TTLG|Thief|Bioshock|System Shock|Deus Ex|Mobile
Page 21 of 23 FirstFirst ... 6111617181920212223 LastLast
Results 501 to 525 of 561

Thread: Production on Deus Ex 3 officially announced

  1. #501
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    I don't see a flood of people declaring that playing BS without vita chambers "changes everything", the way Papy has. I think it's great that Papy has changed his mind on BS, but I haven't seen many others copying him.
    Vita Chambers alone wouldn't change my mind. But if you also make resources appropriately scarce, make splicers less numerous but harder to kill, fix the sound propagation problem, make tonic choices permanent, and make the Adam difference between harvesting and saving meaningful, it would have made a huge difference to me.

    Also, I have seen people struggle to navigate through DX:IW's opening level (I have had to help people find Billie Adams apartment, and the lockers next to the basket ball court). You do need different levels. If you want to do it properly, at any rate.
    It would be hard to make the Tarsus level in IW any more linear than it is. Even Doom and Halo levels are less linear than the start of IW. Billie's apartment is literally the only place you can visit at the start of the game, aside from your own apartment. What do you want, one single straight corridor with Billie standing at the end?

    Exploration and multiple approaches to the same objective are key elements of level design for any DX game. Those elements will make it possible for some people to get lost. But hints, quest arrows, and other player aids can fix that problem. If instead you try to reduce the level design to a straight linear path so nobody can get lost, the result won't be anything like a DX game.

  2. #502
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Completely ignoring everything else I should probably respond to ... (but this is more interesting!)

    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Exploration and multiple approaches to the same objective are key elements of level design for any DX game. Those elements will make it possible for some people to get lost. But hints, quest arrows, and other player aids can fix that problem. If instead you try to reduce the level design to a straight linear path so nobody can get lost, the result won't be anything like a DX game.
    Yeah I agree. It's just that it's a harder problem then you probably think. In this case, it was probably more about psychology then exploration.

    It wasn't so much that the player couldn't explore, it was more that they were trained by the games they had played previously to behave in ways that didn't work for this level (and probably for the game in general: this guy also had worse problems with DX, which was understandable if you were there).

    One big issue was confidence: with guys dying in front of them, and people telling them to hurry, and not having any weapons, the first thought was to panic a bit and rush quickly to where the game was telling him to go. This meant the player was not taking his time and looking around properly. The game didn't do a good job of explaining what the "rules" were (more on this later), and it made the player very uncertain.

    Another big issue was lack of experience with the "rules" that go into these games. We play these games unconsciously knowing that the designers should obey a number of "rules" when designing levels. Rules such as: "exploration will have a net benefit on my resources", "I will be able to take my time, no matter what the game fiction may tell me", etc ... If designers break these rules we get angry and say the game is poorly designed. It is a confidence in these rules that enable us to take out time and explore when NPC's are dying around us and characters are telling us to "get to the deck quickly!". But if the player does not have previous experience with similar games, and therefore doesn't know these rules, they can get confused.

    Another issue was not spending the time to listen properly to the in-game directions at the start of the game. I think this is a trained reaction after spending a lot of time playing games which obey one design pattern that games like DX don't: the appropriate action at any one time is made "obvious" at that time. Therefore instructions which are not directly applicable can be ignored. In DX games, on the other hand, it is common for the appropriate action at one point to be signalled to the player in a completely different part of the level.

    None of this makes games like DX too fundamentally difficult. I actually think most people are willing enough to play intelligent games like DX (in fact, this guy's favorite game on my computer is Rome: Total War - which is not super intelligent, but it's a lot better then other options such as Need for Speed or Painkiller). But there is a lot of psychology issues and assumptions about the way games are played which need to be addressed first.

  3. #503
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    If you want some nice clever multilinear cerebral stealth game you might be annoyed if you find that one of the ways through a level was unanticipated, and thus fucks the game as a result.
    I'd like to answer to that but I'm not sure what you are thinking with "fuck the game". I'm not sure what is your point of view. Can you give me some examples of "fucking" a game so I can understand what kind of problems you are referring to (because there is a good chance that I don't view them as "problems")?

    As for finding a "cerebral multilinear gameplay appreciating beta testers", are you kidding me? Developers have to constantly be reminded that they are not the target audience. Can you guess why?

