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Godmode


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#1 Woland   Members   -  Reputation: 371

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 02:40 AM

A few days ago on The Astronauts blog Adrian Chmielarz posted an interesting article on godmode:

 

http://www.theastronauts.com/2013/03/the-power-of-imagination-or-why-you-should-want-the-godmode-in-games/

 

I don't exactly agree with it, and I even wrote a public reply on my own blog ( http://gamesmakingnoob.blogspot.com/2013/03/godmode-and-astronauts-imagination.html )

 

Still, the topic itself is quite interesting and brought up quite a discussion on one of gamedev forums, so I thought that maybe in here it will feed some thoughts :)

 


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#2 demonkoryu   Members   -  Reputation: 976

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:03 AM

I think games that don't have godmode readily available (i.e. require some kind of trainer or cheat code) are the best compromise for the largest part of the gaming population, fun-wise, because with god-mode available, there is no challenge. There's constantly a rational voice in your head that tells you to just skip that hard part of the game so you can get on, instantly eliminating sense of accomplishment and motivation if you decide to use it. It's just a distraction, really, not much better than a WIN button.

 

The people who want god-mode can find a cheat or trainer easily enough if they want. The rest of us probably doesn't even want to be aware of the possibility to chicken out so readily.



#3 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

It's just a distraction, really, not much better than a WIN button.

 

The rest of us probably doesn't even want to be aware of the possibility to chicken out so readily

 

I disagree with this.  For the same reason that millions of players enjoy Minecraft creative mode.  When they came out with Survival, they could have just turned creative off, and let it be a plugin to turn it back on, but they made it an integral part of the game.  If you talk about racing games, your car wouldn't get destroyed.  That doesn't mean you wouldn't see a slowdown when you hit things and enjoy the practice of gaining better control of the vehicle.  And first person shooters could be the same, where this mode lets you more safely just explore levels, and learn about other interesting places or secrets that you can apply in real life gaming.  Like Starcraft.  You can turn on Cheats, but as soon as you do, all awards get turned off.  Which is an enticement not to do it, but the option is still readily there.

 

However, I will give this significant issue.  I've played god mode on numerous games, for similar reasons as I posted above. I still had fun, but the levels were not designed for gods.  Normally, when you fall in a pit of lava, you just die.  Given that, a pit of lava doesn't expect to provide you with a way out if you fall in.  I've been stuck before in situations like that.  

 

I will concede that if you consider putting things like god mode, or easily activatable 'cheats' like flight, infinite ammo, no keys required, etc...  you need to make sure your game won't break down by getting a player stuck somewhere (or other equally un-fun scenarios).  Infinite ammo doesn't seem like an issue, until one of your designers thinks of an awesome idea that you enter a turret and shoot as many enemies as you can, until you run out of ammo.  If they didn't program in another way to exit the turret aside from running out of ammo, then the player is again stuck.  

 

I like the idea of being able to turn cheats on, just do it responsibly.


Edited by Dan Violet Sagmiller, 25 March 2013 - 08:49 AM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#4 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:56 AM

For many games, you could even have it as an activatable feature for single player by making an online purchase of some type, that will 'upgrade' the options available to you.  Or even a benefit of registering your game.  This wouldn't just be for 'cheats' but also for other modifiable features, like starting level selection (when you would normally have to earn them) etc..  

 

Again, you can still turn off all shared awards when players do things like this, and take steps to provide additional value to awards.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#5 Amr0   Members   -  Reputation: 1085

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

Providing a way out of the lava is treating godmode as a "legit" feature, in which case, why stop there? If the main idea/appeal of godmode is to allow the user to explore without worrying about dying, then why not have the AI stop shooting at you in godmode altogether? Why not give it a name (and context) that makes sense in the game's world, like obtaining some legendary armor, instead of leaving the user with the feeling of uncertainty of the game's stability and ability to still function correctly in light of the "hack" that is godmode? In fact, one could even go as far as suggesting changing the game's rules such that exploration would become the game's focus in a conscious way.


Edited by Amr0, 25 March 2013 - 11:13 AM.


#6 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:28 AM

In fact, one could even go as far as changing the game's rules such that exploration will become fun in its own way.

 

That actually seems like a good idea.  For more than just the player sense.  I like the idea to start thinking of games as more than just the combination of all layers of game play.    But instead consider the different layers as potential sources of fun.  For instance, Take one of the classic 2D Mario side scrollers, like SMB1 or SMB3.  What if you just turned off all Enemies?  Would the game still be fun?  If not, you could also look at why.  You would be finding treasures, secret areas, racing through different obstacle levels, etc...  If part of that proves not too fun, perhaps you could consider what things you could do the the environment and events to make it more fun.  I have to imagine the game over all would benefit from that.  

 

For a more agile approach to gaming, you could have a lot of these features programmed to enable/disable from the start.  It would be a great testing tool, (which is what I believe most cheats started as) but also let you try out different parts of the game, and see if the game is more or less fun with certain options.  No Turtles in mario, Sliding shells don't hurt but instead just get caught.  Then for players who pay for the add-on, it simply enables the settings for those.  Instead of 'God-Mode' it is a selection of settings to configure what happens on a global level.  

 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that every game should be built like this.  But I think its a perfectly reasonable idea.

 

I would point out a significant reason why some games absolutely should not. (though I'm sure there could be reasons) 

 - Suppose you did have a 'No-Damage', or 'God-Mode' that you supported in game, out of box.  Just for the heck of it.  If a player has that mode on (otherwise titled Bunny Slippers for difficulty) and does find one of these stuck-in-a-lava-pit traps, then that would appear to be a bug in what is otherwise supported.  

 

To support demonkoryu's idea on the matter: if this were just part of the game, then those are bugs, mistakes.  And if the developer releases an addon-patch for god-mode, then those issues are still bugs.  But if a third party develops it, then it is obviously a 'hack' of sorts, and not supported by the game's developer.  

 

 

Final opinion, I'm going to try implementing this in one of my next games to support it.  (multi-player only game at the moment, so no go yet)  Worst case, I can always just hide the options if it seems to suck.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.





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