about what value of FOV is "ok", it's about the fact that it is variable. Others in this thread have given tons of examples how variable FOV has a knock-on effect on vast swathes of the game's visuals and functionality, and building all these systems and artwork with a variable FOV in mind adds complexity and overhead.

But what you are really asking is not for variable FOV, just that you want all games to have FOV 90.

A more interesting question to ask could be "why do modern FPS games choose to use an FOV of [X]?"

I'll leave others to weigh in on that. 
 
Low FOV makes camera rotation looks less like 3D rotation and more like 2D scrolling. Appeasing players whose brain is unable to think in terms of 3D spaces may have been another factor. 
Errr. 
But what you are really asking is not for variable FOV, just that you want all games to have FOV 90.

Nope. 
FOV 90 Doesn't Exist Anymore. 
"FOV 90" is the horizontal FOV of a 4:3 screen. The vertical FOV in Quake is around 72.

In widescreen monitors, the horizontal FOV is actually much larger, and the "90" number is just a fictional reference.

;) Just my two cents, to fuel the fire. 
Yeah 105 Or So Looks Right In WS To Me 
as compared to 90 for 4:3. 
 
Shambler wants variable FOV because he wants all gamers to be able to play with settings that suit their personal tastes. The fact that he prefers FOV 90 is neither here nor there.

There have been many explanations of why a variable FOV is difficult (or more accurately "inconvenient") for devs to implement, but that is still a decision taken by the dev to spend their time/money doing something else.

I think what must be one of the most galling things for a lot of non-dev players is seeing just how many millions of dollars go in to AAA games and then still having to put up with these perceived "compromises". 
 
FOV 90 Doesn't Exist Anymore

You know what I mean. "an FOV that is the same as what I play Quake and similar games with" 
 
I play most modern games at around 80 FOV because it feels closer to Quake. When I bump to 90 it feels like I am playing at 100 or 110 on Quake. 
 
Now, my opinion: You know what? The problem is the pursuit for realism.

The ammo boxes in Quake are huge. They look ridiculous when we walk into them with full ammo and the chasecam activated.

But the reason for this is not FOV; it's that the player must notice the ammoboxes at any costs. If they were realistically sized, they could be mistaken with environment detail, and this is a frequent problem with many FPSs since Half-Life. Who never had any bit of trouble finding exactly where a bullet clip was when leaving it on the ground and coming back for it later?

Screw absolute realism; realism should only matter where it isn't detrimental for gameplay. 
 
"There have been many explanations of why a variable FOV is difficult (or more accurately "inconvenient") for devs to implement"

Yes, redoing art and optimizing levels for random FOV values is ... inconvenient. :-/ 
21:9 
This FOV thing is going to get interesting as ultrawide monitors become more common. Surprisingly high number of games already support the 21:9 aspect ratio, at least ingame. Menus, cutscenes etc. often get pillarboxed into 16:9 (GTA V, Witcher 3)

Interestingly Fallout 4 deals with 21:9 pretty well, apart from UI element background shadings being detached and fat crosshairs (and pillarboxed main menu, but cares about that). 
Mankrip. 
Good post.

Can one balance out realism (I don't mean real world realism, I mean realism as per fantasy universe) with fast paced fun gameplay?? 
Shambler 
Of course. In 2D platformers, Giana Sisters' Twisted Dreams is a great example. The same approach is possible in 3D, but it seems that many devs don't try to do it.

But my experience with modern games is limited, I've been purchasing mostly single-dollar bundles. 
Ammo Boxes, Realism Etc. 
I agree that realism is often afforded too much importance in modern games, but then again you can also go too far the other way. For instance I never liked Quake 3's bouncing health balls, they felt like something out of a cartoony platformer. It's a sort of over-gamification, that often goes hand in hand with ultra-competitive games.

That brings me neatly on to the point that competitive gamers are often afforded a lot more flexibility in their game settings than gamers who go for more story-driven experiences. For instance, you can often switch between 3D and sprite-based pickups, turn graphical settings ridiculously low and indeed tweak your FOV. I guess this is because esports/deathmatch/etc is less about immersing the player in an imaginary world, so it doesn't matter so much if the art starts to look a bit wonky on extreme settings. 
 
