What could Rockstar Games of today teach Polyphony about designing a compelling game?

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dabz343

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GT7's single player campaign is fine, but pretty stale in the innovation scale. And single player content is still an important aspect of GT7 IMO despite the obvious push into online competition and esports. So is the current formula suffice? I for one think it isn't.

The reason for benchmarking Rockstar is due to their keen ability to weave a compelling story with interesting progression. Now, I understand that 'interesting' is subjective and it is a stretch to even compare GT7 with say Red Dead, but given the enjoyment of how their games unfold through a strong story design, I'm asking the question, could PD learn something here?
 
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GT7's single player campaign is fine, but pretty stale in the innovation scale. And single player content is still an important aspect of GT7 IMO despite the obvious push into online competition and esports. So is the current formula suffice? I for one think it isn't.

The reason for benchmarking Rockstar is due to their keen ability to weave a compelling story with interesting progression. Now, I understand that 'interesting' is subjective and it is a stretch to even compare GT7 with say Red Dead, but given the enjoyment of how their games unfold through a strong story design, I'm asking the question, could PD learn something here?
I think we'll have to wait until GTA6 comes out for any real discussion to happen. The GT7 trailer looked great as well but we ended up with this.... thing
 
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Rockstar ability to make immersive open world, characters, story etc is a no match to anyone.

Online, well that's another story. It has only one purpose and that is to make as much money as it can and if that means adding flying bikes the'll add them.

I guess PD is leaning towards the latter but is still far from it.
 
To be clear, I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss with those that are tired of reading the usual post here. Besides, whatever defines a Rockstar game is different from player to player and I'm no expert here having only played Red Dead 2. But, I enjoyed their storytelling and wondered if PD could somehow learn something about what I consider to be a very important part of a game IMO.

I see others going on about $$$, microtransactions, which is fine, but to me these are not what Rockstar does well. But I also get that for some, they can only have a discussion in a certain way, and that's fine too.

I'm interesting in getting to know how Rockstar creates such successful games so that perhaps a future GT title may have design features that fans adore. I think this is why I'm a big fan of Sophy...but it can't be the only differentiating feature...fingers crossed.

So back to the original question, besides all of the bad stuff that we don't want in a future GT title, what is it about these Rockstar games that command such accolades from fans...and how might PD learn from them?
 
To be clear, I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss with those that are tired of reading the usual post here. Besides, whatever defines a Rockstar game is different from player to player and I'm no expert here having only played Red Dead 2. But, I enjoyed their storytelling and wondered if PD could somehow learn something about what I consider to be a very important part of a game IMO.
Not all games are created equal. Not every game needs a story or narrative. Gran Turismo is perfectly fine without one IMO. Besides, most ‘stories’ in racing games feel very tacked-on at best and try way too hard (looking at you, NFS Unbound).
I see others going on about $$$, microtransactions, which is fine, but to me these are not what Rockstar does well. But I also get that for some, they can only have a discussion in a certain way, and that's fine too.
GTA Online microtransactions suggest that Rockstar’s doing pretty darn well on that front. The one thing everyone in the games industry, be it Rockstar, Sony, all of them, cares about is money and nothing else. Always has been; always will be. This sounds cynical, but it’s the truth as long as there’s capitalism (whether you like it or not is another story).

You should also know that Rockstar is part of Take-Two, and I would look no further than NBA 2K as an example of how far it will go to make money. I’m quite grateful GT isn’t as stingy as GTA or NBA 2K if you ask me.

I'm interesting in getting to know how Rockstar creates such successful games so that perhaps a future GT title may have design features that fans adore. I think this is why I'm a big fan of Sophy...but it can't be the only differentiating feature...fingers crossed.

So back to the original question, besides all of the bad stuff that we don't want in a future GT title, what is it about these Rockstar games that command such accolades from fans...and how might PD learn from them?
Again, not all games are created equal. What works in action-adventure blockbusters like most of Rockstar’s catalog might not work in a sim racer like GT and vice versa.
 