    Anyway, I still insist that creating a game with more depth does not require a lot of money. System Shock 2 was made with 1.7 million and I guess the biggest part of it was still for graphics. If you go further in time, when $500,000 was considered as a huge development cost, you will find RPGs with as much depth as SS2, if not more.

    To me, it certainly doesn't make sense when you are spending 30 millions on graphics to try to save a mere $500,000 (at most) which will probably end up infuriating most of your previous fans. Yes, they will buy the game based on reputation, so from a short term point of view it won't change much, but it will hurt the franchise and the name of your company a lot. 20 years ago, EA was to me a sign of quality. Now, EA means to me a dumb and uninteresting game. Same thing for Bethesda and a lot of others. As a result, I didn't buy Spore, I didn't buy Fallout 3 and, in fact, I buy overall a lot less game than 15 years ago. Am I the only one?

    Maybe the real problem with the video game industry is the same as most other industries : incompetence from managers who are unable to see past the current fiscal year.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    In this case, it was probably more about psychology then exploration.
    Yes, and that's why hand-holding is a bad thing. From a psychological point of view, a game is about learning. If you kill this need to learn, you may end up with a good entertainment, but not a good game. A slow introduction is not a bad thing, but the more you help people, the more they become passive. If you help them too much from the start, they will become asleep and you'll have to help them for the whole game. At the end of the game, they'll just yawn.

    To illustrate how passive a player can become, I can use Oblivion and the people who got lost even with the quest arrow. The thieves guild quests began with you having to go to a meeting. Unfortunately, the path indicated by the arrow was blocked by the city wall. The pathway to go outside the wall was a few feet left, but there were still people who didn't get it and who posted message on the forum asking for help (actually, the reason people got misguided was more complex but Oblivion's flaws are not the subject here). I guess a solution would be to make the leading arrow more helpful by indicating the exact path to follow instead of working like a compass, but I fear there is no end to how much you can help people. If you try to always cater to the lowest common denominator, you will end up boring everyone.

    You say that IW didn't do a good job at explaining the rules of the game. I agree, but the solution is not to make things simpler, the best solution is to explain those rules BEFORE playing the game. With Deus Ex, with System Shock 2, there were tutorial levels. I think they could have been better, but that's still a good way to do it (another one is to include a fucking manual to read with the game). There must be a clear line between the moment the player can trust everything the game says, and the moment he must act alone. I know most people find those tutorial levels painful, they want to have "fun" immediately, but for most story based game including the tutorial into the main game is a good way to break immersion. It's a good way to end up with the impression of being in a theme park instead of in a world

  4. #504
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    I thought it was pretty self explanatory, but I guess not: by 'fuck the game' I mean break it so you can't continue. It is fairly easy to do this with a lot of games out there, purely because they don't anticipate off-the-wall approaches.

    I don't know about you, but I'd consider getting utterly stuck because of something the devs didn't anticipate..to be a problem.
    Since we're in the DX forums: you can shoot and kill bob page at versalife. This presents no obvious errors at any point until fucking vandenburg, when he fails to turn up for a holo-convo, and the game is borked.
    There are several ways of leaving Versalife that don't set flags indicating you've left, preventing Tong giving you further instructions.
    And so on.


    Ultimately I fear that we are simply...not the target audience anymore. We're old, we're far less numerous than the younger, more "instant gratification" crowd, and since we play games that make you think, and which often take a lot of time to complete, AND we have less time to devote to this than people in....say, school, then we go through fewer games per unit time.

    So not only are we not a massive demographic, we're not even a terribly profitable one, proportionately.

    You may have not bought spore or fallout3, but many, many people did. Games will now be aimed at them, not you. It's just the way it works, sadly.

  5. #505
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Yes, and that's why hand-holding is a bad thing.
    Yeah, but these are "deep" unstated rules ... perhaps rules is not a great word: they are more like unconscious assumptions about the way the game will work. I agree with the broad thrust of your post, but I think you underestimate the effort involved in teaching people about these deep design patterns that have developed in this genre. A tutorial level isn't enough. I don't know what is, but I imagine it takes some very clever scaffolding for a considerable fraction of the game (note: scaffolding isn't quite the same as hand holding, but it's a grey distinction). That's why it takes a lot of testing and work to target these games to mainstream.

