Posted by: seanmalstrom | February 26, 2016

Why Master of Orion and Master of Magic cannot be topped

From an old gaming thread I stumbled over,

For myself personally, I still even today play the occasional game of Master of Magic. I own Age of Wonders Shadow Magic, I have a few Heroes of Might and Magic games, I’ve played a lot of Fallen Enchantress, I even bought Warlock Master of the Arcane in hopes of finally finding a worthy heir. I like all of these games, yet I still come back to Master of Magic inevitably. And every time I do I wonder why no modern game can capture the same spirit that MoM has, the same randomness and adventurous atmosphere? I would literally pay over $100 for a modernized version of MoM. Simply give it an HD remake that runs on a modern OS with a nicer UI and improve the AI some, and I’d plunk down $100 without hesitation.

 

I feel the same way. How hard could it be?

But it is hard. Game development is very hard. What people do not get with game development is that you can divide it into two sides, the stuff you want to do and the stuff you don’t want to do. The ‘fun’ stuff is making new races, making lore, being *creative* (oh, that word!), and putting in new ‘gameplay features’. That is fun. That is why people become game developers.

But the not fun stuff is game testing, creating AI, balancing, and making hard concepts work.

The problem is the premise of the question: “If MoM and MOO are simple games, why haven’t they been beaten?” They are NOT simple games. Underneath the hood of those old games is a very sophisticated AI and gameplay mechanism. Modern game makers do not like sophisticated gameplay systems. They do not like sophisticated AI (and are trying to eliminate it by making every game multiplayer only).

It is MUCH EASIER to just throw in modern production values and call it a day. But even replicating what came before is very, very hard.

Wii Sports was never beaten in its controls. The reason why is that controls are not ‘fun’ to play with. Super Mario Brothers was never truly matched ever.

Game makers keep saying how they are fans of MOO or MOM and try to make a game like them. Yet, they fail. A large part of it is because they keep trying to use those games as the source instead of the board games.


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