Another problem that hasn't been mentioned is text and UI scaling on high dpi displays. Again, this is something that many games have no problems with while others are terrible.

It seems game devs all have perfect eyesight with super sharp monitors right in their face and never gave a thought to what things would look like on somebody's living room TV.

For example, the Fallout3/New Vegas games scale the UI fairly well at higher resolutions. On the other hand, Kerbal Space Program was apparently never intended for anything higher than 1024x768.

The tiny, dot matrix style KSP font is all but unreadable at 1920x1080 from 8 ft away on a 42" TV, and text windows shrink to such a small size, I have to walk over to the TV in order to have any hope of reading them. 
This Would Seem Out Of Place But 
Since we're talking about modern AAA gaming, I say it'll be nice to have limited regenerated health if we have to keep it while still having some tension.
Like, your health can only regenerates a total of two times by sucking up some sort of health-tanks you have on your body/armor, and you gotta pick health-tanks so your health can still regenerates when it has to.

Just throwing that out there. 
 
Apps are guilty of font issues as well. I'm looking at you, ZBrush. 
Remember When Deqer Had Font Troubles In Trenchbroom? 
Lol. LITERALLY AN ANTI-CUSTOMER PROGRAM! 
 
I played FEAR not too long ago. It had two font sizes, really, really small and just a tiny bit bigger. The new Shadowrun series has a high dpi text setting that works pretty good.

Lack of adequate text/UI scaling has been annoying me for a while. I usually end up playing older games at 1360x768 just so I can see stuff. Of course, older games often max out at 1024x768 anyway. 
Limited Health Regen. 
WOFLMAO did that. It would regen to the nearest 20%, so if you got knocked down to 47% it would go to 60%. Still kept the challenge up that way. 
RMQ Did That 
It would regen to <skill dependant number, but never above 25> and while it was regenerating, you were dealing double damage.

For everything that didn't work about that mod, this bit was just right. 
 
So, I'm just playing Borderlands 2. I've got cheatengine running which increases movement, probably by about 30%, and jumping. I've also disabled reloads and recoil, ain't no one got time for that shit.

Basically this feels like any 90s fps. I've currently got some super fast sniper rifle that bounces bullets all over the show at a rapid fire rate (like an mg) and is laying waste to everything. Not too easy though, there's still plenty of bullet sponges in this game.

Just sayin... that's a game that (with a couple mods) feels old skool, but with modern day standards. The only thing it fails at is bad save points, and maybe fixed FOV but I haven't looked into that. Oh and no fucking skill settings, which is why I've got cheatengine on.

In your list of examples, yep I hate unbindable controls. I've pretty much been forced back to WASD instead of using the mouse for forward/back movement. To be honest WASD is much easier on the hands, so I use glovepie to use both during a game. If in combat I'll use mouse for movement, if I'm just wandering around I'll use wasd - it gives the mouse hand a break. Most games can be rebinded though.

FOV? Do many gamers really care about that. Or headbob? I've never really played a game and given one thought to headbobbing. Console gamers probably don't even know what FOV is.

Unskippable ads/movies/cutscenes. These days though, the partners need to get their shit in there. I'm sure the developers don't want those ads in either, but it's necessary. Just like movies.

But cutscenes, to be honest, there's very few games that have unskippable cutscenes, and even less that put save points just before them. I can't actually think of any example. I know there's some, but I haven't found that it's a large portion.

Skill settings; most games still have them. Most games don't appear to do a good job of them and most skill settings there ends up being barely any difference.

Invisible barriers... well in old games' defence, the only reason they didn't have invisible barriers is because they couldn't handle doing large open, outdoor environments. In Quake you didn't need them, it would just have a wall or a door. I really don't want to go back to all indoor games just to avoid having a barrier. But some games are far worse than this than others, usually the more budget games. Big budget ones seem to handle it better and don't put you on an invisible path.

My big issue with modern games is checkpoints instead of quicksave. That shit has ruined the challenge in games, because I haven't to put it on a skill level to ensure I'm not dying much, because I can't stand having to replay through shit I already played. Back in the 90s I'd be a quicksave whore and save after every fight, so I was never replaying anything from too far back. Checkpoints especially ruin boss battles, because there's no way I want to sit replaying a boss battle over and over again.