    It's interesting to compare the initial opening sequences of DX:IW and Bioshock, actually: both DX:IW and Bioshock have an opening sequence where a person is killed and you are asked to proceed with no weapons. But Bioshock, which is meant to be the scary one, actually provides people with more moral support (Atlas saying "he won't leave the player twisting in the wind"), more prompts as to what the player should do (get out of the cab, seek higher ground, pick up that wrench, etc), and delivers those prompts to the player at the moment he needs them.

    Need we guess which developers re-designed their game after watching mainstream gamers play the game?

  6. #506
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    Since we're in the DX forums: you can shoot and kill bob page at versalife. This presents no obvious errors at any point until fucking vandenburg, when he fails to turn up for a holo-convo, and the game is borked.
    I wasn't aware of this bug (BTW, how can you kill him?) and I find it quite strange. If he doesn't appear in Vandenburg, then it's because there is a test to know if he was killed or not before the conversation. If this test is implemented then it would mean developers knew he could be killed before.


    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    There are several ways of leaving Versalife that don't set flags indicating you've left, preventing Tong giving you further instructions.
    Since there is a single point of entry, I also find this strange. Can you be more specific? Anyway that sort of problems happen when relying on a spatial trigger instead of relying on an event trigger.


    Quote Originally Posted by DDL View Post
    We're old, we're far less numerous than the younger, more "instant gratification" crowd
    No, we're not. Under 18 years old are now only 25% of the market and the average gaming experience is 13 years. There is a lot of us and in a few years, there won't be much more newcomers to sell simple games to. The potential market for simple games will shrink.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    I agree with the broad thrust of your post, but I think you underestimate the effort involved in teaching people about these deep design patterns that have developed in this genre.
    The first time I played Thief, I didn't have any experience with that kind of gameplay before. The tutorial was good enough to erase all those deep design patterns.

  7. #507
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    If he doesn't appear in Vandenburg, then it's because there is a test to know if he was killed or not before the conversation. If this test is implemented then it would mean developers knew he could be killed before.
    Not quite. If any AI class in Deus Ex has been flagged as killed, the engine will refuse to spawn them. For example, if you set the NSF trooper AI class as dead, you will never see any NSF troopers in the rest of the game.

    When this system works, it's awesome, because any characters you've killed will automatically be prevented from appearing again later, all without any explicit checks by the mapper.

    However, as noted, it can cause problems if you somehow manage to kill a character who wasn't supposed to be killable. Normally they protected plot-critical AIs by just making them invulnerable, but since Bob Page is behind bulletproof glass at VersaLife, they apparently didn't bother.

  8. #508
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    I wasn't aware of this bug (BTW, how can you kill him?) and I find it quite strange. If he doesn't appear in Vandenburg, then it's because there is a test to know if he was killed or not before the conversation. If this test is implemented then it would mean developers knew he could be killed before.
    You can shoot him through the edge of a window. And the game checks for any named character being dead at the start of every level: it's not Page-specific. They could've made him invincible, or not 'important' (this is what sets the checkflag for death), but they never expected it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    Since there is a single point of entry, I also find this strange. Can you be more specific? Anyway that sort of problems happen when relying on a spatial trigger instead of relying on an event trigger.
    Tunnels vs Versalife offices: one works, one doesn't. Actually, you could probably grenade climb out into the subway area too, but that's just being silly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    No, we're not. Under 18 years old are now only 25% of the market and the average gaming experience is 13 years. There is a lot of us and in a few years, there won't be much more newcomers to sell simple games to. The potential market for simple games will shrink.
    Depends on how the actual demographics break down: if they're 25% who buy any old handholdy shooter crap on a very regular basis, and the other 75% is broken down into smaller subgroups of game devotion, many of which only rarely buy games (but very good ones) and then play them to death, then that 25% is the best market to target. Of course, if you've got the statistics to hand, it'd be interesting to know. And if you're right, then that's something to look forward to.

  9. #509
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    Yeah I agree. It's just that it's a harder problem then you probably think. In this case, it was probably more about psychology then exploration.

