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T O P I C
But we can't just call it ''15 games we liked'', can we?
December 30th 2000, 00:21 CET by Andy

One of the most common topic requests here at ye olde Planet of Crap is about "best of" and "worst of" lists. People often feel that these lists are stupid, wrong, badly reasearched, etc. Usually we don't post topics about these lists because it all comes down to a difference of opinion, but GameSpot's "15 Most Influential Games of All Time" list deserves some scrutiny...

The article kicks off with this explanation: "We debated over the history of games to determine the 15 most influential games of all time. Not only did these games introduce innovative features and extraordinary gameplay that later became conventions, but they also serve as models to other developers who seek to emulate and even outdo them. Last, these games were popular commercial successes and as such, they remain hallmarks of this fledgling industry."

So how much work has gone into compiling this list?

Well, for a start, all of the games are PC titles. Surely there must have been some old arcade, 8-bit, Amiga, ST and console games that were more influential than some of the ones in GameSpot's list? Wouldn't you say that Out Run was more influential than, say, Wing Commander? And won't Renegade and Street Fighter have inspired more games than Ultima III: Exodus?

Now let's have a quick scan through some of the more questionable choices on GameSpot's list...

Wing Commander: "One of the defining games of the last decade was Wing Commander, which was released in 1990. And it remained highly influential throughout the next ten years." What games did Wing Commander "influence"? The sequels?

Alone in the Dark: "Alone in the Dark also pioneered the now ubiquitous use of 3D polygonal character models in games. Although the characters in the original Alone in the Dark were flat-shaded and blocky, 3D graphics since then have become exponentially more lifelike. But it's thanks in part to Alone in the Dark's evocative 3D models and animations that 3D characters now look realistic." How can you seriously count a game as one of "the 15 most influential games of all time" because it used 3D characters? Use of 3D characters was obviously going to happen sooner or later, Alone In The Dark was just one of the first popular games to do it.

Tomb Raider: "The settings in games such as MDK, Soul Reaver, Rayman: The Great Escape, and the recently released Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 are all vastly different from those in Tomb Raider, but in each game you can see the recipe that made Tomb Raider a success." So what? An obvious better choice would have been Prince of Persia, seeing as that was pretty much the inspiration behind Tomb Raider.

Falcon 3.0: "The father of flight sims." What about the original Falcon?

Half-Life: "The new standard in action." True, but hardly influential.

Civilization: "The most influential turn-based strategy game." Very popular with hardcore strategy players, but surely Command & Conquer has been more influential?

Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis: "The leader of the real-time strategy pack." Again, what about C&C?

Myst: "The best-selling game of all time ... undeniably one of the most influential games of all time." Quite how "best-selling" equates to influential, I don't know, but what games has Myst inspired? Seems to me that Myst was just a very popular game in an existing genre -- it didn't create the genre.

Doom: "The shooter that changed everything." Yes! Great choice! But then they go and include Quake for much the same reason. Hmph.

Really, this list is the result of a few guys sat around a table, picking their favourite games from a bunch of genres. To claim that these titles are "the 15 most influential games of all time" is just plain wrong, and does an injustice to the old classics that really have influenced the games of today.
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#1 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:26:46
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
first post!
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#2 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:26:53
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
first post!
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#3 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:27:01
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
wtf
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#4 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 00:29:53
barneyque@hotmail.com
Yep, this list has problems.  I think your subject heading kind of hits in on the head quite nicely.

I won't bother to add to the corruption at all, it's quite a hopless task.

In the mean time, I have a Multiple Use Land Element out in the back yard I need to tend to.

Lists are silly aren't they?


Heheheh.  :)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#5 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:34:03
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
Tomb Raider - pleeeeeeeaaassseeeee...even Mario 64 had better action/adventure and even made an enemy, Crash

Wing Commander - Not sure if this influenced anything, but the game was great and possibly 'spawned' more space sims such as allegiance

Alone of the dark - I believe not only made a 'special feature' of 3d characters, but also defined the horror genre.  RE used this and look how great that was, too bad they fucked up the rest of the series

Falcon - Can't say for flight, so fuck it

Civilization - I wasn't a big turn based fan until HOMM3, so I don't know what to say here

Dune 2 - This should have been replaced with Warcraft.  

