Sunday, May 10, 2009

Specialization and the Liberating Power of Middleware.

Games these days are immensely more complicated then in the days of yore. Unfortunately, this means that resources have to be much more directed and as a result, games tend to be more specialized in what they deliver. The problem is that with this trend, games specialize in one area and are thus shitty in others. Doom 3 was uh... dark and moody, but had shitty physics. CoD 4 has great shooting mechanics but shitty destructible environments. Bioshock has great storytelling and atmosphere, but shitty shooting mechanics. We tolerate these deficiencies, but perhaps we ought to ask for more.

I was just thinking about this recently and seriously... we need more middleware to help remedy this. Look at Havok, that's the perfect example. Why spend time coding a bunch of physics when you can just buy Havok? All we have these days is specialized games that all focus on a specific hook or gimmick. And I'm not saying gimmick in a negative sense, though it can be sometimes.

This might never happen, but it'd be nice if a lot of these gimmicks were all just made middleware. Like how companies buy game engines to make games on, instead of coding their own engine. Let's take that further along. Look at Wolverine. It's not a truly great game, but the visual damage and rehealing of Wolverine isn't something we've really seen in other games. That's Wolverine's hook. Or Red Faction 3, GeoMod 2.0 is obviously its thing. And it's great. But what if that was all middleware like Havok? What sorta game wouldn't be better off with nifty visual bodily damage like Wolverine, or the destructible environments of Red Faction 3? That's not saying that all dev teams that bought those and incorporated em into their games would put out amazing games, but it wouldn't hurt.

I for one would be very happy if CoD 5 had something like GeoMod 2.0 under its hood.

No comments:

Post a Comment