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Rockstar haven't done anything good for about a decade.
RDR2 is the closest to that, but they let realism get in the way of what a game should be - fun.
I suppose PD learnt that from them with the Hagerty partnership?

Rockstar, since GTA5 launched; have
  • Made GTAO the grindy microtransaction hell hole that it is
  • Killed RDR Online because it wouldn't make them enough money
  • Killed GTA and RDR2 singleplayer DLCs because it wouldn't make them enough money
  • Outsourced, released, and promptly abandoned the mockery of a collection that is the Definitive Edition GTA Trilogy
  • Re-released GTA5 about 5 times

And on the good side, they released RDR2 which some people like. I personally don't.

I don’t think there is anything for anyone to learn there. And if I were PD, I wouldn't want to follow in those footsteps.
 
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Try to look at the comparison with Rockstar through a broader lens. I'm not suggesting copying and pasting a feature that exists in a western themed game like hunting for pelts into a racing game.

It's more like how a musician in one genre listens and gets inspired from another musician from a completely different genre.

And if I were PD, I wouldn't want to follow in those footsteps.
Again, it's not about following anyone else's formula. It's about learning the underlying reasons why so many enjoy a said game and imagining how that may work within your game/genre...and in GT7, I think a bit of storytelling could enhance the single player campaign. After all, isn't the current lackluster Cafe feature an attempt to so?
 
To be clear, I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss with those that are tired of reading the usual post here. Besides, whatever defines a Rockstar game is different from player to player and I'm no expert here having only played Red Dead 2. But, I enjoyed their storytelling and wondered if PD could somehow learn something about what I consider to be a very important part of a game IMO.

I see others going on about $$$, microtransactions, which is fine, but to me these are not what Rockstar does well. But I also get that for some, they can only have a discussion in a certain way, and that's fine too.

I'm interesting in getting to know how Rockstar creates such successful games so that perhaps a future GT title may have design features that fans adore. I think this is why I'm a big fan of Sophy...but it can't be the only differentiating feature...fingers crossed.

So back to the original question, besides all of the bad stuff that we don't want in a future GT title, what is it about these Rockstar games that command such accolades from fans...and how might PD learn from them?
If Gran Turismo adds a whole story/plot and consistent dialogue with NPCs throughout, what really sets it apart from NFS or any other racing where that’s already the gist of game? Not only that, that’s never been what GT is about, and I’m thankful for that.

There is no need for a full blown story or open world concept when it comes to GT games as far as I’m concerned. If I wanted that I’d go play NFS or Forza instead.

I‘m glad that you enjoyed that one game, but that’s nothing like GT and you need to look at all their other games also. While some here will agree they’d like to see open world or even the ability to run people over and carjack others in lobbies and kill hookers…GT wouldn’t be GT if it adopted Rockstars fundamental intentions or values when creating games, and that would suck.

Rockstar creates such successful games by including lots of mature content and violence that a lot of gamers crave (for the most part, though not always). GT has never been about that. Kaz wants people to experience cars and tracks they probably will never get to in real life in a more professional or pure form and in the comfort of their own homes. He wants them to experience them as realistic as possible, virtually. He also likes to share history and information about cars, companies and tracks. He doesn’t care about being able to mug this guy and steal that or go sell this without dying. GT7 has included micro transactions, but I think we call all agree quite differently than they’ve been implemented and are used in Rockstar games. At the core it’s still an MTX, but beyond that, completely different integration into the game.

Rockstar does micro transactions VERY well. They might even be the best at it, definitely among the top. I don’t want a GT to be that dependent on MTX.

Rockstar makes very different games than PD and I don’t think there’s any truly valuable inspirations PD can take from them without completely changing what GT is.

So again, there really isn’t anything valuable Rockstar could teach PD unless you want a GT that is essentially a Rockstar game, or just NFS made by PD.
 
While some here will agree they’d like to see open world or even the ability to run people over and carjack others in lobbies and kill hookers…GT wouldn’t be GT if it adopted Rockstars fundamental intentions or values when creating games, and that would suck.
Agree this would be a daft way of adopting anything from Rockstar, but this can't be the central reason for their undeniable success? Do they win game of the year through the ability to run people over...carjack...kill hookers alone?

