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Guide to bad game design


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#21 Bluefirehawk   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1232

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:00 AM

So what it looks to me, to make a bad game, you either have to make it boring, or annoying.
I think here is a good starting list to make it boring, but I didn't read much of annying mechanics.

In games, "just because FUCK YOU!" elements are annoying i believe, for example:
In diablo 3 in inferno difficulty, when you didn't kill an elite mob in less than 20 minutes, the mob is "aggroed" or whatever and you have to die (they help you with that, you lose all of your health in 10 seconds). After that, you have to wait 5 minutes or so until the elite mob has regenerated all it's health.
Why? Because SCREW YOU, that's why.

Or the other side of this one, as FFXII did: you can only obtain the super powered weapon later in the game if you DIDN'T open certain chests (that were not marked or identified in any way) earlier in the game.

Haha, great "FUCK YOU" to the gamer.


Something completely different:
This doesn't make a game bad, but it certanly hides it's potential. For example: make many different attack types in an rpg game (fire, physical, magic...) but make them virtually equal in all regards, it just doesn't matter if you do fire or lightning damage.

Edited by Bluefirehawk, 22 September 2012 - 03:02 AM.

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#22 Lauris Kaplinski   Members   -  Reputation: 841

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 01:57 AM

Make difficulty levels that only affect enemies, weapons and ammo. All jumping and stealth still requires near-perfect timing, whatever the difficulty is.
Lauris Kaplinski

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#23 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 09:38 AM

My biggest gripe in game design came from God of War (yes, the original).
Give players an entire game to master using several fun and diverse weapons, then at the final climactic boss battle: take them all away and make them use something new and horrible with no practice or warning.
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#24 iAmCodeMonkey   Members   -  Reputation: 215

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:01 PM

Just look at all of Acclaim's games.

Every single aspect of them was HORRIBLE.

Horrible, uneven graphics.
Horrible motion captured animations.
Horrible sound. It was always all over the place, and either too low, or blowing out your speakers.
Horrible collision detection.
Horrible AI.
The save systems were so clunky they looked like they were pasted out of the tutorial section of their platform SDKs.

The took bad ideas, spent all the budget on a license, and then rushed a clunky, half baked, idea out in 6 months.


I could say the same things about any game from Capstone Software/Intracorp Entertainment...

#25 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:10 PM

  • Always have the camera in an awkward position where the FOV is 30 to 50% obscured. Oh. And also make that camera unadjustable.
  • Also, I love mission-oriented games that don't log what the mission is, who gave you the mission and where that person was (it's not much of an issue now, but it was before).
  • Make (single player) off-line games that require you to be online.
  • If at first you think the player will succeed, then move the platform 3 pixels to the right, have a two wandering enemies, and show only half the platform so the player will jump right into the death trap on the other side.

Edited by Alpha_ProgDes, 24 September 2012 - 01:11 PM.

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#26 stillLearning()   Members   -  Reputation: 212

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:54 AM

  • Unadjustable controllers
  • Force V-Sync
  • Force Mouse Accelration
  • Must watch long credits after final boss to continue playing. Else you must kill final boss again.
(Perhaps some aren't really design related, nevertheless it's plain stupid)

If you don't understand the stuff written here, please sharpen your C++ skills.


#27 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:03 PM

Have a game that allows the Classic Konami code. Then when the player loses a life, BSOD the game.
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#28 BagelHero   Members   -  Reputation: 1482

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:19 PM

  • 2D game? JPG artifacts. Bitches love JPG artifacts.
  • Always make the final boss (with no particular weak points) a matter of shooting him until he keels over, then a quicktime event. Repeat. On harder difficulties, take this, but make it three times longer per level.
  • The control scheme of the last three games in your series being recieved incredibly well? Oh, easy enough to make THAT better! Just switch two major buttons around, and make sure what used to be the action button now stabs the nearest person in the face!
  • Or perhaps those last three games have had a winning formula? No one likes formulas, so you should stop that. To mix things up a little, change the way the story's told completely, and add a half-baked genre mash-up! That should show them.
Bonus round!
  • If making a movie/TV game, make all cutscenes low quality, 4:3 rips from the parts of the movie that either make no sense, or are huge explosions.


#29 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:02 AM

Always make the final boss (with no particular weak points) a matter of shooting him until he keels over, then a quicktime event. Repeat. On harder difficulties, take this, but make it three times longer per level.

Yeah, attrition. Relying on quantity of resources rather than intelligence, or quality of challenge.

That reminds me of the opposite, actually, and that makes me think of the original Syphon Filter. You go through all these levels and all these bosses, you're getting head-shots, you're sniping, you're blasting through enemies, you're... generally trying to figure out where to go next... and eventually you get to the final boss. If I recall correctly, all it took to kill him was a gas grenade. It's the last thing you'd think to throw at him, but if you did, it ended really, really quickly.

And that is neither attrition, nor a really acceptable challenge. It was just anti-climactic.

Edited by Heath, 02 October 2012 - 12:04 AM.


#30 dtg108   Members   -  Reputation: 394

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:33 PM

I got a couple:
Make infinite waves of enemies that keep on coming, spawning from random places, until you complete your objective.
Make one of those annoying platform games where you jump from one platform to another, and then make that one platform that the player always misses by a centimeter.
Have a currency system, to reveal that you can buy absolutely nothing useful at all.
Have SUPER easy characters that lead up to a boss that is almost impossible.
Have a boss.
Make a tutorial that takes up half of the game and then fails to explain some of the most important parts.
Make Duke Nukem.
Make a racing game where you have the same track over and over with a couple of new turns.
Give the player a super hard objective to find out you unlocked 2 coins.
Make a Game Named Ratchet and Clank.
Make it where the player has to find a key. You search ten minutes for a key when you could've blown the door open.
Have annoying cutscenes that you can't skip yet have nothing important in them.
Make a game where you have to play in the same place every other freakin' level.
Make it like disc 5 on GTA: SA. No one likes it.
Have a boss where he isn't even hard, just where hundreds of enemies decide to come out right then and shoot at you. All of a sudden, when the boss is dead, they stop and go away.
Plenty more where that came from ;)

Edited by dtg108, 29 October 2012 - 07:40 PM.


#31 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:56 PM

Make one of those annoying platform games where you jump from one platform to another, and then make that one platform that the player always misses by a centimeter.

It's bad when you just fall right through the platform. As far as a platform being a centimeter away, I think Braid plays on this pretty well, simply because you can rewind everything until you get it right. But that doesn't fit everywhere.

Have a boss.

Imagine MegaMan without bosses. Imagine Shadow of the Colossus without any colossi.

Make Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem 3D? Duke Nukem Forever? Or the old Duke Nukem platformer?

Make a Game Named Ratchet and Clank.

You really don't like platformers.

Make it where the player has to find a key. You search ten minutes for a key when you could've blown the door open.

Try it before you pry it?

Have annoying cutscenes that you can't skip yet have nothing important in them.

Unskippable cutscenes belong in 1997, and they didn't belong even then.

Make a game where you have to play in the same place every other freakin' level.

Pong?

Have a boss where he isn't even hard, just where hundreds of enemies decide to come out right then and shoot at you. All of a sudden, when the boss is dead, they stop and go away.

At least, let the hundreds of enemies have some connection to the boss where it makes sense that they're gone too if the boss is gone. It's cliche, but it works.

#32 dtg108   Members   -  Reputation: 394

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

Duke Nukem 3D? Duke Nukem Forever? Or the old Duke Nukem platformer?

Duke Nukem Forever.

Pong?

No, like Prince of Persia, or Batman: AA.

At least, let the hundreds of enemies have some connection to the boss where it makes sense that they're gone too if the boss is gone. It's cliche, but it works.

My point, exactly.

#33 Exodus111   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

Market the game primarily around allowing the player to play a known, totally bad ass character, then make it a weaker version of the same character, making no particular difference in power from the last installment.

Hello Bioshock 2.

-Exo

#34 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4827

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 06:16 PM

Make a platformer that has a bug at 3/4 of the game that forces you to start all over again because a platform isn't where it's supposed to be and all your options left are 100 ways to fall into an horrible death. (ie, Prince of Persia Warrior Within, still pretty good tho)

Make a game centered around freedom of choices that suddenly stops caring about what you choose in the most defining moments (Deus Ex Human Revolution, still pretty good tho).

Make a pretty good single player RPG with an awesome lore on a recently founded company with an awesome team of designers while at the same time spending all your money on another pointless "WoW killer" that leaves your company in the dust, every employee on the street and your awesome RPG in Oblivion (Kingdoms of Amalur, pun intended).

Lease a very famous IP of your company to another company. Watch them make a game on a horrible timeframe that is way better than whatever thing you'll ever come with. Never lease them the IP again.

Edited by TheChubu, 30 October 2012 - 06:16 PM.

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#35 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:06 PM

@dt108 - This "Prince of Persia"? I didn't like that game. I didn't really dig walking around in the same area doing nothing like you said, or getting achievements for talking. Never played DNF, didn't feel I needed to. I was addicted to Batman: AA, mostly due to finding items from other Batman characters and collecting biographies. That game captured that part of my brain that gets addicted really quickly to that kind of stuff. Plus, it was the first Batman game in like 15 years that was decent.

That reminds me. Make a game about the World's Greatest Detective with expert martial arts skill, but only let him fight one enemy at a time. When the battle starts, everything else just freezes in place. (Batman: Vengeance on PS2)

#36 Exodus111   Members   -  Reputation: 148

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:12 PM

I think the biggest issue in the gaming industry is the disconnect between the people making the design document and the ppl coding the final product.

A feature that sounds GREAT on paper can easily be trite or stupid once actually enacted, furthermore the implementation for certain features might be far to costly in man hours then it might seem to a Developer with no programming experience.

Unforseen events which means u gotta cut features as ure nearing release, and we see game after game released with so much potential but just not living up to it.

At the very least all games should count on at least 6 months after the game is finished to tweak polish and add features before a proper release.

-Exo

#37 dtg108   Members   -  Reputation: 394

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:51 AM

. I was addicted to Batman: AA, mostly due to finding items from other Batman characters and collecting biographies. That game captured that part of my brain that gets addicted really quickly to that kind of stuff. Plus, it was the first Batman game in like 15 years that was decent.

I liked that game, too. It just felt really reptitive.

When the battle starts, everything else just freezes in place. (Batman: Vengeance on PS2)

Oh my gosh. I have that game for the original xbox sitting on my shelf collecting dust! The graphics are horrific. But since you mentioned it, I might have to pop it in and play it (haven't played it in 5+ years).

#38 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 387

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:29 PM

Add permadeath and make it simple to die.

#39 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19429

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

Add permadeath and make it simple to die.

...and costly to re-start.

#40 Heath   Members   -  Reputation: 344

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:22 PM


When the battle starts, everything else just freezes in place. (Batman: Vengeance on PS2)

Oh my gosh. I have that game for the original xbox sitting on my shelf collecting dust! The graphics are horrific. But since you mentioned it, I might have to pop it in and play it (haven't played it in 5+ years).

lol, I had forgotten all about it too. They tried to make a decent game with that, but what was the deal with that stupid battle system? It's Batman! And yeah, the graphics didn't work that well. Maybe if they'd cel-shaded it a bit like Wind Waker, or just done it realistically without the Bruce Timm style.




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