Prepare to Meet Thy Doom

“For years, games have been racing to catch up to the visual standards of animated films. Before long, Carmack says, game graphics will rival Monsters, Inc. in their detail. When that happens, technical advances in games will proceed at Hollywood’s more measured pace – incrementally instead of in great, creative leaps. Innovators will focus on optimizing existing code, and major revisions will happen less frequently. In effect, Carmack will be obsolete. ‘There’s a real chance that the next-generation rendering engine will be a stable, mature technology that lasts in more or less its basic form for a long time,’ he says. ‘Programmers will move from being engine coders to being technical directors in the Pixar style.'” David Kushner

Prepare to Meet Thy DoomWired)

OK… but what will we do in these multiplayer worlds that provide cinema-quality visuals? Just shoot each other? Obviously that’s what lots of players want to do. I’m uncomfortable with the idea that game design will stop evolving once it blends seamlessly with cinematography. Of course, this article presents Carmack as the creator of the graphics card industry, so it’s to be expected that the author focuses on the visual. I’ve been playing NeverWinter Nights for the past few weeks, and while I was so enamored of the design that I spent the first few nights up way too late playing, lately I have been having to force myself to fire up the game in order to trudge through yet another dollhouse village where the interiors of the buildings don’t have any spatial relationship to the shape of the exteriors. Maybe I was spoiled by Deus Ex, or maybe I’m misunderstanding the point of the 3rd person “camera running along behind the PC” console style game. I’ve got a long backlog of new text adventure games I’ve been meaning to try…