Myst - Kings quest, police quest, *insert profession here* quest.  

Doom - well, this was the big shit.  Wolf 3d was a great game at the time but wasn't really much.  Doom managed to make the levels give more of a 3d look.

Suprised Unreal ain't there, the graphics were awesome at the time and way ahead of the pack.  Much better the Q2 in terms of graphics

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#6 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 00:35:25
barneyque@hotmail.com
Shit, I go out back to check on my Multiple Use Land Element as I said I was going to do, and what do I find, but it's joined a syndicate of crusaders with no remorse.  What is the world really comming to, I might just become a ship sailing pirate, and forget the whole thing.

I'm such a slime.  But at least I don go making top 15 lists or anything and parading them as anything but games I might have liked.

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#7 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:36:53
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
What is Half life doing on the list?
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#8 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 00:40:57
andy@meejahor.com
<b>BloodKnight</b> (#5):
<quote>
Suprised Unreal ain't there, the graphics were awesome at the time and way ahead of the pack. Much better the Q2 in terms of graphics
</quote>
But how has Unreal been "influential"? What has it influenced? To me, it was just a progression along an existing path. It didn't create any new paths. Or did it? :-)
#9 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:43:49
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Andy</b> (#8):
<quote>But how has Unreal been "influential"? What has it influenced? To me, it was just a progression along an existing path. It didn't create any new paths. Or did it? :-)</quote>

I think it kind of hyped the competation.  Look at Q1 and Q2..it was very much a q2 was just some smoothed q1 engine with lots of colored lighting.  Since Unreal came out, some companies try to actually make next-gen graphics, Q3A is one example.



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#10 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 00:46:05
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#9</b> "BloodKnight" wrote...
<quote><B>Andy</B> (#8):

<quote>But how has Unreal been "influential"? What has it influenced? To me, it was just a progression along an existing path. It didn't create any new paths. Or did it? :-)</quote>

I think it kind of hyped the competation. Look at Q1 and Q2..it was very much a q2 was just some smoothed q1 engine with lots of colored lighting. Since Unreal came out, some companies try to actually make next-gen graphics, Q3A is one example.



</quote>


That is something that would have happened without the influence of UT, a natural progression if you will.  Remember we are talking an all time list here. That should imply some pretty hefty requirements for admission.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#11 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 00:47:08
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>Barneyque</b> (#10):
<quote>Remember we are talking an all time list here. </quote>

As I said before, why is half life there?
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#12 by "Ergo"
2000-12-30 00:47:28
stu@dsl-only.net
"Shit, I go out back to check on my Multiple Use Land Element as I said I was going to do, and what do I find, but it's joined a syndicate of crusaders with no remorse. What is the world really comming to, I might just become a ship sailing pirate, and forget the whole thing."

LOL, excellent, Barney.

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#13 by "Ergo"
2000-12-30 00:53:07
stu@dsl-only.net
"Civilization: "The most influential turn-based strategy game." Very popular with hardcore strategy players, but surely Command & Conquer has been more influential?"

TURN-BASED, Andy. C&C is real-time.

"Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis: "The leader of the real-time strategy pack." Again, what about C&C?"

Uh, Dune 2 was the game that started the real-time craze.  C&C appeared a year or two later. And Westwood made them both.



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#14 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 01:13:27
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Ergo</b> (#13):
<quote>
TURN-BASED, Andy. C&C is real-time.
</quote>
Fair enough. So what about all the old turn-based war games? Wouldn't a few of those have been more influential than Civilisation? I've never played any turn-based games so I'm just shooting in the dark here, but it seems that Civilisation is a game that *refined* a genre, rather than created it.
<quote>
Uh, Dune 2 was the game that started the real-time craze. C&C appeared a year or two later. And Westwood made them both.
</quote>
Maybe it came first, but I doubt it was more influential than C&C.

