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Ketchaval

acceptable forced failures.

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Games aren''t films or books. But a common feature in Mythic-style movies (Star Wars etc.)and "hero" comic books is that there comes a point in the hero''s training where he isn''t good enough to defeat his enemy, is humiliatingly defeated, goes away to train more and then defeats the enemy. Why would we want to implement this into a game? And if we do how should we do so? Players like to win, and would probably resent a forced defeat that they could do nothing about.. so how can we implement this? Giving the player a small victory (freeing hostages), and then encountering the enemy but making the enemy so tough that the player has to run away might be one way. (Ie. The player doesn''t have to defeat it).

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This finds fairly common use in many story-driven games.... the first battle in Anachronox, the battle against whatshisname in Deus Ex, hmm. Okay, maybe it''s just common in Eidos games. ;-) Anyways, it''s probably something of an annoyance for "pro" players, but others would probably be correctly affected by it.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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I''ve found that it is not the failure that bothers me, but the wasted resources. You mean I went through all that trouble, even used my last incredibly rare Ultra Healing Potion, and all I had to do was lose?

The only forced failures that I clearly remember are lost battles. There is one from Legend of Dragoon that I had no problem with; In the final round of the Hero Competition, Dart (the hero) faces Lloyd. There were two possible ways to damage opponants at the time; the Attack command, and certain items. When Dart attacks Lloyd, Lloyd dodged - no previous enemy had done this. When I used a damaging item, no damage number appeard - in all other battles, a number had always appeared, even if it was 0. These clues told me that I could not beat Lloyd. Because I knew that I would lose before I had wasted a lot of effort and in-game resources, the failure was not aggravating.

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Final Fantasy VII comes to mind here. My friend has no life whatsoever and so played FF7 24/7 when it first came out. He was at level 99 on the first disc. He had nothing better to do than spend hours just walking around, battling, and leveling up. Because of this, after a point the game no long posed any challenge at all. It became boring for him. I have since thought that it might not be a bad idea to somehow limit a player''s ability to gain experience and strength until he/she has completed a certain task. In an RPG (well, this is only really relevent in an RPG) say that the player can only gain level 20 (at the highest) until he/she has saved Jimbo from the evil sorcorer. Then the player is allowed to reach level 40 before killing the dragon guarding the cave filled with gold. Alternatively the bosses, if not all enemies, could gain exp and str as does the player. As example, if you are at level 98 or 99 in FF7 the final Sephiroth you fight is much more difficult.

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One example of how I DONT like losing is in the 007 - Goldeneye for N64. You had to chase Tre... - what''s his name - through the control place and he would escape through the elevator. Always. I got good enough to pour over 300 rounds and 20 pieces of explosives into him and he still closed the elevator door.

So please don''t do that.


-geo
red eye is coming back (the old site is still around, albeit in a weird transitional form)

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In Chrono Trigger, at one point late into the game (in the kingdom of Zeal), you''re forced to fight an absurdly powerful monster. When you inevitably lose, the plot continues on in response to this. However, the thing that was cool about this particular fight, was that it was actually possible to beat it if you replayed the game with higher-level characters, and when you did, the plot unfolded differently.

That was cool.

Anyway, I think forced failures can bring an element of involvement and interaction into the gameplay if used correctly. The problem is when it''s done in such a way that the player doesn''t know, and, for instance, keeps resetting the game to his last save in a futile attempt to succeed in the conflict. Perhaps the best way to resolve this is to create scenarios where the player thinks he''s winning, but things quickly turn on him before he has a chance to say, "well, that''s over" and hit the quickload key.

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This situation calls for some extreme clues, so the player knows whats going on. Heres a few things off the top of my head.

* Very different music. Something ominous and just sounds like defeat.

* Disabled menu options. Push the player through a strategy that he knows will fail.

* Dialouge. Have the enemy constantly antagonizing the player during the fight. I mean, whats a better clue then ["You''ll never beat me, stop trying."]?

* Numerics. Start the fight, player has 1HP, enemy has REGEN that gives back 9999 per turn. That one is less subtle, but hey, it works.

* END THE FIGHT. Of course, the 1 hit kill is rather cheap, but if the player is supposed to lose the fight, make him lose it. Have the enemy''s attack power do 34% HP damage, no defense taken into account. Nothing is more fustrating then a 50 round fight thats going to end in a loss anyways. The player ends up attacking themself just to speed up the process.

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I always thought the ''forced loss'' in Half-Life was well played. You are in a warehouse fighting some ninja type guys. When you walk thru the tunnel to the next room, you hear a dart and then the screen blacks out. Then you get some cutscene dialog and warped images of your captors. Finally, you wake up in a trash compactor and have to escape. It was a very effective transition between the indoor complex and the outdoor desert.

cyn

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
This situation calls for some extreme clues, so the player knows whats going on. Heres a few things off the top of my head.

* Very different music. Something ominous and just sounds like defeat.

* Disabled menu options. Push the player through a strategy that he knows will fail.

* Dialouge. Have the enemy constantly antagonizing the player during the fight. I mean, whats a better clue then ["You''ll never beat me, stop trying."]?

* Numerics. Start the fight, player has 1HP, enemy has REGEN that gives back 9999 per turn. That one is less subtle, but hey, it works.

* END THE FIGHT. Of course, the 1 hit kill is rather cheap, but if the player is supposed to lose the fight, make him lose it. Have the enemy''s attack power do 34% HP damage, no defense taken into account. Nothing is more fustrating then a 50 round fight thats going to end in a loss anyways. The player ends up attacking themself just to speed up the process.


The problem that I have with ominious music or enemy having incredible REGEN, is that the game loses the "suspension of disbelief". I mean when you figured out that you have to lose this battle, I feel like I am playing a game.

Personally, I don''t like the fact that there are unwinnable battles. There have been a couple of times where I fought a really powerful boss, then I say to myself hmm... this must be a stupid unwinnable battle. Since it''s unwinnable I don''t want to waste good items, but if it isn''t I''ll have to go through the cutscene again. What should I do? I generally just let the boss finish me off and then I''ll find out it really was winnable but I''ve been conditioned into thinking it was unwinnable. Bah, I hope you guys know what I''m saying or even had the same experience.

I liked how Phantasy Star IV did one of its unwinnable battles. After battling Juza, a midboss, stairs magically appear. Tired and weak, your team goes up the stairs and boom you encounter the evil wizard Zio. At the start of the battle he casts a spell on himself that gives him ultimate defense. Any attack does 1 hp damage. The cool thing was Zio didn''t attack you. He just silently stands there taking the 1 hp hits. After the fourth round of this he attacks one of your characters and a cutscene follows. One of your team members is gravely injured so you escape.

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Ah, PSIV...such memories. Yeah, that was probably the best forced-failure I''ve ever seen in a game. Personally, if it''s good for the story, make it end really, really fast. Or consider not even having one at all. Maybe even make it a cutscene.

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