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collecting things

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What are the most cool and fun things a game has ever asked you to collect? What made them cool and fun? Personally I like keys, because you know they're going to unlock something later, and puzzle pieces because you want to know where you will assemble them and what will happen when you do... basically anything you can anticipate using to do soething interesting. On the other hand I don't like collecting upgraded weapons and armor for characters because usually t's just a name and a stat increase, they're only cool if equipping them changes the character's graphic or they have some new behavior that affects battle strategy.

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I'm all about upgrading the character, actually. Not so much in the "This new weapon has +5 ATK, while my old one only had +4! Score!" sense but in the "actually changes gameplay" sense. That is, games like Metroid, not more standard RPGs. Changing the character's appearance is a bonus, and goes a long way towards making me feel better about the upgrades that *do* just improve your stats (e.g. the different armors in Metroid), but it's not strictly necessary. The real fun is in stopping near the end of the game and considering all the neat tricks you can do now that you couldn't when you started out.

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Anything from Tombi! on the Playstation. Storing live chicks in his stomach due to a lack of a better container was probably my favourite.

Man that was a hard game to finish 100%

[Edited by - Neil Kerkin on January 3, 2005 11:16:39 PM]

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I thought it was neat in the Suikoden games that a lot of the minor features that come enabled initially in other RPGs could be unlocked by finding new characters and items. (Like changing window color or other minor stuff.) For that matter collecting new characters was just neat. "Hey, I wonder if this guy can do a combo attack if I get this other guy in a party with him."

In other games, I like collecting recipe ingredients. Like Arcanum, where practically anything could be turned into a weapon of mass destruction after applying enough schematics (slight exaggeration). Of course that's only fun when there's property you can appropriate to turn into your own private mad scientist laboratory. Another perfect example: Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire. This only really works if there are items with unique capabilities that you can't get otherwise. Like in Neverwinter Nights I rarely felt that the effort that went into assembling reagents together to make a magic wand was worth it, since I could usually just buy the same thing for less work.

And because I have a Y chromosome, I enjoyed collecting basically everything in DOAXBV. That one probably doesn't need to be explained further.

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I actually have to disagree with the puzzle pieces and key collectables being fun. Keys generally mean that there is no alternative route to wherever it is you are trying to get (though not always the case), which in many games only serves to highlight the linear nature of the gameplay. Puzzle pieces can be interesting, but they can also be overdone, if you have all kinds of puzzle pieces then it becomes a dull administrative job to keep track of what pieces are for what puzzle, that is assuming that you are even aware of which pieces are for which puzzle, but I guess this depends on how puzzles are implemented in the game.

I actuallly prefer items and character perks/skills. Okay, items may only effect stats, but they usually give you a whole new look to your character which helps personalise your avatar, they also allow you to adapt to whatever style of gameplay you prefer which is what I want, replay value! I also love collecting interesting abilities because again, they grant you access to new styles of play and it is fun as mentioned previously, to look back and see what you can do now that you coudn't previously.

Anyhow thats my take on it, but thats not to say everyone thinks like me, and I can appreciate that others like different things.

Cheers,

Steve

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This is a little off topic but it is still related I think.

I liked collecting power-ups in classics like Gradius. With each powerup you had new missles and lasers shooting out in every direction. When your ship was totally pimped out you could blow away everything on the screen with ease, but it still took just one stray bullet lost in the midst of all of yours to take you down to earth.

I also liked collecting items off corpses, because I knew there was only one way to get them.

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I remember Gradius, that game was fun. :D

I usually pimped out my ride with Charge Laser, a ton of Options and the Shrink force field to make it easier to avoid enemy fire. On a more related note, finding new items/weapons that do cool things was always a treat. There was nothing like seeing that special shiny weapon of mass destruction for the first time and going "w00t!" while you pull the trigger to see what it does. Like a kid in a candy store. XD

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The problem with most collectable items is that they fall into one of two categories: either, they're nice but useless; or, they're vital but boring.

Trading cards - I remember the Simpsons game, Virtual Springfield, had these - can be nice to collect if done well, but I wouldn't go out of my way to look for them (short of trying to collect all of them when I've run out of other things to do). Nice but useless.