Anyway, I'd rather not get bogged down in a debate about my own suggestions. Obviously I'm not familiar with every different genre, I was just trying to offer some alternatives. If people disagree with my suggestions, fair enough. But the topic is about GameSpot's list. :-)
#15 by "Ergo"
2000-12-30 01:19:52
stu@dsl-only.net
"Anyway, I'd rather not get bogged down in a debate about my own suggestions. Obviously I'm not familiar with every different genre, I was just trying to offer some alternatives. If people disagree with my suggestions, fair enough. But the topic is about GameSpot's list. :-)"

Fair enough.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#16 by "Jadawin"
2000-12-30 01:34:57
jadawin@wildmail.com
I've never played any turn-based games


That's painfully obvious... Civili<b>z</b>ation (note correct spelling) practically <i>created</i> the turn based strategy game genre on its own, in terms of what primed the sales pump.

so I'm just shooting in the dark here,


So what's new?
#17 by "Jadawin"
2000-12-30 01:37:53
jadawin@wildmail.com
Maybe it came first, but I doubt it was more influential than C&C.


Since C&C probably wouldn't even have been made if Dune II hadn't been such a surprise hit, I think the point stands. I still remember the day my friend brought Dune II over... I was blown away. Of course, the interface makes it frustrating to play now (much like the original Warcraft, which incidently, predated C&C and was obviously inspired by Dune II) and that Dune 2000 POS they put out a couple of years ago was simply abysmal.
#18 by "Jadawin"
2000-12-30 01:42:41
jadawin@wildmail.com
Really, this list is the result of a few guys sat around a table, picking their favourite games from a bunch of genres.


I'm going to start having to pull a mcgrew instead of posting everytime I see something that sparks a response.  Anyway, even though I disagree with Andy's take on Civilization and Dune II (and Alone in the Dark, incidently- you had to be there at the time and play it to realize how revolutionary it was compared to the insipid 2D "xxxx Quest" games that were its competition), he hit the nail right on the head with the above statement. Of course, by now, does anyone take these lists seriously? It's like making a list of the 10 Greatest NFL Quarterbacks- all it does is provide an excuse to relive old times and fight about them ;)
#19 by "the_reformed_pianist"
2000-12-30 01:44:46
pianist@canada.com
OH JESUS LORD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


19th psot!##$#H!@$48970&(&@$()@$$$$$$$##################
#20 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 01:53:54
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#16</b> "Jadawin" wrote...
<quote><quote>I've never played any turn-based games </quote>

That's painfully obvious... Civili<B>z</B>ation (note correct spelling) practically <I>created</I> the turn based strategy game genre on its own, in terms of what primed the sales pump.


<quote>so I'm just shooting in the dark here, </quote>

So what's new?</quote>

You know I can't help but be a nitpicking bitch sometimes, but older games like Eastern Front 1941 and the old war sims probably seeded the Turn Based Strategy.

  

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#21 by "Apache"
2000-12-30 02:07:10
apache@stomped.com
speaking of gamespot, they just posted its game of the year awards and NOLF got the best action prize. ;)
#22 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-30 02:13:30
warren@epicgames.com
BloodKnight (#3):
wtf

You were being a moron and the gods punished you.

BloodKnight (#7):
What is Half life doing on the list?

You don't agree that Half-Life was influential?  Almost all shooter games that come out are compared to the Half-Life quality bar ...

Andy (#8):
But how has Unreal been "influential"? What has it influenced? To me, it was just a progression along an existing path. It didn't create any new paths. Or did it? :-)

Advancements in AI?  Unreal was a fairly large jump in AI ... not just the monsters, but primarily the bots.  The bots rocked...

Apache (#21):
speaking of gamespot, they just posted its game of the year awards and NOLF got the best action prize. ;)

OK ...  ?

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#23 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 02:25:03
andy@meejahor.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#22):
<quote>
You don't agree that Half-Life was influential? Almost all shooter games that come out are compared to the Half-Life quality bar ...
</quote>
Half-Life set the standard that had previously been set by other, more influential games. It didn't so much influence future games as give us something to compare them to. (As an analogy, would you say Saving Private Ryan was the most influential war film ever made, or just a really good example of the genre?)
<quote>
Advancements in AI? Unreal was a fairly large jump in AI ... not just the monsters, but primarily the bots. The bots rocked...
</quote>
You think advancements in AI make it one of the 15 most influential games of all time?