Also games' tendency to only allow 1-3 weapons at a time is completely fucked.

There are good things about modern games though:
I personally think health regeneration is better than collecting health packs.
Most games have levelling and upgrades now, which is usually interesting. Though perhaps it'll get tedious after a while if every single game has it.
Story and cutscenes, further bridging the gap between games and movies, which I think is a good thing. I like me a good story in my game. Someone suggested on the Doom4 thread that it should have no story, just individual levels. If that happened I think Doom4 would have really failed at taking advantage of what being a modern game is. Sure make them skippable, but ya gotta have story. 
 
"Sure make them skippable, but ya gotta have story. "

Man, I totally disagree. Doom doesn't need a story. Fallout does, and I'm glad it has it. But Doom ... not really. 
Actually 
You can't say Doom has no story. Having no story would be the equivalent of a game that's made of squares and just wanting the player to roll with it.
Story at the most basic level for a game means context; Mario has to save Peach from Bowser ; Demons from Hell have erupted in a base of Phobos and you gotta wipe them out. Context means the game exists as an actual fictionnal piece and makes you care as a player, and that's the bare minimum that should be done at the very least.
The antithesis of this would be to have a story without context. See BF3's singleplayer for example: stuff is going on for sure but the context is nowhere to be seen. 
RE OP 
purity of purpose

I think this is arguably the biggest factor. Doom and Quake were both products of a studio that really didn't have to answer to anyone financially or creatively. They made the game they wanted to make.

This has probably been posted somewhere on here before but this: http://www.gibhard.com/ is a great example of a Doom / Quake pastiche made by just one person, so there's no pressure to recoup a big investment or grab some kind of market share. It'll be released and hyped by the people who want to play this kind of game and maybe trickle over into the realm of wider recognition.

The "purity of purpose" games usually come from developers who fall into these two categories

- scrappy self-funded team who assemble with a vision for the kind of game they want to play (Doom/Quake, Half-Life, Minecraft, etc.)

- huge, established companies who make so much money that their "purity of purpose" is mostly unconstrained by time and money so they can realize their grand visions (Oblivion/Skyrim/Fallout 3 & 4, Grand Theft Auto series, <insert open world game here>)

And then there are the thousands of games that don't fall into either category that you may or may not have enjoyed but their purity of purpose was not the driving force behind their production.

Maybe I've been unlucky, but every single game I've worked on has had an external partner who had checklists for things they did or did not want in the game. Decisions that came from people outside of the people who were actually creating the game. In the case of sequels, expansions, etc., this is a given. You need to fulfill expectations set by the original.

But even outside of the realm of sequels and expansions, there's always a ton of decisions being made for you (the developer) by whoever is funding the game.

It'd be interesting if there were more games made by people looking to solve a problem. Half-Life (again) is a great example of that. It wasn't like a group of people got together and wanted to make *any* game, Gabe specifically wanted to have a cinematic experience with realistic AI and mostly achieved that goal.

There are a lot of developers out there now who are trying to push their pure visions into the world, but run up against funding issues. The result is the developer works on something they don't have that unquenchable burning passion for, and a mediocre/OK/uninspired but good game is the result.

Great games are rare because having a great idea for a game and having the money / technical ingenuity to bring it into the world is also extremely rare.

I don't know anything about Doom 4's production, but how could it possibly have a purity of purpose when it's the 4th incarnation of a 20+ year old game and none of the original principals are involved. It just doesn't line up.

There will always be great action games, the better question is, what problems still need to be solved to make something that stands out above everything else? Better AI? Graphical fidelity? How visceral the weapons feel? 
 
(sorry, I'm pretty bored) 
Wow, Thanks For The Link To Http://www.gibhard.com/ 
The game looks very interesting. Hopefully it will not be like Serious Sam or Painkiller in terms of monster placement, though.

Will keep an eye on this one. 
 
daya

Right, that's a good way to put it. Doom doesn't have a story ... it has a context. And for games like Doom, that's all you need. 
 
The game looks very interesting. Hopefully it will not be like Serious Sam or Painkiller in terms of monster placement, though.