    It wasn't so much that the player couldn't explore, it was more that they were trained by the games they had played previously to behave in ways that didn't work for this level (and probably for the game in general: this guy also had worse problems with DX, which was understandable if you were there).

    One big issue was confidence: with guys dying in front of them, and people telling them to hurry, and not having any weapons, the first thought was to panic a bit and rush quickly to where the game was telling him to go. This meant the player was not taking his time and looking around properly. The game didn't do a good job of explaining what the "rules" were (more on this later), and it made the player very uncertain.

    Another big issue was lack of experience with the "rules" that go into these games. We play these games unconsciously knowing that the designers should obey a number of "rules" when designing levels. Rules such as: "exploration will have a net benefit on my resources", "I will be able to take my time, no matter what the game fiction may tell me", etc ... If designers break these rules we get angry and say the game is poorly designed. It is a confidence in these rules that enable us to take out time and explore when NPC's are dying around us and characters are telling us to "get to the deck quickly!". But if the player does not have previous experience with similar games, and therefore doesn't know these rules, they can get confused.
    I believe the designers intended to have the player go straight to Billie's apartment, and then down to meet Nassif. That's why there weren't any other areas open to explore at the start of the game. The whole Tarsus level was linear, so players really have only one way to go and one objective at a time. It wasn't until you exit Tarsus into upper Seattle that the game opens up. So, I think that people who struggle through the first level of IW would also struggle through the first level of almost any FPS that didn't have player aids.

    I have an anecdotal story too. I watched my wife and my brother (separately) try to play IW on an X-Box. My brother found Billie's apartment door quickly but got stuck until I pointed out to him that he needed to use the intercom to talk to Billie to get in. He was fixated on the number pad to the right and thought he was stuck because he didn't know the combination. He didn't notice that the button/panel left of the door was usable. My wife fared worse; she didn't know which door was Billie's until I reminded her that the messages she got at the beginning told her which apartment to go to. Then she had the same problem my brother had. It was really pretty sad to watch, but both of their problems could be solved with player aids such as objective/object highlights, quest arrows, and periodic voice reminders of your current objective.

    In fact, the only difference I see between the difficulty at the beginning of IW compared to the beginning of Bioshock was the player aids in Bioshock. Fortunately, those are things that experienced players should be able to turn off so it doesn't feel like hand holding.

    Another issue was not spending the time to listen properly to the in-game directions at the start of the game. I think this is a trained reaction after spending a lot of time playing games which obey one design pattern that games like DX don't: the appropriate action at any one time is made "obvious" at that time. Therefore instructions which are not directly applicable can be ignored. In DX games, on the other hand, it is common for the appropriate action at one point to be signalled to the player in a completely different part of the level.
    You're absolutely right that a lot of FPS players expect to be able to jump straight into the game without reading the manual or following in-game directions. If you want them to keep playing, you have to hold their hand or dumb-down the game. I'd prefer to keep the complexity but offer optional aids and hand holding.

    And no matter what, people who are used to playing a linear FPS are going to struggle at first when faced with having multiple objectives at once, some conflicting, some optional, having multiple paths to achieving an objective, and having to manage an inventory and develop a character. But I think that's natural and acceptable because DX was not a FPS. The problem is one of player expectations. Some players assumed that since DX is first person and has guns, that it's just another FPS, and then proceeded to complain about all the things that differentiated DX from an FPS. These same players would probably struggle with Oblivion for a while if they hadn't played an RPG before, but the difference is that they wouldn't expect it to play like an FPS.

    So, one way to deal with this problem is to manage expectations. Another way to do it is to offer game options which streamline the RPG elements. Air combat and racing games usually have arcade and simulation modes. The same concept can apply to a FPS/RPG hybrid.

  10. #510
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Heh, this guy had exactly the same problem with the intercom!

    Papy: I've spoken to a number of people who were confused when I talked about stealth in thief ... "err, but isn't it just a bad FPS with bows instead of guns?" "Oh yeah, it had stealth, but it wasn't really important ... was it?"

    This is all about player psychology, so clearly it varies a lot from person to person. I think if you are here then you are probably a pretty highly motivated experimental sort of player.

    (BTW, sorry about not really responding to all the points that have been made recently, but I am posting from work and it was starting to eat up more time then I should really be spending.)

