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Pushing your hero to the limit

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Here's something about video games that doesn't work with video games but does with regular stories. Stan Lee always wanted to put his heroes in situations where the character was clearly in over his head. This way you would wonder just how he was going to get out of this. It was one of the methods he used to make the readers identify with the hero. Clearly this does not work for video games. You want the player to be able to finish the game. For the hero, it's alright that he's pushing himself to limits he didn't even know he had. But for the player, it's just a freakin' game. His life is not on the line. If the game gets to hard it will just be annoying and frustrating. And he'll play some other game where he'll actually get to see the ending. Word to the Nerd [edited by - rochnarand on August 17, 2003 3:44:55 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Rochnarand
Here''s something about video games that doesn''t work with video games but does with regular stories. Stan Lee always wanted to put his heroes in situations where the character was clearly in over his head. This way you would wonder just how he was going to get out of this. It was one of the methods he used to make the readers identify with the hero. Clearly this does not work for video games. You want the player to be able to finish the game. For the hero, it''s alright that he''s pushing himself to limits he didn''t even know he had. But for the player, it''s just a freakin'' game. His life is not on the line. If the game gets to hard it will just be annoying and frustrating. And he''ll play some other game where he''ll actually get to see the ending.


Well there''s other ways then just making an unbeatable boss, or something that takes an incredable amount of time to beat. My main thought right now is LoD (legend of dragoon) where during a battle (main character) Dart gets his ass whooped, and is saved by the mysterious power that his father''s amulet holds. He then transforms into a dragon warrior and I think that really starts a connection with the character, and gives a boost to the gameplay big time.

It is true that the player''s life is not at hand lol, and heck he may get frustrated. I think the key to it all is to make the player care, get him wrapped into the story and character... If you spend the time to create personality between characters you have a chance of having one that the player can sort of "connect to". In return he''ll work to finish the game.

~just my thoughts


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well u have never finish R-type 3
or supermario bros 1 and 3 without warp
and so many old damn good game (contra 3 on megadrive for a little ex)

they have stong choregraphic meaning instead ofa story but it''s work very well

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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In a linear story-progression, the player doesn''t neccessarily have to be in absolute interactive control (though it''d be nice if we remember that the game has to have at least some at almost all times). While the player is busy fighting off goblins with his sword, or zapping stormtroopers with the ION Cannon, the controlling story can introduce character elements that the player doesn''t have control over, like our hero figuring out how to get out, and then putting it in the hands of the player.

To use FF7 as an example, would the player have thought of parachuting into Midgar to stop Hojo? No. So cloud and his friends get the props for that.

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I see. So, one way to create that "oh my god, how will our hero ever get out of this one?!?!?!?" feeling without frustrating the player would be to have the omg element be part of the story. Would a good example be to have our heroes go through a level, all the while having no clue how he''s going to cure the poison he''s been given (the motivation), and the door out of there is closing ever so slowly (will I get there in time?), and the big badness is chasing me, (maybe insert a cut scene of you barely making it past a door, fighting the creature to close the door) and will he ever get enough money to pay off the back taxes to Grandma''s house?

;P

So, all kidding aside, I hadn''t thought of that. What are some other story ideas that will create that "oh my god, how will our hero ever get out of this one?!?!?!?" feeling without wrecking gameplay?

Word to the Nerd

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Well this isn't an exact story idea, but in Chrono Cross if you found yourself in trouble of dieing, you could run away, even from a boss. You still have to fight him but it gives you time to heal back up and try a different approach to the boss.

EDIT:
Have some body die in the game, say during a fight have a game - plot twist. One of the friends in your party dies, and the main hero is filled with so much rage that he learns this new ability or technique, that inables massive damage....

Their's just so much you could do...


Mark Drake
I M A G I N E

[edited by - markadrake on August 17, 2003 7:03:50 PM]

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well i think it''s all about tempo
let''s have the player there is more difficulty that the situation has in reality (i think of haw well good game use this trick, in one level in R-Type there one wall that fill the screen and will smash the player on the back of the sceen but vanish just before when they re is no room left for escape the imminent death)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
be good
be evil
but do it WELL
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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well i have forgotten

it''s you that make the wall vanish by firing on but it set to vanish a very very close timer

later on the same game you have the same but the wall is invincible, well there is a sort of trick, a dimmensionnal wall where the nasty come sometimes if you get in it protect you from the wall but you have to quickly dogde after the wall because ennemi will go out from it

another ex is in sonic 2 on master system there at the end of the last act of the first or second world a killing wall that chase you at the end you have an endless pool of lethal spike you have no choice but to jump in, at the last moment robotnick get u to pick u at the boss, well i thought this time i have miss something but it was omg trick

well there is many example like this

the more frustating is the trick the better the solution is accepted (when it''s not really a challenge but kind of omg illusion )

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Or think of The Matrix where all the Agent Smiths are fighting Neo. You think, god, there''s no way he can win (but you know he will).

Or think of The Hulk. You can have legions of bad guys swarm into him, but the game could allow you to do area of effect attacks and go berserk and clear all of them out. The comics have scenes like that as well.

Many of the old SNES games had boss fights where the boss was intentionally beefed up and you were meant to lose. Then the story would move on in some way. After the first few times you encountered this in a Square RPG, you came to recognize it. If a boss was just TOO hard, you knew it was ok and that if you died you wouldn''t have to start over. (But there was always that doubt in the back of your head when playing a new game...maybe it WON''T be okay...uh oh...)

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Remember, the player is the character. To the player, it might just be a freakin'' game, but he''ll still want to see the next level. The key is to balance your difficulty level so that you can challenge the player without frustrating him. Stan Lee had it easy, since he can arbitrarily dictate what Spider-Man''s "limits" are in any given situation. Your job will be a fair bit more difficult. You''ll have to test your game with a variety of players to make sure that you''re pushing them to their limits without pushing them past their limits.

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Being pushed to my limits is not my idea of fun. When Spider Man is doing his thing, and you''re really into the story, you''re aware that if he messes up, he dies. You are genuinely worried about Parker''s welfare. "How is he going to get out of this?" When he does, it''s because he''s brilliant, has a unusual strength of will and character, and is using every last bit of his energy, wits, stamina, etc to get out of it. They never show what happens just after he''s defeated his foes, but I''m sure it involves a long nap. I do not want to be challenged to this degree in a game, but I want the player to have that same empathy for his character if I can manage it.

Personally I think challenge is one of the least important parts of gameplay. The activity of playing the game should actually be fun. None of my favorite games are particularly difficult. But then again, this is a matter of taste.





Put on probation for insulting the President of the United States of America.

Happy Big Fun

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Well you can give the impression of being in over your head. For example the boss fights in MGS2, namely fighting 20 mechs, fighting a Harrier 2 jet and fighting a superhuman bullet dodging Vamp.
In the mech fight against Metal Gear Ray they just kept on coming, and when you ''beat'' them you were shown an FMV where the character admits defeat as they just keep coming.

In the battle against Vamp he went crazy! Dogding shots and leaping all around the room.

Fighting against a jet you were bombarded by the jets entire payload. Missles, gunfire, bombs....the lot!

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