Procedurally generated levels. Don't expect too much depth from the monster placement. 
See Now There Are A Pair Of Relatively Recent Games That Should Have.. 
...worked in an old-skool fashion but didn't.

Painkiller: no atmosphere, a bit too hordey.

Serious Sam: less than no atmosphere, 2D, far too hordey. 
But, But 
I like Serious Sam.
With modern games tendency to throw more and more shaders and polygons at the expense of <cough>gameplay<cough/> and monsters count it was a breathe of fresh air. I would even say that it felt old-school-ish.

Hordeness was one of the things that made that game so great, for me at least.

Yes, it's as flat as CS/COD levels, but it fits gameplay perfectly. Actually there was few places with intense vertical fighting and that just didn't work for that game. 
 
But Serious Sam motto was exactly it. It was designed as a 3D FPS implementation of a 2D arcade shooter. 
Yeah 
I liked both those games.

SS is a Doom clone, and a pretty nice one. I even liked the melee it introduced in the last one.

Painkiller had great weapons and I liked the card mechanics as well.

But yeah, neither had much atmosphere. 
Konad.... 
Or headbob? I've never really played a game and given one thought to headbobbing.

I've never really played a game and not tried to disable it. I hate it, it's ugly, distracting, and objectively innaccurate (yes, in real life, your movement bobs, but GUESS THE FUCK WHAT your visual perception coordinates with your body and takes it into account so you don't get fucking headbob. The miracle of nature eh and when the fuck will devs realise how wrong in-game headbob is??). Also when it's excessive I often read sporadic reports of people feeling nauseaus (sp!?).

Checkpoints especially ruin boss battles, because there's no way I want to sit replaying a boss battle over and over again.

Hah! Then maybe Dark Souls series isn't the best blend of nu and old skool then...

I think checkpoints can be fine, IF they are done well. Forcing excessive replaying is utterly boring and immersion-destroying tho.

I like your list of Good Things About Modern Games. I generally like RPG-lite elements. At worst they are a minorly fun triviality (e.g. Tomb Raider 2k13), and sometimes they can be more interesting and certainly give more purpose to exploring and collecting stuff. A bit of story too, why not.

I think what I and others are hoping for is a blend of those modern perks, and modern GFX with some old-skool user-friendliness and brutally visceral action. 
 
I find SS really boring, largely due to the level design and aforementioned monster placement. It basically cut out a key element of great old-skool FPS which is puzzles, albeit simple key/exploration puzzles. Painkiller is guilty of the same.

I do wonder whether advances in AI have slightly scuppered FPS level designers. When your enemies can move more freely around the level it makes it very difficult to design the encounter in a truly interesting fashion, especially if they're pre-alert. Then again, it's increasingly obvious is there are invisible barriers restricting the enemy's movement because since Half-Life's node system we've come to expect them to be able to navigate semi-competently around a level. 
Bleetz. 
Good post, 10/10, would bang again, etc.

I guess when I and others moan about devs, we are really moaning about the dev/pub combo and who is actual responsible for the bad decisions made. Then again if Lun wants to think we are specifically moaning just about him, whatever...

Now then...

There will always be great action games, the better question is, what problems still need to be solved to make something that stands out above everything else? Better AI? Graphical fidelity? How visceral the weapons feel?

Really good question.

One thing I DO like about modern games is that the graphics and designs generally look very good. At the least modern GFX are "oooh purrrrty", at best they are used with clear focus by the devs not as arbitrary eye-candy but as a fundamental part of the atmosphere and vibe - SOMA did this very well as an example, TR2013 also.

Even games that look fairly ASS by current standards (Fallout4, taking interiors into account, Vermintide overall) still look pretty nice.

What this means a bit is that the playing field is hopefully getting a bit more level as far as GFX goes. In the past you could whip out something spectacular like huge outdoors in CryEngine or realtime shadows and self-shadows in id-tech-whatever and hype your game on that. These days despite some variety and some games standing out graphically (currently Battlefront is impressing me), you can't make so much of a dent with terrain and lighting and shit.

Which hopefully means devs/pubs have to rely on other things to draw people in.... And maybe gameplay would be a good start! Although maybe just throwing every possible fucking gaming option into a massive sandbox and pretending that quantity equals quality will be enough to fool people - BETHESDA I AM LOOKING AT YOU....