  11. #511
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    If you want to make a change to a game, the cost of that change includes everything that will come packaged with it.
    Fine, but for the last time, the costs of that "package" are NOT DUE TO GAMEPLAY CHANGES.

    This is a very simple point. A developer providing an "arcade" mode and a "hardcore" mode takes no more resources than a mod team doing it, in fact much less, since developers have access to actual source code and intimately know the properties of the game they are making. More importantly, making a hardcore mod does not require that you actually change game (media) assets at all (with the admitted exception of level design). SS1 isn't the only game that has done this, the classic shmup Tyrian from 1994 has "Arcade" and "classic" modes as well.


    In fact the very concept of the "difficulty" mode which has been in games since the 80's, is proof of my argument. All we are asking for is an expansion and elaboration on the "easy" and "hard" modes most games already offer. I don't buy your excuse that resources are too scarce for this to be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    Editing tools will cost a lot more (they obviously can't give away anything under license so they would have to create them) and are also mostly useless for changing fundamental gameplay aspects.
    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    Most developers now use 3rd party softwares under license (sometimes modified to suit their needs) to create their own games. They can't release those so, yes, they would have to create a new set of tools JUST for fans.
    Actually, both the Unreal and idTech technologies all allow developers to release their tools. What other core engine technologies exist that are licensed? (Obviously if the company owns the license than there's no issue, they can simply release the tools they used ie Oblivion)

    In virtually every case I can think of, it would be in the developers and the players best interest just to release the tools with the games; while that's not quite as good as developers designing games right in the 1st place, its definitely better than nothing (ie BioShock).
    Quote Originally Posted by Papy View Post
    As for a "code" editor, if you mean by that having the possibility to add a few scripts here and there, this is not enough to do anything meaningful. You need access to the source code.
    Unless I'm interpreting what you're saying here incorrectly, the entire history of mods for games shows this to be completely false. The source code for Half Life 2, Unreal Tournament, Quake and its sequels were not available in the golden era of mods for those games (id releases its sources usually about 5 years after the games come out) and yet thousands of mods were released for them, some of which changed the game completely. The source code is not available for SS2, and that game still has a mod scene. I could list hundreds of examples that contradict your point unless...

    Perhaps you meant "SDK" by "source code," in which case yeah your right, but the vast majority of popular games are released with SDKs and they're no problem (SDKs are the compilable source codes to the gameplay only, without graphics, sound, multiplayer or system code. When people talk about "source code" they usually mean the source to everything.)
    Last edited by Silkworm; 26th Oct 2008 at 00:39.

  12. #512
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    DDL : I'm pretty much certain the number of people who killed Page at Versalife the first time they played Deus Ex is close to zero. Same thing for lam climbing. Those are really unnatural ways to play and only happen with someone who is more on trying everything possible rather than simply playing the game. If someone fuck the game playing that way, I simply don't view this as a problem. As for the tunnel, testing two paths instead of just one is not something that would require a lot of resources (particularly considering beta-testers are paid with peanuts) . It was obviously a fault from the person managing beta-testing, but in the end this is just a bug that was overlooked, as there is in about every game. One thing is for sure, I will forgive a bug once in a while, but I won't forgive a dumbed down game. I think the bug ridden Arx Fatalis was a good game, while the relatively bug free Oblivion was crap.

    As for how the actual demographics break down, no one knows and it is changing very fast anyway. The ESA percentage of under 18 years old players for 2005 was 35%, for 2008 it is 25%. That's an enormous change in 3 years. I'm guessing a lot is due to the Wii, but i doubt that's the only reason. I believe the actual demographics is mainly the result of what is available, not the result of demand. Video games are not an essential need, so if someone find no games interesting he will simply find something else to do and forget about video games. I buy a lot less games now than in 1990, but that's simply because I now find very few games interesting. That means actual demographics numbers are pretty much useless. (And by the way, I play most story based games only once, Deus Ex is about the only exception, and I think a 15 hours game is more than enough to justify a $50 price tag. I always believed it was kids who played games to the death.)

    To me, there are only two questions which should be important : how many people loved Deus Ex (particularly how many would be displeased with a dumbed down sequel) and how much would it cost to make an additional gameplay mode which would be similar to the original. For now, it looks like Deus Ex 3 will be another IW (or worse) and if this doesn't change, I won't buy it. How many people are like me?


