Game Design Games

Documenting Game Innovations

Danc at Lost Garden wrote about, arguing that we need better, standardized language in order to discuss game design. If everyone has a different definition for “challenge” or “reward”, then you can’t hope to have a meaningful conversation with other game developers.

The goal of the GIDb is to classify and record every innovation in the entire history of computer and videogames.

The Game Innovation Database is in a wiki format, which means that anyone can contribute. I especially like the Challenge Page, which asks questions such as “What was the first digital RPG (role-playing game)?” and “What was the first game with autofire? “. You can browse by game or by innovation, and of course you can edit something if you think an article is lacking, missing, or just plain wrong.

3 replies on “Documenting Game Innovations”

I could contribute, but only by deleting 2/3 of those games! Its an honourable attempt, but to see Tetris and Tiger Woods PGA Tour in the same list kinda looks funny. Tiny innovations and genre-defining ones mixed up here. e.g. Thrill Kill having a kill meter rather than a life meter, give me a break! A better golf swing in Tiger Woods 2005? 😛 No way. Halo was innovative?! I think they should stick to truly genre-defining moments in gaming, Little Computer People, Tetris etc at least have a claim for this, but even this its very subjective.

Many games are vastly improved realizations of previous ideas, e.g. Sims etc.

Its a nice idea, but I’m worried about how accurate it is. For example, Doom 3 is listed. Doom 3 wasn’t the first released game to use normal mapping. Chronicles of Riddick did, Deus Ex 2 did, Far Cry did and I’m sure there are more examples before that. I really hope that less popular\hyped games don’t get shafted on innovations. At least Quake isn’t listed for mouse-look. That honor goes to Terminator Future Shock (or maybe CyClones.)

I don’t mind minor innovations as long as they are correct. Some stuff is pretty goofy though. Quake has a listing for “First game to feature Ogres with chainsaws instead of the traditional axes.” Huh?…

The only thing that I don’t like about it are the limited number of innovations right now. Hopefully overtime it will become a good database.

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