So how to make something standout??

Not GFX, most games look great or great enough.

Maybe effective and holistic aesthetic design. Really making the themes and atmosphere work. But that might be too subtle and not immediately apparent to make copies fly off the steam servers.

AI - definitely. There always seems to be room for improvement.

Story - done enough times, not that crucial.

Having all the extras working harmoniously - games do this, Far Crys are a good example, where the vehicle sections are fun, easy to pick up, make sense and not an out of place bore. But it doesn't provide that much of a hook these days??

I dunno maybe it would boil back down to gameplay.... 
On The Subject Of Dark Souls... 
...having some sort of relevant to old-skool action gaming despite not having PC functionality nor saving nor rebindable controls nor remotely similar gameplay...

I was watching COHH play through some Bloodborne and especially the Bloodborne DLC, and in part I see what DAZ is getting at. Ignoring the boss-arena-reload-fest that has as much to do with Quake as a side-scroller beat-em-up has, there are certain reminiscences.

First the level design, complex, 3D, intertwining, opening up new areas and shortcuts. Not open world, not superlinear, but with a good amount of exploration (and being fairly lost - think or "Telefragged" than "The Slipgate Complex" ;)).

Second, the style and atmosphere. One of his subs described it as "Lovecraftian gothic horror" and that seems right to me. It looked cool as fuck design-wise, and cool as fuck atmosphere-wise. Dark, gothic, evile, fantasy. Certain reminisces of the real world "fishing village", "cathedral", "lunatic asylum", but done with a somewhat surreal and thoroughly gritty tinge. This harks back to some of the old skool action games where it seems devs wanted to make vaguely purposeful and themed environments, but either lacked the technology to do so AND/OR consciously wanted designs to look a bit fantastical, and a rather cool blend could be achieved. This is something that might gets lost in the recent quest for realism (both real world realism and fantasy realism).

Just sayin' 
Wut? 
There seems to be a major confusion here.

Devs are responsible for 100% of the good features, and about 10% of the bad ones.

The other 90% of bad features is squarely on the money men.

All those bad features come from a circle of overpad publishers sat round a conference table, each trying to justify their salary while at the same time not be held accountable when it inevitably goes tits up.

And if the dev doesn't want to do it then they get fired and replaced by one who will do it, usually at half the salary.

Devs are the only ones on the player's side in any of this. 
Making Gameplay A Selling Point 
The main problem I see with this is that it's difficult to market. How do you screen shot great gameplay? You can't even just say "this game has amazing gameplay and you should buy it" because everyone says that already. 
 
The main problem I see with this is that it's difficult to market.

I think a good "market-man" can sell you anything. 
That's How I Wound Up With All These Hummels 
you market gameplay with a demo. studios don't release demos any more, because people don't download them because they're 3gb and last ten minutes, because they're all now a gigantic mountain of high-res content, because the game has to look amazing to sell, because you can't sell it on the gameplay without releasing a demo ... 
 
although usually by the end of a project, there is already literally negative time left to get everything necessary to ship the game done, let alone squeezing an entire new demo build in there. that's nothing new to 'modern' game design. 
 
It's really too bad no one seems to release playable demos anymore. It's one reason I refuse to buy new games at $60. I guess it's to be expected though.

What I usually do is wait until somebody does a decent "lets play" or "first look" on youtube, or just wait until the price drops to the point where I can afford to take a risk. 
#96 
Maybe a solution would be to put a whole episode in the demo, instead of limiting it to the first ten minutes. Such a demo would have a proper ending, with a cliffhanger to the rest of the full game's story, followed by a screen displaying an ad for the full game before the credits.

And to solve the problem with download sizes, the demos could be stored in floppy disks inside of Ziploc bags and sent through regular mail�

Anyway, the lack of demos may be the biggest reason why modern games are failing to catch my interest. I don't download pirated copies and I don't have money to buy games I'm not sure I really want, so I just pass. The only "game" I've paid full price for in recent years was the Ultra Street Fighter IV upgrade.

Also, I just don't follow people's opinions. People often likes games I don't, and vice versa. Even when a game is unanimously praised, that doesn't mean I'll really like it. 
 