If that case, hypothetically, I vote against Unreal and vote in favour of the Q1 Reaper bot. That was what set the quality bar for bots, and partly why Steve got the job at Epic, and therefore it was more influential than Unreal. Yes? :-)
#24 by "WarrenMarshall"
2000-12-30 02:28:28
warren@epicgames.com
Andy (#23):
If that case, hypothetically, I vote against Unreal and vote in favour of the Q1 Reaper bot. That was what set the quality bar for bots, and partly why Steve got the job at Epic, and therefore it was more influential than Unreal. Yes? :-)

I would agree that the reaper bots were cooler ... but in terms of mainstream exposure, the AI in Unreal was covered much better and more people knew about/played against it.

I was just throwing out the AI because it's one of those things that games were compared against for a while.  "The AI is decent, but nowhere near the level of Unreal".

---

Warren Marshall
Level Designer/Programmer/Corporate Shill
Epic Games (www.epicgames.com)<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#25 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 02:32:30
andy@meejahor.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#24):
<quote>
I was just throwing out the AI because it's one of those things that games were compared against for a while. "The AI is decent, but nowhere near the level of Unreal".
</quote>
Right, but I don't see how that makes it influential. That just means it was good. There had been AI in games before, Unreal just did it better.

This is what was wrong with the GameSpot list. An influential game isn't a game that made a big leap forward in a genre, it's a game that defined the genre in the first place, or really brought it to mass attention.
#26 by "BabiG"
2000-12-30 02:32:43
yankeebabu@india.com

Half-Life: "The new standard in action." True, but hardly influential.


Compare how many upcoming FPS games have mentioned the "engrossing storyline" of their shooter, pre-HL and post-HL. Would iD be getting as much flak about Q3:TA if valve hadn't released TFC among other things free? Would Doom 3 be "focused on single player" if HL had tanked, especially considering the direction of their last game?


speaking of gamespot, they just posted its game of the year awards and NOLF got the best action prize. ;)


Umm...congrats. Perhaps Monolith's PR team will give you a prize.

I don't think a game has to be the first to be most influential. We're not saying who did it first, we're saying who affected the industry the most by what they did. So by that arguement C&C would be more influential probably (I hadn't heard of Dune II until the "origin of RTS" articles started showing up...friends of mine that'd ask me to help hook up the keyboard knew what C&C was). By that same arguement Falcon 3.0 would get it over Falcon (It's success inspired a lot more flight sims then the original I bet...)

I'd argue that Civilization hasn't been influential *enough*. If only more games were as addictive as that (well, I played the sequel and Alpha Centauri mostly but general idea applies).
#27 by "BabiG"
2000-12-30 02:35:44
yankeebabu@india.com
Oh, crutical line forgotten in my C&C explaination..

Dune 2 might have been first, but it only seemed to inspire blizzard and the C&C developers. after C&C/Warcraft 2 dozens of RTS games were born...
#28 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 02:50:45
barneyque@hotmail.com
God, I'm trying so hard not to jump in here.  This is a troubled discussion sparked by a troubled list.

Before we go offering our own interpretation, we need to understand the objectives. We are obviously not all on the same page yet.

So, lets look to the quoted material to see what it is we are looking for.

It starts with :

<quote>We debated over the history of games to determine the 15 most influential games of all time</quote>

Thats a good start, but it needs refining.  Thankfully, we can also cull that from the origional quoted material in the main post.

<quote>Not only did these games introduce innovative features and extraordinary gameplay that later became conventions, but they also serve as models to other developers who seek to emulate and even outdo them.</quote>

Ok, now here's some meat to dig into, I can use this to come up with all manner of suggestions, that I'm sure would be hotly debated, but at least it's a start.  Now, if only they stopped here, because this was working material, but they did not, they took a step back with the next section which I'll also quote here for simplicity.

<quote>Last, these games were popular commercial successes and as such, they remain hallmarks of this fledgling industry.</quote>

This is unfortunate, due to this sentence, I need to go back over the list I was creating after point two, and cull a number of influential titles becuase they were not as sucessful as they were influential.