    Chade : If an FPS player, after playing the tutorial of thief, which is extremely explicit, still don't get it, this is not a "psychology" problem, this is an intelligence problem. Of course, I would understand that someone might not be interested with a gameplay like the one of Thief (there are a lot of games for which I have absolutely no interest) and, because of that, would still try to get an FPS out of the game, but this has nothing to do with a lack of experience or because of "deep design patterns" learned.


    Silkworm : There were a lot of things I wanted to change with Oblivion. In fact, there was a time when I wanted to create a small adventure. Unfortunately, the SDK didn't give me access to important variables or functions. To make a simple character leveling up mod I had to use ugly hacks and in the end I did what I could instead of what I wanted. The SDK was simply not enough.

  13. #513
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Silkworm View Post
    In fact the very concept of the "difficulty" mode which has been in games since the 80's, is proof of my argument. All we are asking for is an expansion and elaboration on the "easy" and "hard" modes most games already offer. I don't buy your excuse that resources are too scarce for this to be done.
    What was originally asked for was a game targetted to both hardcore and casual gamers. This is not the same thing as having different difficulty levels. This is asking for two fundamentally different types of games to be packaged up as one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papy
    If an FPS player, after playing the tutorial of thief, which is extremely explicit, still don't get it, this is not a "psychology" problem, this is an intelligence problem.
    You know, I remember arguing with somebody a while back about what I saw as limitations in the tutorial and first levels of thief 1. It might have even been you ... ?

    Anyway, this is yet another huge potential argument which I don't really want to get fully into right at the moment.

  14. #514
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Argument? The first time I played Thief, it was a friend who gave me his CD (among a few others) during christmas. I didn't know anything about the game before and the only thing my friend said was this was a great game without anything else. I did the tutorial and it was more than enough to understand what the game was about. I didn't need to read some hints on the internet nor had to replay the game several times (I finished the game in a single session).

    So there's no argument possible there (unless you think I'm some kind of genius ).

    Edit : forgot to say, Thief was obviously the first game of its genre I played.

  15. #515
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2008
    Might depend on your inherent natural playing style too, though: I'm naturally more methodical and careful in my playstyle, so it usually takes me quite a while to get used to the "mindless shooter" mindset when playing games designed that way. Spend the first hour or two doing far too much 'crouching, hiding and sniping' than I do 'charging in and maiming in bullet time', or whatever.

    So just because you found the gameplay of Thief to be both well implemented and conveyed to the player adequately, there may be many people out there who still get stuck in "SHOOT EVERYTHING, LOUDLY" mode for a while.

  16. #516
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Chade View Post
    What was originally asked for was a game targetted to both hardcore and casual gamers. This is not the same thing as having different difficulty levels. This is asking for two fundamentally different types of games to be packaged up as one.
    Are you trying to say that a hybrid game will never appeal to casual gamers?

  17. #517
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Well, DX is a good example. Each "playstyle" of DX, taken strictly by itself, is poorly implemented compared to other games focussing on that playstyle alone. DX works as a hybrid game because giving the player a choice of playstyles, and being able to switch or mix playstyles on the fly, more then makes up for this.

    (Also, "this is an action game but not an intense one", and "this is a stealth game but violence is always lurking around the corner", really suits the Deus Ex vibe.)

    This is a bit different to that though. Games don't get bonus points because I can switch to and from being a dumbass on the fly.

    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Papy
    unless you think I'm some kind of genius
    Hey, why not?
    Last edited by Chade; 28th Oct 2008 at 18:50.

  18. #518
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    I was referring to the genre, not the play style. Sorry if that wasn't clear. Deux Ex was a hybrid FPS/RPG/adventure game.

    What I'm trying to figure out is why you think a DX type game can't appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers. It's certainly not a matter of difficulty; I think that notion has been thoroughly refuted in this thread. Difficulty can be scaled, various sorts of optional player aids can be included, etc. Also, there are many FPSs, RPGs, and adventure games that successfully appealed to casual gamers and sold in huge numbers, so I don't think any of these elements alone are necessarily a problem for casual gamers. So what else is there, aside from the possibility that a hybrid game that crosses the boundaries between game genres would be unappealing to the casual fans of those genres?