Keys, puzzle pieces, they're play tokens - simple 'obtain this item to proceed to the next section' - vital but boring. You can negate that a bit by introducing them a while before they're required, but it'll come back and bite you in the ass tenfold if the player eventually reaches the obstacle and discovers that they have to go back through half the game looking for the key.

The ideal combination is a mixture of the two. Items which are nice to have, and are also useful (though.. not too useful, because if you've got no other choice but to collect them, then it takes much of the fun out of it). If I've been sent on a quest to collect a CD from the king's daughter's best friend's house at the other end of the kingdom, then I'd like to be able to listen to it while I walk back.

Myst is an example of a game that sort of manages that, actually. You have to obtain keys from books in the library on Myst island - not physical keys, of course, but codes and sequences that you input around the island to progress - but while searching through the books for these codes, you can read quite a lot about the history of the island, the way this strange new world works, and so on. I think that - backstory - is often one of the best things to deliver as a secondary use for a collectable; if you're going to make me collect the five pieces of a sacred stone tablet, then at least put something interesting on them for me to read. [smile]

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I find any type of 'collectable' resource in games (be it items, or even the players score) become more effective the more tangible they are. By this I mean they:

a) are immediately visible,
eg: your score wouldn't be as interesting if you had to go to another screen to see it, so make sure it's on the main game screen, and make it readily apparent when it changes (animate it, play sounds, etc...)

b) are interactive/can be manipulated somehow
c) have some impact on the game world, and
d) (optional) have a reason to be collected (or: make collecting them a goal in of itself, and reward the player meaningfully)

Impact doesn't necessarily mean it has to make the player more powerful or change the rules of the game (though that does work): as long as it does something visible (see part A), or apparent that the user can admire/show off.

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I feel that the rares trade in Ultima Online has to be mentioned at this point. Its fine enough buying and placing a house on some nice island, but the real pleasure comes when you manage to fill it to the rafters (literally) with random semi-rare and very-rare trinkets.

A friend of mine went so far as to open a museum of rare items, He even had a few bits of sea from years ago that were grabed when the server went online for the first time. Thats a real classic item collectors game. Bit sad realy.

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I liked collecting photos in Beyond Good & Evil. Giving the main character a camera was a clever innovation. (I remember Metal Gear Solid 2 also had a camera, but I despise the MGS series.)

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Personally, I don't really like collecting in-game items. I don't mind doing so either, but I prefer the automagic character progression (things like gaining a new attack combo that isn't neccessarily more powerful but perhaps more powerful in some situations and worse in others to give more overall options).

If you must include item collection, I kind of like the way Zelda: A Link to the Past did it. Almost all the items were required, but they were obtained in the normal course of progression so it wasn't a major pain to get those items. The remaining items were out of the way so it took some work (and possibly ingenuity) to obtain them, but it was always worth it as they could be very helpful.

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What about.. an adventure, platformer or action rpg game with 1 big world where.. you start with your 1 damage wooden sword, 3 hp and 1 mana. Then you continue happily to battle baddies to save your chick, every time you finish an area of the game you learn a new way of using your wooden sword. I found 3 mana enhacing potions that makes you have 4 mana now, and but hey, not only you can do your past techniques twice but now suddently you can do level 2 techniques that take 2 mana but are around 1.5 times more powerfull! Might not be as good in the long run but for enemies who hide, cover, move quickly or have an special attack that takes away 2 valuable hp points instead of one it sounds like a better idea to use your new techs.

If you beat the boss of the third area in less than the average time most beta testers took * 1.2, you get a hp enhacing potion making you have 4 hp now! Strangely enough you have multiplied your mana count by 4, but the enemy count from the beginning of the game to this moment have multiplied by 8. And also your hp has been adden 1/3 more, but the enemies' attack power have multiplied by 1.5 and their hp has grown by 1.5 too!! Sound like the game is getting tougher, with enemies progressing more than you in the stats department.. but you know, you are becoming more and more skilled, that your supreme ways can still beat them! But it still gives you a sense of achievement, even more when you from time to time have to go to the beginning area to recover your hp and mana, and squash those puny enemies that you fought at the beginning and tought they were as good as you.