Like I said in a prior post, think of the comparison as if you were a musician being inspired by another in a completely different genre. And if Rockstar does not do it for you, then is there a game/developer that you think is doing something special that PD could learn from?
 
Agree this would be a daft way of adopting anything from Rockstar, but this can't be the central reason for their undeniable success? Do they win game of the year through the ability to run people over...carjack...kill hookers alone?

Like I said in a prior post, think of the comparison as if you were a musician being inspired by another in a completely different genre. And if Rockstar does not do it for you, then is there a game/developer that you think is doing something special that PD could learn from?
In short, yes, that is essentially what wins them game of the year. The content those games offer make lots and lots of sales because so many people want that, and also pleases the reviewers who give them high ratings because they enjoy that stuff and can’t deny the sales numbers. It’s not the sole reason, but it’s really the core of what wins them awards because of course you can’t offer this with a broken game (see Cyberpunk 2077 initial release) so you have to produce a finished product capable of being played without lots of issues rendering the game almost unplayable. They tend to give people what they want.
Lots of gamers love mature content, violence and fantasy in games. Look at all the highest rated games (with the exception of sports games in a very different category) and tell me what they all have in common? Fantasy, mature content, violence etc.
GT has no desire or room for mature content or violence and limited interest in fantasy (see VGT cars and fictional GT exclusive tracks).

You‘re sort of asking us to look at an artist like Insane Clown Posse and tell you how their work could inspire an artist like Adele to make better music. You’re not asking us how Taylor Swift could potentially inspire Kelly Clarkson to make better music.

Your last sentence is now proposing a completely different conversation. You’re opening it up to let us decide if any other company could inspire PD instead of locking us into Rockstar vs. PD. This all of course is up to personal preferences, so you’ll either personally agree or disagree just like you and I have been doing. You like Rockstar and want to see PD make games more like that. I like GT games for what they are and despite their shortcomings and flaws, would much rather they stay true to their core values than become NFS.
 
The reason for benchmarking Rockstar is due to their keen ability to weave a compelling story with interesting progression.
I find fault in the above statement, and that is the main fact is that GT7 does not have a compelling story, it is a racing game/driving simulator, it does not need a story and for its "interesting progression" it is what you make of it on how YOU progress your skill to race either offline or online. You should not be comparing Bugattis with Beetles
 
GT7's single player campaign is fine, but pretty stale in the innovation scale. And single player content is still an important aspect of GT7 IMO despite the obvious push into online competition and esports. So is the current formula suffice? I for one think it isn't.

The reason for benchmarking Rockstar is due to their keen ability to weave a compelling story with interesting progression. Now, I understand that 'interesting' is subjective and it is a stretch to even compare GT7 with say Red Dead, but given the enjoyment of how their games unfold through a strong story design, I'm asking the question, could PD learn something here?
Kaz said he wants to bring out human emotion in the game. That‘s the SOPHY and Sport Mode aspects of the game. Now, if Rockstar had SOPHY developed type AI in THEIR game, that’d be something Rockstar could learn from PD.
 
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In short, yes, that is essentially what wins them game of the year. The content those games offer make lots and lots of sales because so many people want that, and also pleases the reviewers who give them high ratings because they enjoy that stuff and can’t deny the sales numbers. It’s not the sole reason, but it’s really the core of what wins them awards because of course you can’t offer this with a broken game (see Cyberpunk 2077 initial release) so you have to produce a finished product capable of being played without lots of issues rendering the game almost unplayable. They tend to give people what they want.
Lots of gamers love mature content, violence and fantasy in games. Look at all the highest rated games (with the exception of sports games in a very different category) and tell me what they all have in common? Fantasy, mature content, violence etc.
GT has no desire or room for mature content or violence and limited interest in fantasy (see VGT cars and fictional GT exclusive tracks).

