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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...


Is this the case??

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...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. 
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. 
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?

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

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. 
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