Doom designer John Romero says that the advances in technology haven’t necessarily lead to advances in gameplay.
He notes that while developers now have far more tools to use compared to the developers of 20 years ago, gameplay hasn’t advanced anywhere near as much.
It comes down to design, not technology.New consoles let people create more polygons on the screens. They let you do more with AI because they’re faster. But they don’t make good design.
Romero added that having new technology was certain an advantage, but the massive leaps in graphical power had ended some time ago, and it would be more beneficial to focus on design. He said Minecraft is one example of a game that didn’t need great graphics to do well.
One of the key aspects, he said, is to ensure that people are enjouing the interaction.
Players should be doing an action, a core loop, that is really interesting and fun to them. They should be interfacing with the environment in a way that makes sense to them and is fun. Interactions with the game should generate good feedback and, hopefully, tiered rewards that give people more of a goal to reach higher-level stuff.
Romero said that while games like Call of Duty do well, for him indie games are the way to the future.
Games like Minecraft are the things that keep the industry alive, that keep people positive and excited about games. It just shows that there are unbelievable amounts of untapped creativity out there that we’re still working towards.