When you are around 10% of the game, and you are finally used enough to the game that your are about to master most of the cool stuff you can do with your wooden sword(slashing, thrusting, inserting it on your enemies' holes, use it to block enemies' attacks and missiles), you suddently find a bunch of a new, armored and big kind of baddie. They don't really attack you unless you get too close, but since we all know that as the player it's your duty to kill every enemy in sight, you go after them.

After a bloody battle that prolly that leaves you with 1 hp and 0 mana (even tought when you got there you didn't had full mana because you used a tech to get out of hairy situation just before you found the baddies so you just had 3 out of 4), you find what your enemies where looking at, a new shiny (stainless) steel sword. You try to lift it but ugh, seems like your character is having a rough time. He moves a little slower because he is used to the weight of the trusty wooden sword, but man, you can do now 2 damage now! And even tought you can't use your insert-wooden-sword-in-enemies-holes technique anymore that was the best way of defeating some enemies because your new sword is too big, you now can cover more efficiently, and can do a slash technique that forms a wave that keeps going forward, hitting every enemy in it's path!

Of course you just don't dump your wooden sword, everyone knows that you can have two swords, using them together or using one when the other one is hidden! Well you can't use the two swords since using your new sword is heavy, but there are enemies best beaten with the insert-wooden-sword-in-enemies-holes so you still use it sometimes, it's not worthless.

Slowly you get more dexterity with your sword, but before you get to be the same speed as with the wooden sword, You find another hp enhacing potion. Wow, seems like the potion helped you achieve the dexterity you always wanted! who knew that having 5 hp would give you a boost at improving dexterity? not only that but you can even use the two swords at once now! Well it isn't a good idea against more than 1 enemy because using more than 1 sword isn't effective when they are divided, and the multiple enemies take care of it. Oh well it's still great for bosses!.. of you go to continue in the path of saving that gal that is so frigging hot..

Oh another mana enhacing potion! Another area beaten but you know, enemies seem to be getting smarter, when I attack the same way the same enemy twice they almost always cover my attacks, and they plan, attacking with long range weapons while some enemies with stronger short range weapons cover them..

Anyways, I found another hp enhacing potion, and another area was beaten. It's cool that everytime I finish an area I get a new technique for each of the swords, even tought the techniques gotten in one place an another place are similar, but not the same! good for different purposes!

Oh, found another mana enhacing potion! what? now you can use compound combo techniques like the thrust-with-wooden-sword-Slash-with-steel-sword-get-wooden-sword-inside-enemy-hole-Finish-with-powerful-steel-sword-attack when using two swords that take your full 6 mana bar, but are guaranteed leave the bosses at around 10% of it's full health! Tought it's pretty hard to time all the 4 attacks perfectly to get all the hits..

Wow, this boss left a new weapon, it's sort of a two blade sword that does 4 damage! but dang, I can just carry 2 weapons at a time, so which one am I gonna leave.. seems like I can make 20 damage and 3 moves per second techniques(more moves per second means more enemies can be tackled in less time and that they have less time to react) with the wooden sword and the two blade sword even tought my two swords normal attacks do around 5 damage with 2 moves per second, but that with the steel sword and the two blade sword my techniques now do 15 damage with 1 moves per second and my normal attacks do around 6 damage with 1 move per second...

Gee which one should I leave behind, the wooden sword or the steel sword? using the steel or wooden sword alone just got obsoleted by the dual blade sword, seeing as it is more effective than any of the previous two weapons alone against all enemies... I wonder if I will stay here wondering which one should I pick all the time or go to get the girl?

Sometimes I wonder if she is really worth is, she wasn't that cute anyways..

Hope this thing make things clearer instead of being too confusing XD

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I always found collecting at least 1 of every in-game item to be fun. Of course, it'd suck in a most annoying way if the game only gave you 1 of a particular item and it was one of those crucial things you'll end up never using because you don't want to waste it, and then when you finally get really far up in the game, you realize that the item isn't useful anymore.

Here, I'll put it a different way. I liked to keep the Weapons and Armor I didn't use anymore, but I hated getting just that 1 Fire Scroll and never finding another.