This last section in my mind, is what is causing all the problems in this thread, and in fact, I don't even think it should have been a qualifying point.  Considering a games comercial success in terms of all time influence, is just not a practical excercise that I find useful.


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#29 by "BloodKnight"
2000-12-30 03:03:36
bloodknight@somethingawful.com
<b>WarrenMarshall</b> (#22):
<quote>You don't agree that Half-Life was influential? Almost all shooter games that come out are compared to the Half-Life quality bar ...
</quote>

I meant Why is Half life on the list?  The only thing I see in HL was shit graphics (at the time and present), really poor voicing, annoying loading times, bad weapons, not so great AI, and some storyline.  I am even suprised that this game is popular<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#30 by "BabiG"
2000-12-30 03:03:43
yankeebabu@india.com
Well, it sure helps "influence" developers if the game sells a lot. =)
#31 by "spackbace"
2000-12-30 03:05:31
brian@cc.gatech.edu
What about galaga? Or tetris?  Or Contra?  Or the original Super Mario Bro's?  

The way I see it, the original Duck Hunter that came pre-packaged with the NES is the grand-father and most-influential game of every FPS to come.  You had a gun, you shot shit that came across your screen.

And what about games like The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy?  Despite having no graphics, is it still not a video game?  And since we're talking about "of all time" here, then it's definitly included.  HHGG influenced so many games its not funny.  Hell, the way I see it, it in some way or another it is the "influence" for every adventure game to follow it.

I agree with Andy.  This list isn't the best games of all time.  It's the most liked games by a group of guys at gamespot.  And heck it isn't even that, its the most liked games since the 90's pretty much.  Half Life?  Gimme a breaaaak, it didn't influence shit.  Set the new standard, absolutely.  But the only thing it influenced was counter strike, and thats cuz they used the same engine.
#32 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-30 03:11:06
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
Jeez, you're treating this like it's some important document. These are meaningless articles designed to spur these sorts of discussions. They get a bunch of traffic, people discuss them and fill in their own lists...

By the way, I like the typo "Wind Commander...", but Wing Commander was one of the games to introduce the whole "cinematic" aspect of gaming with its elaborate (at the time) cut scenes.

Alone in the Dark is actually a good choice; how can you say 3D models were inevitable? (By the way, you can invalidate every game if we agree that all innovations are inevitable.) Someone figured out how to do them before everyone else and created the original horror game that mixed action and adventure (which few people were doing... they were barely away from text parsers) and was the obvious inspiration for games like Resident Evil.

Tomb Raider was just a 3D Prince of Persia, so that's a poor call unless you focus on marketing and character design.

Falcon 3.0 was light years beyond any other simulation in complexity. It had a dynamic campaign, which previous versions lacked. It's definitely right to be on the list. It made all previous sims look like games.

Half-Life shouldn't be on the list, since it was the logical evolution of DOOM and System Shock. It's the game people should have started making after DOOM came out.

Dune II created the whole RTS paradigm and basic mouse-based interface. Warcraft was influenced by it, as was Command & Conquer (which even used Dune's harvesters as a unit).

Myst did influence hundreds of "you're in this strange world with puzzles" games, most of which were forgettable failures (they go by names like Shivers, Obsidian, blah blah blah). But really it's Zork with graphics. However, its influence can't be overstated; it (along with 7th Guest) gave people a reason to buy a CD-ROM drive, and it was the first Windows game to hit big.

And those early Ultima's (and Wizardry) pretty much set the blueprint for every single RPG that followed, including all of the Square Final Fantasy games.
#33 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-30 03:14:04
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
You don't agree that Half-Life was influential? Almost all shooter games that come out are compared to the Half-Life quality bar ...

It raised the bar that was set by the DOOMs, Duke Nukems, Quakes and System Shocks. It was simply a matter of taking things others had done and doing it considerably better. For example, all games have AI; Half-Life's was better and took it up a notch.
#34 by "Durzel"
2000-12-30 03:18:52
durzel@barrysworld.com
Perhaps the list should've been renamed "the 15 most influencial games we can actually remember".  Whoever compiled the list clearly has a very limited history of gaming - one can only imagine that they are your average magazine type hack who thinks they are some authority on "the best games of all time" just because they've happened upon a Playstation in their local electrical shop.

