What more could we possibly hope to see gaming achieve with the advent of next-generation hardware? Could there be photorealistic visuals, larger and denser worlds, and more hassle-heavy virtual reality? The 3D Realms Founder and Chief Creative Officer Scott Miller hopes the “next frontier” of gaming will involve enhancements to physics and multiplayer.
In an interview with GamingBolt, Miller was asked to explain what he hopes next-gen consoles will bring to the table. He answered “physics” first. Miller said, “I think [physics] is the next frontier for gaming. With graphics we’ve reached a point of diminishing returns. But having accurate real-world physics can make a game world seem far more real, and open up all kinds of new gameplay possibilities.”
Indeed, improved physics could open to the door to a world of new opportunities. Underwater and outer-space settings may no longer have limited use in games. Additionally, it’s unimaginable how many gameplay mechanics could benefit from a boost in game physics.
Miller also wants to see multiplayer features greatly improve. Interestingly, his hopes are leaps and bounds above anything currently offered on console and PC. Remember when everyone thought 256 players in the PlayStation 3’s MAG was an insane feat? Miller hopes such a number will eventually swell to a minimum of 10,000. He told GamingBolt,
But also, greatly expanded multiplayer, too. Imagine 10,000 or 100,000 people live in a game world. This would usher in event gaming like we’ve never seen before. You could literally have a major band playing on a stage (motion capped live) and attended by 100,000 people who buy tickets to be in the audience. And, if the band sells a million tickets, you have them playing in 10 different outdoor venues around the world, and fans get to buy tickets to whichever venue they want.
Numbers of this size would undoubtedly be incredible. However, it seems unlikely that such an advancement will arrive in time for the PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s next Xbox. Server issues and concerns over internet speeds still plague online gaming. As such, ubiquitous quality on these fronts may not be achievable for quite some time. Yet, given the speed at which technology continues to advance, anything seems possible.
Luckily, fans of 3D Realms don’t have to wait for the next-generation to get their hands on the company’s next title. Ion Maiden, a successor to the likes of Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, will arrive on the PlayStation 4 in 2019.