  19. #519
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: Sweden
    I think the type of hybrids we're talking about here, DX, SS and other slow* paced deeper games, need a bigger investement from the player. I mean in terms of involvement, patience and so on. That in itself is a contradiction to "casual", and doesn't sit well with the ADD crowd (aka mass market aka focus group). Pardon me, let me rephrase it less inflamatory, the stressed out family/working person who might want to casually sit his ass on the couch with his console and mindlessly blow up some stuff for 15 minutes, before he has to go do some other stuff again.


    * as we could see by the DX3 lead designer quotes from Edge, slow is apparently bad m'kay, aswell as simulation. Player centric design is the mass market mantra, see Bioshock, and that type design conflicts heavily with the design our old favorites are based around. Which is why I think it's hard to make a game that fully pleases both parties. Not only do you need two code paths for the "simpler" gameplay stuff, which might seem as not that much work, you would also need two design paths which conflict with eachother to boot, which affect a broader range of things from level design, scripted events to AI systems and whatnot.

  20. #520
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    The difficulty, as I see it, is getting the mainstream gamer to appreciate what is cool about DX. Or rather: doing that at the same time as providing an experience suited to the hardcore player.

    A number of problems:

    Firstly, people tend not to choose appropriate difficulties (apparantly the majority of players go for the middle difficulty irrespective of skill, which is why game designers are so interested in the idea of automatically changing game difficulty during play time).

    Secondly, I'm not really sold on the use of handholding in a DX game. What path to hold the players hand along? If they do follow that specific path, won't they miss out on the prime appeal of DX (to me - choice)? If they don't go along that path, then clearly it won't provide any benefits. How sensitive will the validity of that path be to any changes the player might make (e.g., path asks player to choose GEP gun, but player chooses mini crossbow. When the path asks the player to get in through the front door, the player gets screwed). Any sort of hand holding is probably going to either be quite advanced (and a lot of work), or involve making DX much more linear and tractable.

    Exploration. A significant number of people will by nature go straight to the objectives and get screwed. How to communicate to players that this is both an action game and an exploration game. How to do that without getting in the face of more experienced players? Do you need to gradually ramp up the exploration (start with a few required rooms of to the side, then build up)? Will this piss off existing players?

    Ok, I could say more, but I need to go. I'm sure that will give you plenty to disagree with for the moment.

  21. #521
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Wasn't Alex Jacobson's job specifically to "handhold" agents through field missions? The first DX was smart enough to have a newbie-guiding mechanism built right into the game fiction!

  22. #522
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Wasn't Alex Jacobson's job specifically to "handhold" agents through field missions? The first DX was smart enough to have a newbie-guiding mechanism built right into the game fiction!
    Sadly, this has become a major cliche in practically all FPSes since. If I have to play one more shooter with talking heads in my ear ...

  23. #523
    It's also very common in fiction, where you have field agents and HQ communicating in real-time (cf. 24, The Unit, etc.) with blueprints or whatever to help them find their way.

    I'm with ZB. If the hand-holding is as well done as Jacobson's was, then it's ok for me. Immersion didn't suffer one bit because it made sense even in the game's context. It also cleverly poked fun at itself. ("Like leading a mouse to cheese")

  24. #524
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Anyone remember Max Headroom's take on this? Reporters had a controller who'd tell them exactly where to go and what to do... bringing up blueprints of buildings they were in, realtime satellite imagery of their current location, etc. And this was back in the mid-80's.

  25. #525
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Near Brisbane, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Wasn't Alex Jacobson's job specifically to "handhold" agents through field missions? The first DX was smart enough to have a newbie-guiding mechanism built right into the game fiction!
    I'm not sure how to say this without sounding like self-important-internet-guy (oh crap, the shoe fits!) ... but I'm honestly unsure whether that was meant as an argument against anything I'd said, or was just an interesting observation.

    Anyway, yeah: that was cool. But I wouldn't say it was especially effective. Hell, it's quite common for even hardcore gamers to "not get" DX untill after the first level. (Yeah, I'm blurring the line between understanding a game's systems and appreciating a game's systems, but I think that particular line should be blurred, and that's part of what I'm talking about.)

Page 21 of 23 FirstFirst ... 6111617181920212223 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •