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Designers Weigh In On Gaming's Future

The next generation isn't quite here yet, but it's coming. And everyone involved in making games has their own little wish list for the future.

You can check out a few at NowGamer, where industry veterans like Assassin's Creed III lead script writer Matt Turner, God of War: Ascension director Todd Papy, and Dead or Alive 5 producer Yosuke Hayashi talk about what they want to see in the next generation.

In our estimation, two of the more interesting quotes came from The Amazing Spider-Man executive producer Brant Nicholas and Dishonored visual design director Viktor Antonov. Nicholas believes developers have now "hit the limits of what the current generation of hardware is capable of in terms of data capacity, memory, processing power and streaming speed from the media." He also added:

"There will definitely be some impressive titles at launch, but I’m really looking forward to that second round of IPs that will be released once the studios have become experts on the new hardware. My hope is that we will finally be able to integrate truly learning AI that will provide not only adaptive encounters for the player, but also a well-balanced experience that is fun to play for gamers of any skill level. Unfortunately, AI-driven ‘non-deterministic’ gameplay is notoriously difficult to script and still tell a compelling story. In the end, it will be an awesome experience to see how things unfold in the next few years."

Antonov, who is rapidly becoming one of our favorite dev peeps around, had this to say about how technology can only take us so far:

"I’ve had the philosophy of trying to remove everything that doesn’t relate to the story. Painters have been doing that for 400 years and have gotten really good at it. So, this is really about more abstract and stylised games – that’s the future. I think games, like any media, will try and become photorealistic first, but when that’s done what’s next? Anybody can do photorealism and scan things into a game, but that’s not the point."

This past week, Antonov talked about how fiction has suffered this generation. And really, what does happen when and if we hit photorealism? There has to be something beneath that, right? Like, substance? Yes, please, more of that.

Tags: next gen, next generation, next generation consoles, video games

7/21/2012 9:41:21 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Norrin Radd
Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 10:01:43 AM

Well, we haven't hit anywhere near photorealism yet. I hope we don't have to jump that hurdle before what's "underneath" starts to improve.

There's a reason the current poll is at 60% "Neither".

And it seems weird that a developer on TAS game is talking about the machines being maxed out. Perhaps he's missed all the footage of The Last of Us and other games still in the pipe for THIS generation. To me that just smacks of an unwillingness to wring out all that's there because it's just easier to drive faster with more horsepower. Get to work, man!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 10:22:42 AM

Antonov is a sharp fellow and I think he has some solid points, hopefully Dishonored lives up to his ideas for substance. He might be seeing the future with rose colored glasses though, it would be very costly to have that type of AI in the next generation and we all know devs are already cutting costs everywhere or trying to make them up with DLC.

I don't care if we ever reach photo realism, I think that would be exceedingly boring if we did.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 5:29:47 PM

I don't think photorealism would be boring, per se (for some genres I think it would be a great plus, for others irrelevant). A photo realistic Heavy Rain would tug on the emotions stronger, a photo realistic war game would give people nightmares (not suggesting this is a plus, mind, but even the most graphic of current games wouldn't be near as shocking as a walk down a recently shelled town in Syria). So photorealism will bring new potential experiences to the table from a gameplay perspective (I drool over the potential of a photorealistic Sherlock Holmes game - although it might be just a _dash_ niche to ever get made!)

But for me, it's all about environment, story, character and gameplay, and you can do a lot of that already. Antonov's words on AI, though, are brilliant - the extra power/memory would enable AI in games like Skyrim to behave much more organically, and at some stage in the future I could see instead of voice actors, voice 'prints', where the character in the game takes on the voice of said actor (from a range of takes covering certain tones and expressions and so on), and then builds its conversations organically. So we'd only hear "but I took an arrow to the knee" once!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 10:41:26 AM

I still firmly believe we do not need a PS4 for another 3 years at least. After seeing Beyond and The Last of Us I still wonder why we need new hardware right now.

I too am not interested in photo realism; it won't feel like you are actually playing a game.



