I am currently doing a study into how different viewpoints effect the way in which games are played and the way they are constructed within these different viewpoints. For research purposes i was wondering what people thought on this subject, does the viewpoint have any effect on the game or is it simply just another angle for a game to be played at. Does the viewpoint of a game have any influence on the visual style of the game such as level aesthetics etc? Does it have any effects on the narrative of the game? Are certain viewpoints specific to certain games and genres and will not work in any other or do they just suit that specific genre better ? Is there any specific games in which the viewpoint could have been done differently to improve the game or is there any specific games in which the viewpoint of the game is perfect for the game that it was intended, and if the viewpoint is perfect is there any advantages that the specific viewpoint gives the game?
Does the viewpoint of a game effect specific aspects of it?
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:08 PM
Different viewports can hide or show, or make it easier or more difficult to see certain things.
Overhead maps are common in strategy because they allow you to see everything in the surrounding area without having to "look around". Platform gaming is well suited to a side-on view because you can clearly see both the character's feet and the platforms - you'll notice that accurate jumping can be more difficult from a first person view because you can't see your feet and have a less clear idea of when you're reaching the very edge of a platform.
(Posted from mobile.)
- Jason Astle-Adams.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:09 PM
Yes, 1st person vs. third person viewpoint make the difference in whether a player is looking at their character interact with other characters, or looking through their character's eyes but never at the character. These two set-ups prompt different types of player thinking about their character as an avatar of the player and the character's role in the game world.
(BTW not to nitpick but that should be affect, not effect.)
Edited by sunandshadow, 23 January 2013 - 05:14 PM.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:17 PM
As an elaboration of what Sun was getting at, the first-person perspective in games provides a (potentially) immersive enviornment for a single character, as the realistic perspective allows the player to construct the suspension of disblief and connect with the character in ways not possible if a player was staring at his/her character from afar. I understand that this concept might be somewhat foreign to someone who hasn't played a good number of games before, so for a prime example you may want to look at one of the more popular horror games, Amnesia: The Dark Decent (no advertisement intended).
The top-down perspective is primarily used in strategic games where a player must control a multitude of characters at once, and leads to no connection by the player to any specific character, but rather gives him/her the opportunity the be more reflective about the game enviornment as a whole without being tethered to one perspective. All I'll say about the third-person behind-the-character perspective is that I personally hate it and find it to be distracting.
Hope I helped.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:14 PM
Even such simple things as an overhead map in FPS can play a big difference in how the game is played. Same for the stuff like X-ray vision. By carefully choosing only what is known and what is hidden you can create completely different games.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:46 PM
Point of view has a huge effect on gameplay. A couple interesting examples of this are Natural Selection and Supreme Commander. Natural Selection is a multiplayer game where you play as part of a team trying to take control of strategic areas on a map from a FPS perspective. By itself this is pretty standard but there is also one player on the team who acts as the commander and views the battle from a top-down RTS style view. He directs his troops and aids them in battle. So you end up with 2 very different gameplay experiences, yet they are both in the same game, trying to accomplish the same goal. Supreme Commander is interesting because it has a strategic zoom feature. Basically you can zoom all the way in to small skirmishes between a few units, or zoom all the way out and view your entire army. In this way you can control tactical situations, flanking and manuevering your troops, as well as strategic situations like surveying your troops and deciding where you need reinforcements.
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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:58 PM
As an elaboration of what Sun was getting at, the first-person perspective in games provides a (potentially) immersive environment for a single character, as the realistic perspective allows the player to construct the suspension of disbelief and connect with the character in ways not possible if a player was staring at his/her character from afar
Well, that's one side of what I was thinking. But third person can be immersive too; I'd say a third person view where you can see the characters face, such as a sidescrolling or isometric perspective, can encourage self-reflection and introspection, because you are looking at yourself, watching yourself enact the choices you make, and look how you've customized yourself to look.
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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:59 AM