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Lubb

Motivating Progress

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Lubb    122
- Let''s say we have a game set inside a building. The player will start on the first floor, and the game''s conclusion is somewhere at the top of the building. What (do you think) is the best way to motivate progress in a game? As I see it, there are only two ways: the players can be enticed by greater rewards at higher levels (and also presented with increasing numbers/increasing toughness of enemies), or they can be driven out of their current position by enemies advancing "behind" them. - Most games I see usually offer greater rewards, and only ocasionally during play rely on advancing enemies to dislocate the player. -To put a real example in your head, let''s say we made another version of Half-Life. It starts out like normal but we modified it so that for every fifteen or thirty seconds you stayed in a level, one more monster would ''transport'' in, at some point near you and between you and the only way to exit the level. As it stands, you can kill all the monsters on a level and then go around picking up anything you want that''s there, which is about as exiting as taking out the garbage. -There''s a couple places in the game where headrabs just keep comin'', and they are definitely high-stress areas to be hanging around near. If the whole game was like that, would it be more interesting to play, or less? - Lubb

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Lubb    122
- It seems to me, to be much more exciting during those moments when you are being chased by an enemy that you cannot defeat, than when you are on the offensive and picking off enemies that are easy to kill. - MC

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borngamer    204
It seems to me that you could use your environment to motivate your players to move on in the game. In some games, it would not be very hard to make progress an urgent necessity. For example, if you have a FPS game where the player is fighting in a damaged (or infested) space station, the oxygen supply in the station could be nil. Only be reaching certain locations that have oxygen refill tanks (a limited supply), can your player breathe and survive. By doing something like this, you force you player into constant movement.

Unfortunately a side effect to this is you may lose some players who like to take it slow and plan their attacks.

borngamer


Man was born to game, we only work to pay for our toys!

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Lubb    122
quote:
.....For example, if you have a FPS game where the player is fighting in a damaged (or infested) space station, the oxygen supply in the station could be nil. Only be reaching certain locations that have oxygen refill tanks (a limited supply), can your player breathe and survive. By doing something like this, you force you player into constant movement. ..... -borngamer

- That''s not quite the same situation: assuming the space station example, forcing the player to find oxygen tanks forces them towards a certain point. Increasing numbers of marauding monsters forces the player to simply keep moving , because you can''t kill off all the monsters. - Lubb

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Speaking for those who like to explore games, I do not really like games that use a time limit to motivate me. I play slowly, and often spend time screwing around just to see what happens. While I understand the need for time limits, it should be a very long time relative to the time I need to complete the action in a direct manner.

I don''t think player motivation can be generated well from game mechanics. This tends to hurt the atmosphere, I think.

There are better ways: 1) Establish exiting the top as the victory condition. Players understand this very well.
2) Story or plot

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Nazrix    307
One thing you'd have to accont for is that the players may not know that they can't kill all the mosters and may get frustrated.

It would be interesting if you could change the way the players think and actually convince them that they must retreat. It would be different than most games.


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix
""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 10, 2000 9:12:33 PM

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Wavinator    2017
I think being driven is a damn fine idea! Yes, you''ll lose folks who want to explore, but (fortunately or unfortunately) a game can''t be all things to all people.

A favorite arcade shooter of mine is a game called Swarm. In it you''re trying to collect little energy doodads while enemies keep warping into the level. The longer it takes you on the higher levels, the more waves keep coming in.

What could be really cool would be to use this mechanic to your advantage: Think of classic monster movies, like Night of the Living Dead. The monsters are everywhere, and it''s getting worse and worse. Your only choice is to hole up, dash out, try to make it to the stairs, or hairy elevator shaft climb, or a lil'' walk out on the ledge 20 floors up.

Maybe you could allow players to bar doors, create barricades, and ultimately try to get to the rooftop (and freedom!)

Just make sure you tell players what''s up, and what their in for. I think many will go for it.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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MadKeithV    992
Alien vs. Predator

And in my opinion it sucked royally.


