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Rant: Video Game Load Screens
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  • Rants
    0

    @Rants

    I find it irritating and a mark of flawed design that in this day and age video game manufacturers continue to make new games with load screens. I understand that with the advent of new programming techniques and increased graphics and sound options increasingly larger packets of data must be processed in order for games to function. However, load times should also be offset by simultaneous increases in physical technology in strict accordance with Moore's Law.

    Why, then, must I still wait upwards of 25 to 30 seconds before engaging in battle on current generation fighting games? Why must I sit idly by as the word "loading" is displayed time and time again on almost all EA Sports titles? I have a life and it is not meant to be wasted as I watch a rotating close up of in-game graphics with captions I’ve already read all of in the first twenty hours of play just because I walked through a door!

    In the dawn of the home video game age, there were no load times. There was no delay on either of the two major progenitor systems, the Atari VCS (2600 for you latecomers) or the Colecovision. Players simply slotted their cartridges and were off and running virtually immediately. With the death of the first generation consoles, however, came the rise of the rudimentary computer based video games. Of these the most popular were the Atari computers (5600, 7800,) the Apple II/IIE and the Commodore 64/128 systems. It was then, and only then, that gamers were first made to wait while games loaded.

    However, from 1982 to around 1986, the games, once loaded, required no further wait time for the fulfillment of the promise of ebullient joy that they were created to make manifest in our eyes and ears. Around 1986, more sophisticated games with multiple stages such as Leaderboard Golf, Firefox and Aliens emerged with load times between stages. Thus, the trend began.

    Yet, with the simultaneous advent of the next generation of consoles, the NES and (a little later) the Sega Genesis, load times were, again, virtually nonexistent on the majority of titles for those systems. There were no load times on Final Fantasy. There were no load times on Super Mario Bros. 3. There were load times on Sonic the Hedgehog, but they were disguised as introduction screens prior to each stage.

    Looking forward from that point in the history of video gaming, the so called 2nd Golden Age, load screens have only become more common and more time consuming. Why? What possible reason accounts for their prevalence? I think it's just laziness or incompetence on the part of the designers. I base this opinion on the excellence of a single, late PS2 title that found an ingenious way of circumventing load screens: God of War.

    God of War does suffer from primary load time, but it's brief and tolerable; main game play has not begun. The occasional in game load never lasts more than five seconds, and here's why: all those dead space areas (spiral staircases, long walks, etc.) are actually load screens. They're interactive load screens that not only prevent player idleness but actually enrich the overall game experience with their scope and relevance!

    That game is fifteen years old! Why, for Zarquon's sake, are game designers still forcing us to sit through load screens?

    I say we fight back. When a new game comes out, one of the major criteria upon which its otherwise subjective merits should be rated are load time and the amount of unnecessary load screens players are forced to endure. This is an easily quantifiable figure that game reviewers, long the wanton prostitutes of an industry that enables their socioeconomically noncontributory addictions, have never considered in their analyses.

    So, all of you, if you've got a game that irks you with ennui with intolerable load times, please list it here. Let's spread the word that we gamers aren't going to put up with load screens anymore and waste our lives waiting to enjoy an experience that we paid good money for.

    ASMB Member since March 23, 2004.
    If brevity is the soul of wit, then abbreviation is the death of the soul.


  • Puppy Power
    1

    So, in all that bullshit, did you explain why load screens are not technically necessary?

    09/13/03


  • Helper
    0

    One game that made clever use of load screens was Okami; they were sorta mini-mini-games, where you could earn Demon Fangs.

    What the hell is that behind you


  • 1

    Games should be ready to go in under 1 second upon startup.

    All games hich do not meet this criteria shall be shunned.


  • Special Snowflake
    2

    tlandmostlypretentious; dr

    https://youtu.be/Z3FBWfqh07E

    Memento Mori


  • Banned
    1

    Arrem, the only user who makes threads that have load screens.

    You were banned. It fills you with determination


  • Banned
    1

    You could resign yourself to playing PC games, plug a ridiculous amount of ram into it, and then install your games on a RAM disk. It's supposed to absolutely destroy loading times.

    Using solid state hard drives would be a less extreme solution also.


  • Toonami
    0

    You answered your own question. Because it's EA. Why would they bother spending money on current tech when you will still buy their shoddy product and make them that much more moolah?

    Now roaming the new board since [as] felt the need to destroy my old home board.


  • Rants
    0

    poofytang said:

    You could resign yourself to playing PC games, plug a ridiculous amount of ram into it, and then install your games on a RAM disk. It's supposed to absolutely destroy loading times.

    Using solid state hard drives would be a less extreme solution also.

    That's actually why I play old school PC games on my modern laptop. You should see how fast the old LucasArts titles load.

    ASMB Member since March 23, 2004.
    If brevity is the soul of wit, then abbreviation is the death of the soul.


  • Rants
    0

    Meilag32 said:

    You answered your own question. Because it's EA. Why would they bother spending money on current tech when you will still buy their shoddy product and make them that much more moolah?

    How is EA (or any other game designer) responsible for the tech in the console/computer that their software runs on? As software designers, it is their responsibility to make games that don't require lengthy load times on current platforms.

    ASMB Member since March 23, 2004.
    If brevity is the soul of wit, then abbreviation is the death of the soul.


  • Banned
    0

    Good for you tldr

    You can take control of my mind and my body, but there is one thing a Saiyan always keep… his PRIDE!


  • 0

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