You have to look way beyond the years of the PC, far back to the realms of Mariokart on the NES/SNES, Epic (remember that on the Atari/Amiga?), Megalomania, Sim City, etc to really appreciate ground breaking games.  I don't want to come across all nostalgic or anything, but the majority of games nowadays are just rehashes of tried-and-tested concepts of yesteryear - whether they be the Wolfenstein-a-like's that spawned a 1000 FPS's, or your Outrun/Hard Drivin' games that set the benchmark for driving games, or the likes of Afterburner, Gunship, etc that established the mould of pretty much every flightsim around.

How about games like Zarch/Virus by David Braben?.. or maybe games by Jeff Minter (Revenge of the Mutant Camels, Tempest 2000, etc)... Cannon Fodder?.. Sensible Soccer?.. etc. etc.
#35 by "None1a"
2000-12-30 03:23:24
none1a@home.com
<b>#28</b> "Barneyque" quoted...
<quote>Not only did these games introduce innovative features and extraordinary gameplay that later became conventions, but they also serve as models to other developers who seek to emulate and even outdo them.</quote>


They almost had it here. These games are supposted to have served as the model for new games right, so why are there no comments or selections by current developers in the list? There that ones that these games where supposted to have influence them to create why they are now, yet I do not get to even hear what they think.


<b>#32</b> "SteveBauman" wrote...
<quote>Alone in the Dark is actually a good choice; how can you say 3D models were inevitable? (By the way, you can invalidate every game if we agree that all innovations are inevitable.) Someone figured out how to do them before everyone else and created the original horror game that mixed action and adventure (which few people were doing... they were barely away from text parsers) and was the obvious inspiration for games like Resident Evil. </quote>

I agree it should be on the list but not do to 3D models, had they not cut out any games other then PC titles Alone's polygon aren't that impressive I,Robot did real time polygon rendering 10 years earlyer, but get disscounted for not being a PC title (of sure the models where just simple shapes floting on a black background with no animation but those thigns would come with evolution).    <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#36 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-30 03:27:44
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
I did a series of articles like this and called them "Essential" lists as opposed to "best" (the publisher wanted it to be "Best" because he thought "Essential" was too pretentious, so I stopped doing them altogether). They weren't even "Most Essential", just "Essential." It's a lot easier to say a game is "Essential" to your understanding of how the genre (or gaming) has evolved than it's the best or "Most" influential.

Also, I tended to limit the lists to modern titles, though for "10 Essential Sci-Fi Simulations," how could you not include something like Elite? For adventure games I had to limit it to games released in the 90s. I never even got to RPGs, which would have been REALLY difficult.
#37 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 03:35:45
andy@meejahor.com
<b>SteveBauman</b> (#32):
<quote>
Jeez, you're treating this like it's some important document.
</quote>
It is! It's really, <b><i>really</i></b> important!
<quote>
By the way, I like the typo "Wind Commander..."
</quote>
A work of genius, I feel.
<quote>
Alone in the Dark is actually a good choice; how can you say 3D models were inevitable?
</quote>
You think they weren't?

I think this is so obvious that I'm not even going to try defending it. If you disagree with me, fine, we disagree. But just for once I feel confident in saying I'll be in the majority. :-)

Okay, one quick point: Elite (and probably some earlier games) used 3D objects, so having 3D enemies/items/weapons/etc won't have been a surprise to many people. I don't think anyone played Alone In The Dark and thought, "Wow! 3D! I never expected this in a computer game!"
#38 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-30 03:52:14
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
You think they weren't?

Of course they were, but you can say that about everything after it's happened. And as I said, you can invalidate every innovation by merely saying it was inevitable. Anyone that played the original 3D dungeons in Wizardry would find the 3D in DOOM inevitable, hence it shouldn't be included.

But back to Alone in the Dark, I don't remember many games using polygons for characters; it was mostly hand-animation or rotoscoping. Were there any other games that had polygonal characters before it?