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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 11:09:30 AM

Id like to continue seeing a broad range of everything. When I think of photo realism I think of popular FPS games. Those seem to be the most concerned with that. Well, other than Beyond Two Souls. Beyond looks like the most photo realistic game Ive seen. So while I agree with the Antov guy It doesn't appear to me that most devs are pushing for phot realism, as most of the best games are highly stylized.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 11:22:13 AM

btw, when I think of photorealism I think of Heavy Rain, LA Noire, sports games, battlefield 3, gran turismo. Games like Uncharted may seem photo realistic but they really aren't, just like Batman, Gears, GoW and many others.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 3:29:42 PM

Honestly I wish we could be at the level of photorealism in the next generation. Then developers would have to focus on everything else making games feel more like they did 15-20 years ago.

If we are to hit photorealism within the next gen or two it wouldn't change anything that is currently being done. There are painters out there who love to do realistic paintings and also there are just as many who are happy doing abstract paintings. Gaming would be no different, sure you would see certain franchises/IPs go the realistic route but many would still go for the opposite just to be able to show that it isn't the image that makes something great, it is the feeling in which the observer gains from it.

"My hope is that we will finally be able to integrate truly learning AI that will provide not only adaptive encounters for the player, but also a well-balanced experience that is fun to play for gamers of any skill level."

I love that comment as it is very similar to one I made a couple months ago on here. And I believe the next gen will offer a significantly better type of AI then what we currently have. Just look at "The Last of Us" and you can see it is already being done. Next gen should be able to really ramp it up to a whole new level. They are already figuring out how to make the AI smarter and more realistic, the next big step is to be able to determine the skill level of the player so that the AI can bring just the right amount of pressure to a game without breaking the gamers spirit.

Current AI is hit or miss with most games and in some cases completely out of this world(Command & Conqeur: Red Alert on Hard). And because of this I prefer multiplayer since you actually have to be quick witted, tactical, and extremely flexible unlike most single player games which just require you to be there. Human opponents are the best & worst things to happen to gaming(for me) as most games just don't have anything that I consider a challenge. I can't wait for the day that a single player game feels like it is multiplayer with the AI, that is the day that I will truely be happy.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 7:23:56 PM

In killzone 2, and mainly 3, the AI are insanely smart. On vet im contstantly running around screaming OH SH#T. I really like when AI plays like a human player. Killzone is the only game ive played where the AI don't fall for my tricks, and instead trick me. Personally i want the AI to be more intelligent, and really bring out the players tacticalness and really give them an expirience. Another thing i would like to see is a game as full and complete as a FF. FF12 had me hooked with all of the awesome hunting quests. I think i spent 134 hours hunting. No other game this gen, aside from demons souls, has had that many hours from me in gaming. Finally what i would like to see in next gen games is some better dynamic worlds. In white knight chronicles the clouds move and block out the sun, making it darker. Then they move away and it gets bright. Thats pretty awesome in my opinion and theres not many games where the worlds feel, real, and alive. Skyrim felt like a coded world, and it was really hard for me to get immersed in it. Dragons Dogma has random griffins flying around and attacking caravans. That in itself is awesome but the weather feels so... fake. So i guess what im saying is id like an open world that feels like a living, breathing thing and it feels vibrant and free. I know i could have used better grammar and even used paragraphs but oh well. Anyway thats my opinion, hopefully devs will make some awesome worlds next gen because thats all i really want. Don't care if graphics are mind blowing or not. I don't mind my video games looking like video games.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 7:37:36 PM

You and beamboom were made for each other =p

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Sunday, July 22, 2012 @ 5:05:01 AM

its funny how every time new consoles are mentioned, the only thing developers mention is photorealism.
yous do realise that new and better hardware can add SO much more than better graphics right?
just more RAM will allow allot more developers to stream in levels without loading screens like what naughty dog has done with the uncharted series.
new consoles can, and hopefully will give us a hell of allot more than prettier pictures!

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Monday, July 23, 2012 @ 3:54:47 PM

Even if they were making games to run on supercomputers, the amount of time and money it would take to create an engine that could run photo-realistic graphics in-game would be astronomical.

I think the next gen, with its higher development costs, will bring us more homogeneity in games, more online shooters with $50 season passes, and then eventually, people will get sick of shooters. And I don't know what will happen then. Wouldn't want to be working for one of the big publishers who's turned every game into a shooter when that time comes though.

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