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Waverider

Games not "game" enough lately?

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Waverider    169
Remember back when you went to pick up a key in Doom and creatures started spawning all around you for no reason? Or in Descent, you wandered too far into that room with the powerup at the end and the walls suddenly opened up with robots hiding inside? Or even in Mario when you ran around bopping question marks and collecting gold, and kicking turtles around - mm hmm that made a lot of sense. ....... What would games be like to today if they were like that? Say in Deus Ex, you hit a jump pad along with your enemies, forcing you to time your shots as you both went up and down? Or you walked into the middle of a dungeon room and doors on the upper balcony would randomly open and close with orcs firing bolts down at you, such that you had to have your shot ready to pick them off one at a time? Or in Soldier of Fortune, a line of gunmen danced back and forth in a line as they fired at you? Are games trying to be too much of something anymore? Everything has to have a realistic reason to be there otherwise it is criticized. I remember reading a review for the add-on Opposing Force for Half-life, and one critique was that the boss creature room strangely had the combination of tools and weapons necessary to defeat it right there. I guess there are different kinds of immersion. There is game immersion, story immersion, realism immersion, etc. I understand Battlefield 1942 moved away from realism and takes a more comic-book style approach to WWII situations. Battlezone 1 was a wonderful game that had a lot of "play room" but had balance issues in multiplayer. They fixed a lot of that in Battlezone 2, but a lot of the "fun" was taken out of it in favor of pleasing the serious strategist. I''m just spitting out observations. I think some of the pleasantry of playing games is taken away by a game design that clearly expects a lot out of itself, sometimes much more than just delivering a game to play. I''d like to see more games with emphasis on the "fun" factor instead of a game that might, for example, make you think you could actually be a good sniper in real life by playing the game because of how realistic it attempts to be. Any other obsevations or comments?

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Xori    140
In the fewest words possible: I COULDN''T AGREE MORE!

I''ve made this point over and over to people - only to be critisized myself. I suppose there are still fighting games and the mario type games on Gamecube and PS2. I''d like to see more fun stuff like that for PC however - just wacky off the wall BALANCED and FUN stuff.

... cuz if you haven''t noticed, realism often doesn''t come anywhere near promoting balance.

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Noky    143
I kinda like my games with a logical reason for anything. But as long as them game has a not so realistic theme I don''t mind an illogical explanation like, "Just because..."

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MSW    151
I couldn''t agree more!

However I like to at least have some logic to games...but I really think "realisam" is over rated....I HATE how games are trying to become simulations and crap

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Saluk    127
The most important element to most games is definately fun. I mean, obviously if someone were making a sim, they would focus more on making a good simulation than a good game. But for most games, developers need to worry more about fun than about realism.


Unrealistic games might not appeal to some gamers, but I''m sure there are a lot of gamers who would like there to be more "gamey" games than are currently on the market. I for one love battlefield 1942''s UNrealism. It''s a bit silly, but it''s fun and it seems to work as far as gameplay is concerned.

No, I don''t think Deus Ex would have been a better game if it had "jump pads" I think it greatly depends on the game how much realism it needs. I enjoy Deus Ex as it is thank you very much, it has fun gameplay which matters the most. (Heck if they can make it extremely fun to play, and still have a lot of realism, I don''t discriminate), but I also would like to see more games that don''t take things so seriously. It seems to me these sort of games would be a lot easier to make as well...

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Waverider    169
I agree about Deus Ex not needing jump pads. I brought it up to illustrate how something gamey like that would have affected our perception of the game. Some game designs demand a strong sense of "realism" within the created universe to be taken seriously.

I just don''t want games to become "we can make something more profound, intense and realistic than the next guy, do not deny us" (exaggeration). Simple goofy or ridiculous fun has its merits, too.

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cliffski    122
I agree 100%. I always feel like slapping designers and coders in the head and shouting "ITS A GAME YOU DORK!"
Ultra realism sucks, unless thats the whole target market (Micosofts Train sim, flight sims etc).
Games run into BIG trouble when they try and do everything realistically.
Even Sims don''t have to be realistic to be fun. I''m sure SimCity isn''t a realistic portrayal of being Mayor, but its fun so who gives a damn.
I''m waiting for the first email to tell me the cities are disproportionately large in Planetary Defense...
Good post dude.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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Ingenu    1629
Gameplay is king.

Games have to be consistent, not realistic, they need a reliable set of rules known to the player.

I love to play "Luigi's Mansion", and ghosts aren't real, still I'm hunting them down throughout the haunted mansion, and I don't care those ARE the rules, they are simple and they are consistent => good gameplay.
Same for "Super Mario SunShine", "PIKMIN", "Super Smash Bros: Melee", "Star Wars Rogue Squadron : Rogue Leader", they aren't realistic, they have good and simple rules.

