First Person Shooters – Then & Now

FPS Map Design

First Person Shooters – Then & Now

by Steve Napierski to Images

No real explanation needed.

source: Kotaku
  • BicMan

    What game(s) are the inspiration for the 2010 version?

    • http://www.pierski.com Steve Napierski

      Not sure specifically, but the Gears of War franchise does come to mind.

    • Tinq

      Not Borderlands or the new Fallouts. That’s about it.

  • Gojiso

    I can also think of the Goldeneye games… Look at the old one compared to the new Wiimake and you’ll see this perfectly..

  • http://twitter.com/_Mjollnir_ Fen

    This can be applied to RPGs as well~

    • http://www.pierski.com Steve Napierski

      My first thought when I saw the map was Final Fantasy XIII.

  • http://www.OnyxSparrow.com/prepare%5Fto%5Fdie/ OnyxSparrow

    This is so true it’s not even funny… If I wanted to play a FPS on Rails I wouldda stuck with Time Crisis and a bag of quarters.

  • TheyCallMeTomu

    A marked improvement ;P

    Stop whining you bastards! Do you have any idea how much more expensive it is to develop a sandboxy game? RPG or FPS, it’s all the same-the more choices players have, the more things have to be covered! Deal with it in therapy! RAWR!

    • AndrewFoose

      Then why was that not a problem 17 years ago then?

      • Random

        Not to disagree that FPS now much more linear than they used to be, but do you really think graphics and sound 17 years ago were as elaborated as they are today? Do you think making all the assets for Doom 2 and it’s 16 bit graphics, took anywhere near as much time as was needed for Crysis?

        That’s why no one would re-make old classics exactly as they were. Everything that used to take 1 hour to complete would now take 10 to comply with today’s expectations in term of realism. That’s why there won’t be any FF7 remake, with today graphics, they’ll need 10th’s of bluray to store the contents, and an army of graphist working for years to re-do every single model and texture in the game.

        • Johnny

          Of course, this could pretty much be solved by people not being so fucking assinine about graphics.

  • http://spacebetweencomic.com Shane

    By the way, the next Legend of Zelda will be 20 hours of cinematics and about 35 seconds of gameplay.

    • Alchemist5

      Worst game ever, or greatest movie of all time?

  • http://tleaves.com peterb

    Without any sarcasm whatsoever, this image could be accurately titled “How First Person Shooters have improved over the past 20 years.”

    Thank god we’re not in 1993 any more.

    • unrealt87

      Oh really?
      Tell me, out of the myriad of FPS games released since 1993 can you name that have lasted for over a decade of popular play and still has a large modification scene?
      Something tells me you’d be doomed to fail to answer that one…

      • TFish

        The Halo Franchise has been around a decade, Check and mate.

        • Alchemist5

          That’s a franchise. No one plays the first halo anymore.

        • TFish

          You’d be surprised how many people still mod and play the first halo for PC.

      • Denn

        Half-Life. Large modding scene, still highly popular, pretty linear (some backtracking is involved, but it’s linear backtracking, so it counts), and cutscenes all over the place (you maintain control, but it’s still a cutscene).

        I rest my case.

  • http://tleaves.com peterb

    Half-Life was released in 1998, genius.

    • Bobo

      What’s your point?

      • http://tleaves.com peterb

        My point is that Half-Life has had over a decade of play and an active mod scene — and has the “long dark hallway with cutscene” nature being decried here.

        That design isn’t just an improvement. It’s an OBVIOUS improvement.

        • Noctem

          No, it doesn’t.
          Have you play more than the firts level of half-life?.

  • Imp

    that’s clearly map from Doom. boy those where the days. was literally lost in hell for hours xD

  • Foreverbadass

    I find it disappointing that there are actually people who think this is an improvement. Last I checked video games are called GAMES because you play them; if you want to see cutscenes so bad and so often…go watch a movie. How I miss the days of ‘Doom’…

  • http://www.holiday-wars.com/ Scott King

    That’s totally “Final Fantasy XIII” on the right.

  • Revan

    Hell yea, the 93 example is clearly Doom or doom- engine game (hexen/heretic)

    how i know? the map is “false 3d”, there’s no overlapping sections, any elevators are made so you’re never “above” another plane..

    Doom ftw

    i still play it nowadays with skulltag

  • Blyzz

    Thought the ’93 one was descent. MAN that was an awesome game!

  • Triaxx

    There is one area of overlap, just to the right of dead center. Looks like a Dark Forces II map.

    Obviously that 2010 example is Halo: Reach. But you forgot three or so cut scenes.

  • Rokai

    And people say it’s just nostalgia that makes older FPSs seem good.

  • TopoJedi

    The 93′ map is from doom. Episode I Level 6:

    http://www.classicdoom.com/maps/d1maps/e1m6.htm

    By the way…

    It’s not an improvement to make gamers stop using their brains and just follow a line…

    • TFish

      I don’t recall having to really use my brain all that much in doom, other than running in circles to find the color keys to unlock doors. It’s not like it was something you had to be a genius to play.