You‘re sort of asking us to look at an artist like Insane Clown Posse and tell you how their work could inspire an artist like Adele to make better music. You’re not asking us how Taylor Swift could potentially inspire Kelly Clarkson to make better music.

Your last sentence is now proposing a completely different conversation. You’re opening it up to let us decide if any other company could inspire PD instead of locking us into Rockstar vs. PD. This all of course is up to personal preferences, so you’ll either personally agree or disagree just like you and I have been doing. You like Rockstar and want to see PD make games more like that. I like GT games for what they are and despite their shortcomings and flaws, would much rather they stay true to their core values than become NFS.
Thanks for taking the time to make your point. I do not agree with the majority of what you stated, but your opinion is obviously reflects how you think about GT's evolution and that's completely understandable.

Btw, I never stated that I like Rockstar. Rather, just enjoyed Red Dead 2's storytelling with progression and thought how could GT7 overall and perhaps more the single player content be enhanced or evolved.

the main fact is that GT7 does not have a compelling story, it is a racing game/driving simulator, it does not need a story and for its "interesting progression" it is what you make of it on how YOU progress your skill to race either offline or online.
Again, I'm not suggesting that GT copies and pastes game features. Rather examine how one game developer approaches their product and perhaps imagine features that may give their players something novel, interesting and enjoyable.

Now, if Rockstar had SOPHY developed type AI in THEIR game, that’d be something Rockstar could learn from PD.
Fair point, and if I was advising Rockstar, I would be saying the same thing to them...but I suspect, their crowd would state, Polyphony makes racing games, what would be interesting to learn from them?

At the end of the day, game features, or elements, like storytelling, progression are commonly found in majority of titles and they do affect how a game is enjoyed. And I do believe that the success of GT depends partly to these core elements, even though it is a racing game

the main fact is that GT7 does not have a compelling story, it is a racing game/driving simulator, it does not need a story and for its "interesting progression" it is what you make of it on how YOU progress your skill to race either offline or online.
Sry missed this one.

Sure, I get that you enjoy this design choice by PD, but there are other players who do enjoy something else...I'm more like you and want PD to stay with the formula that has defined the series. But after playing Red Dead 2 -- my first game other than GT is 10 years -- I got to understand why there is such appeal for these kinds of games.

Try imaging something like the current Cafe feature, but with a better story. Nothing else changes and all the other features are there (licenses/missions/sport/whatever), but there is a main campaign of sort that barrows the best from some of these successful titles.

I think a strong main campaign would be received positively from all, but especially by the younger audience. While I am old enough to have gotten into car culture before the PS1 era, I think the youth today get introduced to many things, including cars, through digital platforms...and I think GT could do something innovative here along with tech features like Sophy.
 
I don't think any racing game has a compelling single player story...

start in slow car @ small tracks
end in fast car @ big tracks
try to win it all the whole way up.


the f1 story modes are like playing a bad movie over and over and over again...

now that doesn't mean they cant keep the game more compelling with certain features. but I don't think there is a 'story' element to offer in a racing game that is adding anything.
 
I don't think any racing game has a compelling single player story...


the f1 story modes are like playing a bad movie over and over and over again...
RIght, there is somewhat of a story going on in the F1 franchise...and agree it's pretty bad, but is GT7's Cafe any better?

I think there could be more of a story, or more of a journey through an informative and challenging progression system, or something completely different that enhances the enjoyment of racing. Personally, I think many of us players can't imagine something that has not been already done, but as a developer, I think it makes sense to look around to your industry peers and ask some tough questions about how to improve your product.

After searching a bit more to see if there are any unique/different takes on racing, I found what some say is a hidden gem called The Art of Rally. I will be playing this soon, as the historical side and the soundtrack are appealing, and the visual style though it is a departure from the norm, I can appreciate the comic book vibe.

 
Oh my, does this mean i can do drive-by shootings on the dirty drivers in the dailies???
It means you'll also be able to steal Igor Fraga's car. Not going to lie; Something I've always wanted to do.
 
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RIght, there is somewhat of a story going on in the F1 franchise...and agree it's pretty bad, but is GT7's Cafe any better?

