Recent Gaming Innovations
Several innovations from recent games dealt with graphics, game mechan
ics, gameplay, audio, storytelling, and AI.
Deus Ex used an innovation that included stealth in order to avoid
being captured or seen.
The 3D modding phenomenon of making games using another game’s
engine or creating machinima (discussed in Chapter 3,“Game Genres”)
spawned many games.
WarioWare used mini-games, smaller games within the game, as an
innovative concept.
Unique use of time is an important innovation in some game mechan
ics. (Time mechanics are discussed in detail in Chapter 9, “Game Design
Principles” in the section “Game Mechanics.”) Some good examples of
time innovations include reversing time as a “do-over” in Prince of Persia:
The Sands of Time; slowing down time for the main character, as in Max
Payne’s “bullet time”; and the premise behind TimeShift, where even fire
can freeze.
Innovations in presentation that recent games display include the POV
(point of view) in FPS (first-person shooter) and 3PS (third-person
shooter) games and using film-quality cut-scenes and cinematics.
Another innovation in games is the use of procedural landscape genera-
tion for trees, mountains, and terrain. In the Seven Cities of Gold, the
environment was even deformable.
Music and audio innovations include adaptive music as used in
GoldenEye 007. James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing had an originally
written and performed soundtrack and an “A-list” of voice-over actors
such as Pierce Brosnan, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Shannon Eliza
beth, and Heidi Klum and is considered the best James Bond game ever
and possibly the greatest console first-person shooter ever made. The
music mimics the actual gameplay, so as the player reacts quicker the
soundtrack begins to speed up, and as the player slows down the music
likewise plays slower.
The innovations in AI are highlighted in games such as Nintendogs
(and offshoots) with its artificial pets.
Let’s look at and examine a few game industry innovations that are
noteworthy, such as Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero/Rock Band,
Spore, Second Life, and World of Warcraft, and hardware innovations such
as the Wii remote (controller) and handhelds such as the Gameboy
Advance (GBA), the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and the Nintendo DS.
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution by Konami was released in 1998/1999 and was
truly innovative as a rhythm and dance game that had the player(s) inter
actively following cues and modern rhythms with their bodies. The arcade
and later the home console market took to this like the karaoke
Innovation in Gaming 117
Chapter 7

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