  • Doom
  • JayBone

    uhhhhh who cares….doom and final fantasy are erotica homosexual…its all about P2P get team fortress you newbs

  • David

    Considering how much bitching and moaning there’s been over the last two decades about the lack of plots in shooters, is this really that big a shock to anybody?

    Personally I can’t stand old style bullet mazes. They were fun enough in the 90’s but with the improvement in environmental detail they’re just boring. BioShock and Metroid Prime come to mind as games that reuse content well, but most shooters just come off as lazy when they make you turn around and go back to the start in order to move forward. In Wolfenstein 3D all the levels looked the same, so it didn’t make much difference, but in Call of Duty sending them back into the previous enemy camp is a really jarring and obvious step backwards.

    That’s a Doom map, right? Those markers and junk aren’t interesting options that change anything. They aren’t puzzles or boss battles. They’re just health, weapons and keys. You’re still walking a pre-determined path it’s just littered with annoying doors (occasionally a secret door would have something interesting behind it, but usually its just more of the same). A Gears of War map is basically the same, but you trigger a bunch of cool looking stuff like monsters bursting out the ground, using the Hammer of Dawn, etc and don’t have to backtrack looking for some random key every five minutes. Most importantly the cutscenes and boss battles, which are interesting, replace the old Blue Keys and Red Keys, which are boring.

    Doom was a shallow game in the 90’s. It ran on gore and explosions. It had no plot and almost every fight was exactly the same (maintain line of sight, use big guns for high health enemies and what ever you have the most ammo for on low health enemies). The map may seem detailed when compared to the fictional ‘cut scene, cut scene, cut scene’ map but there’s next to nothing actually going on there. Modern Warfare 2 had more going on in single rooms than Doom had in entire levels.

    [Sorry if all that sounds overly negative, but there’s just something about seeing Doom, the game that led the ‘you don’t have to do anything interesting, just make it in 3D’ charge, held up as some sort of high point in gaming that really, really bugs me.]

    • TFish

      I wholeheartedly agree with you. People who don’t view from this perspective are just full of nostalgia and isn’t a modern day FPS fan, which is fine, but you can’t honestly say that it was more complex or a challenge to play wolfenstine or Doom. Todays games just have a plot, if they didn’t I would be far less interested in them than I was 15 years ago when I was running around blowing up hell spawn on mars for no real good reason.

    • Revan

      “That’s a Doom map, right? Those markers and junk aren’t interesting options that change anything. They aren’t puzzles or boss battles. They’re just health, weapons and keys. You’re still walking a pre-determined path it’s just littered with annoying doors (occasionally a secret door would have something interesting behind it, but usually its just more of the same). A Gears of War map is basically the same, but you trigger a bunch of cool looking stuff like monsters bursting out the ground, using the Hammer of Dawn, etc and don’t have to backtrack looking for some random key every five minutes. Most importantly the cutscenes and boss battles, which are interesting, replace the old Blue Keys and Red Keys, which are boring.”

      Some1 never got startled by a Baron of hell in a tight corridor at 3 am, with no lights on.

  • Kasuko

    Games back then didn’t have the capabilities that they do today. In order to make game play last longer than a few hours you had to reuse large sections of the maps aka back tracking. Now you can have as much map as you want so there is less back tracking and more straight lines.

    Cut scenes on the other hand have NOTHING to do with the style of the map. You can have a ton of cut scenes on a large convoluted map without issue.

    Now this is up to personal opinion, do you like games with lots of back story and lots of cut scenes or don’t you? Unfortunately there is no valid answer to which is better other than the one provided by the free market. If you don’t like games with a lot of cut scenes don’t play them, unless someone DOES in fact have a gun to your head in which case I believe you have bigger problems.

    If you like games with huge back tracking maps and no cut scenes then play them, game development companies aren’t pushing a hidden agenda, they make what sells, great story, realistic detail and immersive gameplay sell, all which are possible with linear maps.

    • Johnny

      Aw c’mon. You’re saying that either Gears of Wars, Halo, Resistance, Call of Duty, the Goldeneye remake or any other cutscene driven shooters had “great stories”? Gamers definitly need to read more books. I’d rather play a shooter with next to no plot than bearing the plot that all of the aforementioned games have.

      I feel the same about said ‘realistic detail’. I’d rather have 20 Viewtiful Joes than a GTA when it comes to details and possibilities, because in the end I still won’t be able to kick a flamingo or something. Sure, there won’t be that many details on a simpler game, but I’ll probably be able to interact with most of them. Conservation of detail rocks.

  • Triaxx

    Really? I liked Doom because it was simple. No plot requiring a score card, no sudden changes in available enemies.

    I was the good guy, which made everyone else by definition the bad guy. Which means it was dying time for them.

    Now I have to worry, is that an enemy? Or a friendly? Does he have a rocket launcher? Or flowers? And most importantly, do I really care? Used to be if you encountered anything else, you simply killed it because it was an enemy, and then moved on.

  • Bobby

    And yet first-person shooters have always sucked.

  • Alex

    I think the map example from 1993 is Doom? If so, Doom was incredibly linear – the biggest difference is the addition of the cut-scenes. Honestly, games today offer much more “roaming” ability than games of ’93, with the added bonus that these explorable areas look quite a bit more awesome.