I think there could be more of a story, or more of a journey through an informative and challenging progression system, or something completely different that enhances the enjoyment of racing. Personally, I think many of us players can't imagine something that has not been already done, but as a developer, I think it makes sense to look around to your industry peers and ask some tough questions about how to improve your product.

After searching a bit more to see if there are any unique/different takes on racing, I found what some say is a hidden gem called The Art of Rally. I will be playing this soon, as the historical side and the soundtrack are appealing, and the visual style though it is a departure from the norm, I can appreciate the comic book vibe.


It’s a great game with beautiful graphics and the physics are quite nice but still nothing there as far as a “story”. That being said… playing the game gives you the good feels.
 
It’s a great game with beautiful graphics and the physics are quite nice but still nothing there as far as a “story”.
Yea, I'm looking forward to trying The Art of Rally and I understand there is no central story. But what if there was, and it was genuinely as good as the graphics, the soundtrack, wouldn't it be even better?

Story is just one element of many. Try not to get hung up on whether GT could use a 'story'. More like, what are all the elements, like the story, that PD could learn from their peers and bring to GT fans?

If it helps, leave Rockstar aside for a moment and ask, what are the elements from The Art of Rally that PD could learn from so that the next GT is the best ever?

See, I'm gonna play The Art of Rally because it has something GT does not currently have. As the youtuber stated in my prior post, 'There are so many AAA racing games out there with huge budgets and next gen graphics, but so many of them miss the mark when it comes to delivering passion and authentic car culture'.

And although GT7 is good, for me, it still has room to be better -- especially the single player campaign based on Cafe menus.
 
GTA Online is the close to being like hell on earth, have you actually tried playing on a public lobby for more than 5 minutes without being murdered by a lime green armoured car or a MKII Oppressor?? (this is a jet engined flying motorcycle with homing rockets for you who not played GTA Online..)

Pretty much everyone dresses up in tactical outfits and a face mask ... all GTA has done was expose how broken today's gaming community really is ...

Talk about The lost & the Damned ...
 
@dabz343

This is an interesting thought. The two franchises only similarity is the cars, but I think I understand what you're going on about. Let's at least ignore the business model and focus on the game.

When it comes to a story, I don't think GT needs one. As we progress through the game, we all kind of make our own. I don't think anyone wants a GT story mode analogous to what we get in GTA, so let's instead compare to GTAO, where there isn't really a 'story' at least in terms how how fleshed out the single player is. That being said, where GT can try to improve is how we progress through the gameplay.

Where the GTAO does well from gameplay progression is how you move to bigger and better things. Cars, weapons, properties. There are different avenues to each and you don't have to do them all. In GTAO, you don't need to get a fancy apartment with a huge garage. I can't entirely recall, but I think the only thing the tutorial forces you to get is a personal car you steal off the street. Weapons are unlocked as you progress your character's level doing various activities. So in this way you make your own progression and your own 'story' in GTAO.

In my opinion, I think one of GT7's weaknesses has been how we progress through the game. Everything tied up in Cafe menus and Collector levels. The whole thing with the Cafe Menus feels a bit too much like hand holding. Maybe that's what you want, but there are others who just want to dive right into the racing. In previous titles of GT, a lot of the content was locked behind your skill progression through the implementation of License Tests. In GT7, the only real reason to acquire the S (now Master-S) license is for a trophy or the prize car.

I think what GT could do is maybe have three levels. 1) Overall Level. 2) Driver Level. 3) Collector Level. Where most activity progression is locked behind the Overall Level, but Driver Level and Collector Level both contribute to your Overall Level. Something like this would allow players who may not be as interested in one aspect of the game not be required to participate in something they have little or no interest in doing. Make your own progression and your own 'story' in GT.
 
For me the best benchmark is actually... Need for Speed Underground 2. Think about it, a modern game where you arrive in Tokyo with barely any cash. Scrape enough for a box and enter Sunday League races to earn an invite from GT at their licence centre. Get your B licence and it opens up events leading to A licence... simple
 
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