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Chokki

defeating the walkthrough

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Here it is- your dream come true. Your first, big, epic game. It will make millions. People will be talking about it for months, and playing it for years. You have spent the past 9 months writing the story, the engine, and most importantly of all - the puzzles. Each one took longer than an hour to make, some would take days to beat. It all came to an end. Your game would have taking months of playing to appreciate, if not for the fact that any twelve year old could go online, type under google < (insert game''s title here) walkthrough > and in an instant play the game as well as you. Your perfect game is now unappreciated, and mocked. All because of walkthroughs. As game developers, writers, and programmers, we have to find a way to make walkthroughs unable to affect how our games are enjoyed. Any ideas?

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quote:
Original post by Chokki As game developers, writers, and programmers, we have to find a way to make walkthroughs unable to affect how our games are enjoyed. Any ideas?

Are you somehow living in a parallel universe where walkthoughs are broadcast direct into your brain? Because over here you actually have to actively go and hunt out out (be that either gamefaqs or an actual printed thing). If people want to use a walkthough to ruin an entire game thats their problem, but it can sure as hell be helpful for figuring out that obscure puzzle you''ve been stuck on for the last month.

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quote:
Original post by Chokki
As game developers, writers, and programmers, we have to find a way to make walkthroughs unable to affect how our games are enjoyed.


No, we don''t have to do anything.





Kami no Itte ga ore ni zettai naru!

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We already got our money, and it''s less likely that players will return the games because they are hard.

But anyway, if you want an example of a game that you can''t write a walkthrough for, check out NetHack. And the conclusion you can draw is that randomness is the key to fighting walkthroughs.

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Only 9 months to make an epic game? Impressive

Anyway, getting to your actual question.. There''s a reason why I don''t purchase the hint books for games when I go to the store, although at EBGames they''re always happy to say "Would you like the guide book for $9 more?" and I always promptly answer with a "No thanks"..

My reason? because I''d rather _play_ the game, not follow step by step instructions so I can see the game''s ending.

Short answer, it''s the player''s fault for using a walkthrough. Also, if the playtime can be decreased from months down to a matter of days, then there''s a good chance that your (in theory) game isn''t very long, just confusing to play. The only time I''ve looked at walkthroughs is when I''ve either beaten the game and want to see if I missed any secret things, or if I''ve walked around the same area for 2 hours, and I can''t find the freakin'' 3 foot diameter cave in the side of a wall with a wooden crate in front of it (a result of bad level design imho).

It''s just not a problem I''d worry about. Have a nice day, and may your code compile smoothly sir



Klowner
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http://dugnet.com/klown

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Well actually I tend to enjoy games a lot more when using a walkthrough. I just can''t be bothered anymore to solve all the brainbusters (yeah I''m old and just don''t have the time), yet I gladly follow the story while I''m enjoying the graphical and musical experience.

Forcing me to puzzle around for weeks would make me dislike your game and not buying it. Like all software, it is mine and I decide how I enjoy it most.

On a side note, I recently re-purchased Blade Runner and it has a variable storyline, which could be a help in making walkthroughs less interesting.

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There are certain intriquacies of gameplay that can''t be recorded in a walkthrough. I mean, unless you know how to write down on paper how to perfectly play stuff like anything by Treasure.

I think, if anything, you should be happy there are walkthroughs. It means your game was good enough that certain players feel neccessary to write a walkthrough that will get other players to play through the game.

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Walkthoughs can be very useful especially in games that seem to only make sense to the designer, or to help find those secrets.

For instance I was playing soul reaver once I spent days stuck in this old church. I tried everything I could think finally I gave up and looked at a guide which told me to open some lids on a pipe, something that I had tried dozens of times before but had never succeeded in doing because I was never exactly on. It was only with that guide and numerous tries that I was finally able to advance.

Another use of guides to allow the player to find all those interesting secerts that they might otherwise miss. Such tossing a gold coin in to the foutain then climbing to the top of the church, leap across to the nearby house, going to the balcony in the master bedroom and knock the flower pot over to kill the begger trying to get the gold coin. Then going down and stealing his wallet before the police arrive. to get the all powerful beggers wallet.

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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I can clearly see your point with walkthroughts but if a player actually bothers to turn on the computer, go to the net and look for a walkthrough about a game, they might have a reason.

Maybe they want to know if they left something behind.. maybe there is a puzzle that they have been trying for 15+ days and they can''t solve the frigging puzzle..(that''s why I have done it Im tired from trying!)

Now if the walkthrough is read before the player actually tries or sees something that he isnt supposed to see there''s the problem. But solving a puzzle that is too hard might be good.

I remember an old game that ran on Windows 3.1, a puzzle game. I loved that game but the level 36 or something was too darn hard. In that game if tried more than 5 times it would offer you to jump that level. For me it was a relief having that feature.. I got to that level and the game jumped me.. I continued playing; later my computer had a problem and I had to reinstall. I started to play again.. this time the game wouldn''t jump me, I don''t know why. I spent more than a month trying.. I finally stopped playing and forgot about that game.

You don''t want your players to stop playing because they are too stupid to beat your puzzle or because your puzzle was too hard. You want the player to have fun, that''s all.

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Firstly, I agree with most of the others; walkthroughs are not a problem. Some people I know will not buy a game unless they know they can get a walkthrough. They like to know that if they get stuck, they can find an answer and continue to enjoy the rest of the game. Therefore, I do not agree that walkthroughs are a problem for 99% of games.

However, let''s say you''re running some sort of competition... you know, "the first one to complete the game wins a prize" or whatever. The answer to the problem falls into the same category as most of my other proposed solutions to game development; procedural content.

Instead of having designers painstakingly create content from start to finish, designers work on more finely-grained components which the game''s algorithms put together based on a seed value. This seed value can be generated from a hash function based on the time you started playing the game, meaning that everybody''s game will be subtlely different.

However, the problem isn''t solved, merely changed; you have to develop algorithms that will generate puzzles from standard building blocks. I don''t think this is impossible, but it will require a little more thought into the basic and abstract components of a ''puzzle'' so that a system can generate them. eg. a few different RPG puzzle types might include "key/lock", "dangerous terrain", "concealed foes", and "minimum skill level required". Each of those has various aspects that a designer can create, and the system can pick some out accordingly.

I have several other theories on this, but I''ll save all the detail for now.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL Docs | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost
Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff | Tiny XML | STLPort]

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