I'm old enough to remember loading up the Alone in the Dark demo and saying, "Wow, I never expected 3D charactes like this in a computer game." Seriously. You could never rotate your characters like that, and the "cinematic" camera angles allowed you to view them from any angle (even if they did look funky). It looked like no other game...
#39 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 04:00:42
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#38</b> "SteveBauman" wrote...
<quote><quote>You think they weren't?</quote>
Of course they were, but you can say that about everything after it's happened. And as I said, you can invalidate every innovation by merely saying it was inevitable. Anyone that played the original 3D dungeons in Wizardry would find the 3D in DOOM inevitable, hence it shouldn't be included.

But back to Alone in the Dark, I don't remember many games using polygons for characters; it was mostly hand-animation or rotoscoping. Were there any other games that had polygonal characters before it?

I'm old enough to remember loading up the Alone in the Dark demo and saying, "Wow, I never expected 3D charactes like this in a computer game." Seriously. You could never rotate your characters like that, and the "cinematic" camera angles allowed you to view them from any angle (even if they did look funky). It looked like no other game...</quote>


I agree, AITD created a first impression similar to the first time one loaded quake. It was pretty cool to actually be able to smoothly rotate your player. It had the 'holly shit' factor, and I distinctly remember saying it. It's one of those games where you load it up not expecting much, then when you see it, you are leaning forward in your chair doing the holly shit thing.  :)

AITD, and I'm not sure who it was that brought that game up first recently, but it seems to be popping up a lot now, is one of them games that I think should go down in history with at least an asterix beside the name.  I personally think it was significant in terms of a leap, or a first time, or at least a best instance(your pick) in visual presentation.


Of course, this is opinion, but it's mine, and of course, I agree with me.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#40 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 04:01:40
andy@meejahor.com
<b>SteveBauman</b> (#38):
<quote>
But back to Alone in the Dark, I don't remember many games using polygons for characters; it was mostly hand-animation or rotoscoping. Were there any other games that had polygonal characters before it?
</quote>
None that I can remember, but I don't claim to have any sort of encyclopaedic knowledge of old games. But I do remember being a lot less impressed with Alone In The Dark than I expected to be. I enjoyed it, and the graphics were undeniably great, but it didn't make me go WOW like, for example, Quake did.

This must just come down to a difference of opinion. I consider AITD to have been a great advancement in adventure gaming, but I think it was a step -- or even a leap -- in an already established direction.
#41 by "fingo"
2000-12-30 04:02:44
fingo@graffiti.net
I just like the runners up: Deer Hunter.  These guys were on crack, that pretty much sums it up. I mean Deer Hunter. It influenced jack. Ya it sold well, and told the world that there is a market for people who buy games at Wal Mart bargin bin.  <i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#42 by "PD"
2000-12-30 04:02:55
pdwyer@ecn.net.au
#32

<QUOTE>By the way, I like the typo "Wind Commander...", but Wing Commander was one of the games to introduce the whole "cinematic" aspect of gaming with its elaborate (at the time) cut scenes.</QUOTE>

I think you mean "wings" on the amiga by cinemaware. :)

"Ports of Call" defined the modern ship trading simulation so much, no one followed :)

"Doom", because it was the first network FPS I ever saw, and spurred home networks in a way nothing else did.

Dune2, because every other early RTS was JUST like it, C&C & Warcraft included.

"Populous" introduced the God-game.

<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#43 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 04:04:15
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Barneyque</b> (#39):

Heh, our posts had freakish similarities. :-)
<quote>
you are leaning forward in your chair doing the holly shit thing. :)
</quote>
And that sounds very painful.
#44 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 04:08:50
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#43</b> "Andy" wrote...
<quote><B>Barneyque</B> (#39):

Heh, our posts had freakish similarities. :-)

<quote>
you are leaning forward in your chair doing the holly shit thing. :)
</quote>
And that sounds very painful.</quote>


This is getting scarry, I'm not sure, but I seem to be falling, in and out of favor by the post here.  This is very strange.

I go off ranting about AITD being a holy shit, wow game, then you make exactly the opposite claim.  :)

I'm going to have to get me a coffee or something, there has got to be something bad in my coke, as in another thread, I more or less got booted from the hardcore gamers club from what I can tell.  :)

Crazy night.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
#45 by "SteveBauman"
2000-12-30 04:11:31
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com
This must just come down to a difference of opinion. I consider AITD to have been a great advancement in adventure gaming, but I think it was a step -- or even a leap -- in an already established direction.