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~

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capn_midnight    1707
going from the bottom to the top of a building when something is chasing you is just plain stupid. You''re basically cornering yourself. How about this-- you parachute onto the top of the building to infultrate it and accomplish some task. You plan to go back to the roof and repel down the side of the building or take a helicopter out or do a BASE jump or something. You''ve been told it should be a piece of cake. But when you get to the objective, you see that you''ve been watched the entire time and that they''ve blocked off the roof with mucho baddies that you could abviously not get through. The baddies don''t know that you know that they know that your there (whew...that''s a mouthful), so they concetrate most of their efforts on the roof. So instead, you decide to blast your way through the front. This gives a few baddies in front of you, while a ton of them behind you forcing you along. You can''t kill all of them, but maybe a few, and you''ll have to shoot over you shoulder while running. Watch out for them stair wells! And don''t take the elevator, because you know they''ll be waiting for you at the next floor.


shut up
CAN I GET A WOO WOO!

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Jumpster    122
Thanks capn'' for pointing out the obvious. I was just about to point it out myself. I think I like the storyline you were suggesting... more meaningful. In my opinion anyway.

Regards,
Jumpster



Semper Fi

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
- The building may not have been the best example; I was just trying to offer an example of a level where there''s a "typical" amount of monsters between the exit and you but as you spend more and more time on that level, more monsters appear "around" you (mostly behind, I guess, , -maybe , ,). The more I think about it, the more this "killing off all the monsters" bit just seems rather lame to me.
~There''s a point in the HL mod DarkStar where there''s a transporter, and aliens keep transporting in, but if they don''t see you the one just stands in the transporter beam, "blocking the way" for others, it seems. It''s only if you lure him away from the transporter that more appear. And there''s a task that you have to do right there, well within range, so it''s not impossible to move around the area, it just has to be worthwhile for you to risk taking damage for whatever you''re looking for. You do end up turning their transporter off, but until you figure out how that''s done you have to deal with an endless supply of aliens, and you always have to watch your back. - I do note that (if you have seen the game) they have set up some unusual conditions in that area, such as how the aliens can''t see through the glass chamber area, only through the doorway. My guess is that just putting the aliens'' transporter in the open was too difficult for most players to deal with. - Lubb

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Facehat    696
I'm not sure I like either of the methods described. Rewards tend to stop working after a while, and the other method seems to railroad the player along.

So, my own opinion... make goals for the player to accomplish, but make the goals matter emotionally to the player.

For example, take Final Fantasy 7. Killing off Aeris was a stroke of genius! It was so damn manipulative, it's not even funny -- but it worked! And it made the goal of killing Sephiroth matter much more to the player because it caused many players to genuinely hate him.

In other words, I'm suggesting that we pull the players emotional strings, for lack of a better way to put it.


----------------------------------------
"Before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes." -- Deep Thoughts

Edited by - The Senshi on October 11, 2000 8:59:22 PM

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Dak Lozar    122
I would have to agree with The Senshi... I''m not entirely sure that either of these would be effective motivators.

Maybe a combination of the two. E.g.; On the first level you need to get to the 2nd because there is a more powerful weapon... Once on the second level your forced to the third by a band of enemy''s and you can''t go back down.

Or using your building example... why not start them at the top... and they need to get to the ground floor by a certain time or they will be trapped in a building that is about to be demolished.

Or start the player on the 10th floor of a 20 story building... it''s the players decision as to which way he goes
That could be interesting...

Dave "Dak Lozar"Loeser

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Nazrix    307
I think motivating the player through emotions is really great. I have never played the FF games though really.


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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aakks    122
In one of the crash bandicoots (or more than one, i forget ) there were levels where a giant boulder came rolling behind you, so you had no choice but to outrun it as fast and frantically as you could. I didn''t like the camera position on these levels, but otherwise they were a BLAST. But, they were only a blast because they only occured once every four or five levels. Variety variety variety, with a central theme of course .

aakks

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Lubb    122
The problem with allowing a (single) player to kill off all of the enemies on a level and then wander around feely is that after all the enemies are dead, the player is no longer -actively- at risk, in that level (I guess you might fall off a cliff or down a hole or something, but you don''t need to worry about anything actually attacking you until you exit the level).
~~~ I can''t think of any examples of that in board games: for instance, in checkers, all of your pieces are always at some degree of danger. There''s no way you can choose to just sit in one safe place within the game and choose not to be at risk.
You could still have instances of limited numbers of enemies, where it made sense, but it''s difficult for me to imagine why you''d want to do it everywhere. - Lubb

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