People like to think of SS and Painkiller as modern old skool games, but for different reasons they both failed.

Painkiller was a nice gimmick for a single game, at the right time when there weren't too many arena style games and it featured some cool levels. But once finished, then you move to the plethora of indie mods (released officially by the publisher as sequels, of course) and actual sequels, and the odd copycats (Dreamkiller), the gameplay became an absolute slog to get through and lost all enjoyment. It was good for a single game, that was it.

SS was also well received for it's horde combat at a time when horde gameplay wasn't common. I didn't really play the first game, I got bored with it after a few hours, the second game was actually really good for it's time with it's graphics, but it was the same gameplay. By the end of the game, having to replay 100s of enemies and bossse all over again, fuck I'd had enough. SS3 was rubbish. Same gameplay again and you realised how dated it had become, with some of the worst graphics of that year. The design in all 3 was just big flat open brightly lit levels, not very memorable, apart from maybe SS2 for some of it's art style.

I actually haven't played Dark Souls yet, it was next on my list but I decided I've got a spare 4 days to sink into Borderlands 2 instead. I still think that's quite an old skool type game, only much more open and non-linear.

But it's not dark, and I guess what we're getting at is we want something fast-paced (not horde or arena) but also dark... a modern day Quake, right? 
 
Well, with Steams return policy demos would seem to be a moot point. 
WarrenM 
Good point.

I don't have Internet access at home. I bring my laptop to my job when I want to install a Steam game, and I'd have to bring it again if I wanted to ask for a refund, which would be a nuisance� but I recognize I'm a minority in this case, and for the vast majority a refund can be good enough.

Still, shareware games had at least a semi-proper ending, and could be replayed over and over. The time limit for refunds forces the player to decide under pressure. 
 
I think you're positioning SS and PK at the wrong place. They're not meant to be "old school FPS", not Doom, Duke Nukem or Quake. These ones had (some) storyline, atmosphere, navigation, scares. SS and PK gameplay was more like one of those Konami top-down 2D scrollers: your ship against hordes filling the screen with bullets, along with powerups. A transcription of this gameplay to a 3D shooter, just for the fun of shooting and counting ammo / powerups. Their genre is "arcade FPS". Not a stipped-off Doom. 
 
I think a good "market-man" can sell you anything.

Along with mouth to mouth propaganda, the best of all. Forums and reviews would sell innovative gameplay. 
Shamb 
Not GFX, most games look great or great enough.

The trend right now (if you want to follow where the investment money is going) is in better (read: more immersive) graphics.

Valve, Oculus (aka zombie-id), Magic Leap, and a whole bunch of others are making a pretty big bet that VR / AR will be so life-like and immersive that gamers will never look back to PC and console games. While I agree with you that the playing field is starting to level in the sense that no PC or console game looks leaps and bounds better than its closest competitors, it'll be interesting to see how the public responds to the perception of increased fidelity and immersion via VR. 
And 
Don't get me wrong, publishers and external partners do have their place, and often times have really valuable and insightful feedback. My point was just that there are a lot of compromised visions out there because of the way funding works under that model. 
 
"The time limit for refunds forces the player to decide under pressure."

Sure, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. You can't let people finish a game and then decide if they want to pay for it. 
#107 
You took it out of context.

My point is that demos and shareware are replayable. And shareware have proper endings, offering a full experience (although not *the* full experience). 
 
I agree, both have their uses. But as was explained above, developers making demos with the way games are done these days just isn't feasible. The refund policy will likely become the new normal. 
Errr. 
Games can and do market themselves on gameplay. Doom4 itself is trying to highlight the fast-paced action. There's been a few others with Youtube videos shouting about "No Cover Mechanics!" "No Regenerating Health!" "Pure FastPaced Action!" - unfortunately most of those generally look like dogturd and/or are MP only.

Deus Ex markets itself on the different gameplay options too. Far Crys do to a certain extent, plus elephants. 
 
Did someone say elephants? 
I Didn't Count Eleven Ants. 
I never grew up after JackJazz,
and still changing bionic deus ex. 
Jazz Jackrabbit 
Was ok, but Mario Bros 3 is the best platformer ever made. 
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