Don't forget that Alone in the Dark appeared in about 1992 or 93, around the time of DOOM, so you really have to put it in the context of the other games of its era. What's funny is its influence wasn't really obvious until Resident Evil was called "revolutionary" and original. Which it wasn't.

One game they missed, probably because it's more famous in its Amiga incarnation, is Earl Weaver Baseball. And, if you're into that whole 3D thing, a little game called 4D Boxing (done by Chris Taylor, of Total Annihilation and Dungeon Siege fame), which as far as I know was the first polygonal sports game. It was amazing in its day, as was Earl (which is actually pretty damn amazing even today).
#46 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 04:13:57
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Barneyque</b> (#44):
<quote>
This is getting scarry, I'm not sure, but I seem to be falling, in and out of favor by the post here. This is very strange.
</quote>
Not at all. :-)
<quote>
I go off ranting about AITD being a holy shit, wow game, then you make exactly the opposite claim. :)
</quote>
Oh no, it was a great game, great graphics, lots of fun, and it was WOW in some regards, but I just don't remember being blown away by the use of 3D characters. They looked nice. They helped make the game more scary. They didn't strike me as anything really revolutionary.
<quote>
I more or less got booted from the hardcore gamers club from what I can tell. :)
</quote>
Why would you want to be in it? I know I wouldn't. :-)
#47 by "Jadawin"
2000-12-30 04:16:47
jadawin@wildmail.com
Alone in the Dark was also one of the first games I ever played "alone, in the dark" with my new-fangled Pro Audio Spectrum 16... talk about creeping you out.
#48 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 04:17:45
andy@meejahor.com
Ooh, I'll tell you what might be causing the disagreement here: The 3D cinematic sequences in AITD, before you got into the game proper, were very WOW. So what I'm guessing is that for Steve and Barney, they were impressed by those, and then got right into the game so they were impressed by the characters too. But it took me a while to get into the game, so I had a lot more time to get used to the first few models. So by the time I started progressing, it was a case of yeah, so what else is new?
#49 by "Andy"
2000-12-30 04:20:22
andy@meejahor.com
<b>Andy</b> (#48):
<quote>
Ooh, I'll tell you what might be causing the disagreement here: The 3D cinematic sequences in AITD, before you got into the game proper, were very WOW. So what I'm guessing is that for Steve and Barney, they were impressed by those, and then got right into the game so they were impressed by the characters too. But it took me a while to get into the game, so I had a lot more time to get used to the first few models. So by the time I started progressing, it was a case of yeah, so what else is new?
</quote>
And now I'll actually get to the point, which was that for Steve and Barney the opening cinematics probably boosted the WOW factor of the rest of the game, ie: They lifted you up, and you were on a high when you played the game.

If the cinematics hadn't been quite so impressive, I wonder if your memory of the in-game models would be different?
#50 by "Barneyque"
2000-12-30 04:25:33
barneyque@hotmail.com
<b>#46</b> "Andy" wrote...
<quote><B>Barneyque</B> (#44):


<quote>
I more or less got booted from the hardcore gamers club from what I can tell. :)
</quote>
Why would you want to be in it? I know I wouldn't. :-)</quote>


Well, I guess it's all part of getting old.  You grow up, you think your 'in', and smart and all that, then at some point, at least for me, I look at things like the top 10 pop charts, and I can  just hardley recognize the names of the bands, let alone the song names, and I started to realize, that I have begun a new phase. Of course it turns out that the youth I was, who thought I was 'all that', really means very little, and it's not untill you get older that you realize much that's not true, or better, what was important then is of little significance.

Now it turns out, I'm also not 'in' with the gamers, but I'm not quite ready to lose that battle yet. I think I'm still with it, just have a slightly different taste that has thrown my accuser off.  Time will tell.

So being a hardcore gamer, or at least recognised as one is not so important as much as what it represents.  :)

Also, I should quote from 48, but I'll just say, that might be it.  You might have a decent explination there.<i><b></b></i><i></i><i></i>
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