My only problem is "Resident Evil", the game looks realistic, the weapons are from the real world, but I've to get keys in order to open doors, while I've a shotgun and I bet a wooden door won't resist a shot...
The weapons are NOT consistent, they are ONLY effective against monsters, and useless otherwise, that's weird.
Realism only put problems into a game.

So my take on the problem is definetly that games needs consistent rules, nothing else.

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-


[edited by - Ingenu on October 20, 2002 11:03:24 AM]

[edited by - Ingenu on October 20, 2002 11:07:25 AM]

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Kugels    122
Exactly why Serious Sam is such a great game.

When games get too bizarre you start to lose your audience, though. However fun it may be, people wont sit down to play something they can''t identify with.

I''ve kindof run into that problem with the game I''m working on now.

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irbrian    130
Wow, I seem to be the only one to come across this thread who feels that wacky off-the-wall stuff is not "Fun."

I agree that gameplay is king. How in the heck do jump pads and stuff popping out of walls for no reason translate into quality gameplay?? They don''t! Wackiness and surrealism don''t have any more bearing on whether a game is FUN or not than Realism and Logic do. You folks are confusing two completely seperate elements of games.

Realize, I''m not saying that Wacky games CAN''T be fun, I''m just saying that how "wacky" or surreal a game is, is completely irrelevant to how fun it is.


Brian Lacy
Smoking Monkey Studios

Comments? Questions? Curious?
brian@smoking-monkey.org

"I create. Therefore I am."

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Kugels    122
I think what people are talking about is not strangeness for its own sake, just avoiding realism when there is an alternative that is more fun.

Myself, I like to see whacky stuff once in a while just because I get to see reality every day(lucky me).

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iNfuSeD    128
Its not that wackyness is what makes a game fun.. Its just usually when developers TRY to make their games realistic and believable, they have to cut back on alot of the realism and half ass it. All aspects of reality can''t be modelled completely in a game environment (at least not yet) so the programmers end up having to sacrifice some of the reality for aspects of it that are more important to the game (like shooting only zombies in resident evil and not being able to blast shot guns through doors) The "wacky" methods, so to speak, are not allways generally wacky but are easier to model since you''re the one creating them.
The GBA i believe is bringing creativity back to programming. That lil bugger is going to take 2D games to a new level. Its the first 32bit platform that encourages 2D programming. We''ll see some amazing things done on that in the future.

"The human mind is limited only by the bounds which we impose upon ourselves." -iNfuSeD

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MSW    151
This sort of relates to the Super Mario Brothers thread, simply because I''ll use that game as a example.

Mario uses the "jump on enemy" to kill them tactic...as well as jump up from below to knock enemys off of blocks above you...now admitingly this is a seemingly simple tactic pretty unrealistic and all...but it is a pure gameplay tactic...simply by jumping onto an enemy you are putting yourself at risk if you happen to miss...land just a little to the left/right of the enemy and they gotcha...the other enemy killing tactic of jumping into blocks, doesn''t put you imeadiantly at risk...but given the variety of blocks (some you can knock on...others won''t move...and still others break appart if the player happens to be large mario) it isn''t heavily relied upon (notice the game teaches you to keep hitting the blocks through the use of the "?" block types...giveing you a minor and sometimes major reward for doing so...this keeps the tactic freash in your mind)...so basicly mario can take out enemies either of the two different ways (not counting fire balls yet).

Now lets say that the game used a more "conventional" enemy design...enemy A needs to be jumped on once...enemy B needs to be jumped on twice...so on and so fourth...the game would get dull pretty quickly...instead Mario had a small number of enemys, but offered a lot of variety in how you could interact with them....the Kuppas were a good base enemy...moveing left and right as they came across blocked pathways...they were predictable and not really too dangerious, but they provided good practice...then come the turtles...jump on them (or hit them from below) and you ended up with a upturned shell (if left alone the turtle would crawl back out eventualy)...bump into the side of the shell and it became a "weapon"...but not a free one as it could still cause damage to the player...then of course there were the spiked back enemys, which couldn''t be jumped on...think about these three enemies types for a second...one is a "pushover"...another serves a multi-purpose role...and the third cannot be hurt in the normal fashion...when the player encounters each enemy individualy they must use a different stratigy to beat them...and when encountered in different numbers the player has to change stratigy yet again depending on the situation...

The game isn''t "wierd" because of this...all of the enemies could have been designed in more realistic terms...but instead they were designed to give a clear presentation of what is expected of the player...you don''t jump on the spiked creatures...because they clearly have spikes....The game only looks weird or surreal when thinking outside the gameplay mechanics...but thinking within the gameplay it all makes sense...the turtles are graphicly represented by turtles because of how that particular enemy functions within the game.

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