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Invincilbe or Vulnerable?

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There are two types of characters in a story. The vulnerable one. You see his/her ups and downs, and his/her weaknesses and strengths. An example would be Harry Potter, or Link from the Zelda series. The invincible one. You see his/her strengths, and no weaknesses are apparent. An example would be rambo, terminator, and pretty much any action hero. Which one do YOU think is good for a story? My story is an fps, and I think the invincible one would be appropiate. But on the other hand, You don''t see many vulnerable heroes, it is a different concept for an fps. In fact, I can''t recall any FPSs that have a "vulnerable" hero. please give me what you think is best, and why. I am just doing this because, after all, any game is geared towards the audience of course! And don''t even DARE think that this is some JOKE. I really don''t appreciate what happened LAST time I posted

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quote:
Original post by scorchsaber
And don''t even DARE think that this is some JOKE. I really don''t appreciate what happened LAST time I posted

You really need to learn to take yourself less seriously. Completely flying off the handle at every less-than-amicable is not conducive to earning respect in this community or in any other - you only make yourself look childish; immature; lacking self control.

That said, most invulnerable heroes tend to be rather flat and dull. In the FPS genre - well, it''s technically not FPS since the POV is 3rd person, but consider, say, Max Payne.

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Your post was fine No need for that little bit at the end.

The 'vunerable type' leads to a far more interesting gaming experience, greater characterisation. The player can perhaps relate to the character better, feeling more emotionally involved.

That said, try not to give your player characters too strong a personality. This will discourage gamers from becoming totally immersed as their personality may conflict with that of the player character's.

Hardcore, 'bloodbath' FPS games such as the Unreal series have very little characterisation, allowing the player to very easily become immersed in the game. But this method would be more difficult to acheive in a more story focused FPS, as certain character elements are almost always going to be necesary in some encounters.

The decision really rests on where you want to take your game, how story driven would you like it to be?

Toipot
Lead Programmer
Farsight Productions

[edited by - toipot on May 28, 2004 1:04:21 PM]

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Gordon Freeman is hitting me with his custard crowbar of incivility. I thwack him one with an axe in the head. He falls over dead. A moment later his corpse disapears and he pops back up infront of me. Duke Nukem stands a short distance away securing an exit, chuckling each time Gordon cripples over.

Gordon will never accept his repeated deaths, but Serious Sam is carefully etching Gordons death count into the wall.

The philosophical distinction between invincible and vulnerable is created in the spaces between a characters death and his re-birth (or lack thereof). Do we go to a menu screen and re-enter earlier in the level, working through the same process, doing it better each time. Or do we simply tap a button and pretend it never happned.

My argument. Gordon Freeman - the anti-hero extraudinaire, is infact invincible. My thaughts go out to Dukes girl friend, because when he dies, he gets pissed off.

edit - generic text

[edited by - DogCity on May 28, 2004 1:09:32 PM]

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If you''re looking for people to focus on your problems rather than your post, you''re doing it the right way. Besides, you''re just provoking an attack: most people won''t have even read your last post.

Anyway, I''d say that, from a personal viewpoint, I like playing vulnerable characters who are not special (eg, an innocent bystander or victim) but must take it upon themselves to do something special due to extraordinary situations. For example, Gordon Freeman, Max Payne (although I''d say Max less than Gordon), Abe from Abe''s Exodus. This case is the same for films.

I especially like situations where people in extremely limited and seemingly helpless situations manage to work their way up to winning the goal from there, for example, being locked up in a prison, or hiding in a cupboard on the 30th floor of a skyscraper with terrorists walking past at regular intervals.

I wouldn''t really define Harry Potter as this at all though, but Gordon Freeman, definitely.

Red Sodium

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worth mentioning is that there are many "flawed" or "antihero" type characters in FPS, but you are correct that they are not really "vulnerable" ... since 95% of FPS games are all about building up the player''s ego / matcho cool points ...

just think of the Unreal Tournament tags for killing sprees "unstopable" "rampage" "godlike" ... you get the point ...

the goal of most of these games is to completely and totally dominate everyone and everything in the world and bend it to your will (or at least be in control of it''s life and death).

I think many other types of games using FPS style play could be made, and would be fun for manyof us ... but don''t expect to tap into the exact same player market ... and the standard 14 year old gamer and the 35 year old game geek neither one like to loose or look bad - not ever.

A few of us aren''t wired that way, and we love games with challenge, and success and failure ... achievement and loss.

good luck.

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Xai I like your final point. Those who dare. I think in a search to define invincible in a computer game, you have to examine not the character but the player. This links with my earlier post. Which was getting at how death is defined by the way the external systems of the computer game deal with it.

In half-life it seems like Gordon struggles through it, with a prayer and a gun. What is actualy happening is Gordon is dieing every five minutes or so, but the game doesn't indulge in his - or anyone elses deaths, so we overlook them and proclaim him a misfit hero because he survives.

In Metal Gear Solid on the other hand, death is aknowledged and you must make a decision to rejoin life. And through this the player becomes responsible for Snakes mortality. When snake dies you regret it. You feel such closeness to snake that you are sorry when 'friends' of his are hurt or die.

I guess your choice is: Invulnerability v Mortality. This choice has to be based on your story's requirements; does it require the character to be a projection of the player, alive and kicking ass? Is an amount of detachment need so the character can die but continue as if unhurt and resolve to be a hero in his own right. Or does it require true mortality where the player not only understands, but feels, the death of their avatar? The player reflects the characters projected feelings.

Whatever you chose, the choice is integral to how both the game as software, and the game universe react to the events your lead character endures. The games mentioned demonstrate ways to affect the player and inform them of their connection to the hero far beyond the simplistic methods used by run of the mill titles. I think you might be able to apply this theory to any game hero ever.. maybe?

[edited by - DogCity on May 28, 2004 2:30:32 PM]

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quote:
Original post by Miserable
quote:
Original post by scorchsaber
And don''t even DARE think that this is some JOKE. I really don''t appreciate what happened LAST time I posted

You really need to learn to take yourself less seriously. Completely flying off the handle at every less-than-amicable is not conducive to earning respect in this community or in any other - you only make yourself look childish; immature; lacking self control.


I''m not trying to start a flamming wave in this thread, but I think that instead being sounding like you are scolding the guy you should sound like you are giving advice. Hey he finally got to made a decent post :D (except for the last thing).

And scorchsaber, maybe the first 2 post you made before should have been posted in the beginner''s forum instead.. People writing post more or less the same way you did have done jokes about newbies who want to make a great game but have no experience. That is why people at first tought your posts were jokes. And there is a reason of why there is a beginner''s forum

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eeer......yea. I guess I never thought of it. beginners forum..........

And I meant "invulnerability" as in, personality, not mortality. But some very good points. I think I will go with vulnerable, and though I am still writing the design doc (I just got my comp back, but still no internet), I am thinking over what has been written. You see, I always like seeing the same story from different veiwpoiunts at different times, so my hero is going to go from severe vulnerability to "godlike" skills, and I think there will be several campaigns to show it. But he won''t be super rambo, lets think of him like snake, shall we? Good at his job, cool, but vulnerable nonetheless. Unfortunately I have never played max payne or whatever this gordon freeman guy is in. I''m unfortunately quite broke, so I won''t understand what you are talking about for a while. But I think I get a little.
my hero will be vulnerable, but now normal-off-the-street guy. Wait for a while, Its hard to explain, anyway, thank you all, and you have all influenced my decision very much ( I was sortof planning on the rambo type). and as for the deaths, I have thought of a few ways to make them interesting...

If you DID understand, what do you think of my choice? About the vulnerability-invincibility thing? I actually took a little bit of something from the road warrior, so I think maybe you can see how it works. You know, some guy, vulnerable, gets truamatised, and becomes pretty ruthless and hardened.

PS. why is harry potter invincible? He is vulnerable I think, maybe not a good example but, he is not some godly superman in any way. explain this, it may actually help me look at my character in a different angle.

btw, do you think my posts are too long?

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By the way, just so you know, the game is supposed to be an FPS with an actual story.

Also, I am not here to get respect, I'm not here to be an idiot either, but I'm just here to help and GET help. but Ill try to remember not to bring on attacks when I don't understand how I brought them on. but Ill learn, one at a time.....

As well.....
Whe can't people just have ONE post saying something, the rest are unnececary. I believe the same thing about the last part of my post was said at least twice. once is enough, I can read. And no I am not going off the handle, when I go off the handle I make long rants and speeches, and post them on more than one forum. Believe me, I have not gone off the hook once on this forum. You definitely wouldn't like it if I did. last time I did, I posted it on 3 different websites, 10 forums, and made a speech about it at school. It was about discrimination, just so that you don't ask.

I think Ill stop these complaining posts, but just say it once, don't think Im "off my rocker" "spazzing out" "losing my cool" or anything, I am just making a point.

While I am angry.

so lets STOP talking about that, DON'T talk about THIS. and tell me what you think. this is just a reply to a few peoples comments, and no I am not angry at them, I am just clarifying.

Thank you for not thinkking otherwise.

[edited by - scorchsaber on May 29, 2004 2:59:27 PM]

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quote:

PS. why is harry potter invincible? He is vulnerable I think, maybe not a good example but, he is not some godly superman in any way. explain this, it may actually help me look at my character in a different angle.



Well, he does seem to have something that no one else at the school has, and is apparently invincible from Voldemort. Besides, he's also an unruly child, invincible from school rules pretty much. I wouldn't say he's invincible but he isn't vulnerable either.

But yeah, I noticed the films I like the most are the ones where the main character starts in a very bad situation (perhaps right in the middle of the action) through no choice of their own and has to gain power, weapons, etc, through good old ingenuity and outsmarting the enemy. Also where there is a character transformation.

PS: EDIT:
quote:

Believe me, I have not gone off the hook once on this forum. You definitely wouldn't like it if I did. last time I did, I posted it on 3 different websites, 10 forums, and made a speech about it at school. It was about discrimination, just so that you don't ask.



Nice. I think I'm starting to like you

Red Sodium

[edited by - red_sodium on May 29, 2004 7:18:56 PM]

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