Skill collecting is sometimes fun. Its more the psychological effect of making that list longer, which I suppose is the same thing Weapon and Armor collecting does.

Keys and Puzzle items don't do it for me, specifically because it leaves that nagging doubt that goes something like "Dammit, now wheres the other one? I know I'm missing at least one."

I've been playing Phantom Brave lately (I own Disgaea also) and found that unlocking Classes was a lot of fun. The whole item and weapon collecting thing lost it's effect, since theres no uniqueness to it. I mean, that one weapons thats got the +10000 Attack, I'm keeping my hands on that, but thats only because I put a buttload of work into it.

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My favorite collectibles are those that unlock customization of looks, like in dead or alive. Gaining new abilities/stuff to do and such is cool, but I dislike being prevented from substantial features in a game. style is enough reward for me.

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I always liked collections that were in fact collectables and that you could do things with. Such as in shenmue where you can collect various vending machine toys, baubles, and souviners and then sell them either as complete sets or indvidual pieces. I always thought that it would make an interesting sideline for a game where it had an alternative market economy based entirly on barting collectables. It could be used in almost any kind of game where collection are possible for instance in a game set on a space station or space ship they might trade objects for other objects need a new powercell? some one might trade you one for a chess set, Want to get some extra time in the relaxation chamber? Some one might trade you their time allowence that week for a couple of fresh apples or a necklace.

I also thought it would be fun to have a collectable card game in a game where all the cards are people, places, things, and events in the game.

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I'd like to see a side-quest sort of thing where I collect pieces of an artifact or something. Have them distributed such that getting them all implies that you've completed 100% of the game, and then, when I've got them all, unlock some sort of feature that basically amounts to meta-gaming. Some way to explore the map more quickly, or to excel at the mini-games, or to otherwise be able to enjoy all my favorite aspects of the game without earning them again and again.

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask had this, sort of. If you collected all the masks, you could get the "Fierce Deity Mask", which basically turned you into a hellishly powerful adult Link, who could trash bosses in no time. That way, I could see the end of the game any time I wanted to, without struggling through the boss fight each time.

Better than a gallery mode, and more satisfying than just getting some damned uber-weapon. If I've done everything in the game, I want a little medal and a key to the city. I want to get into all the trendy nightspots, get all the girls, and christen all the ships. Heck, make me mayor.

I'm ranting off-topic now, but I guess I'll sum up by saying I don't care what I'm collecting, as long as I get a real reward for it. The dogtags in MGS: The Twin Snakes were the cruelest joke of all.

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that's easy!

Pokemon :D

Not only can you collect new ones but you can change your team and upgrade them individually or make a 2nd team or just have fun collecting them all. nobody has made a better collecting game than Pokemon!!

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I find that one of the most tiresome aspects of RPG's is the ratpacking phenomenon that tends to get foisted on to you. Whenever you see a new item, you can't always be sure whether it's a useful item, an essential plot item, or a worthless heap of junk.

You end up with either a backpack chock full of useless crap that you have to sift through whenever you access the inventory, or you end up backtracking through half the game trying to find - or remember where you found and discarded - some random item because you need it to progress to the next section.

Anyway, I agree that items that change appearance, or have more interesting in game effects than just '+1 damage' are generally good. I also quite like the idea of collecting certain objects for certain rewards (such as ICC's mask example) which aren't necessarily needed to complete the game, but can open up cool features or secrets. I would prefer it though if the value or purpose of any given item is made reasonably clear when I find it - or before I find it - so that I don't have to collect six billion useless items on the off chance one of them does something.

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I just rented Psi Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, and there are "evil garden gnomes" hidden in the game. Each one unlocks a "secret mission". The thing is, they aren't really missions at all, but more like showcases of the physics engine and control systems. One is a game of pool with invisible balls, where you have to use the "Aura Vision" skill to spot the balls, and then use pyrokinesis to blow up fuel barrels in an attempt to pocket them all. Cute little games like that contribute to replay value, and offer an opportunity to gain proficiency.

My favorite so far is called "bottomless pit", and is an obstacle course for "TK Surfing", the technique of standing on something and levitating it telekinetically, to fly. Fun stuff.

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Quote:
Original post by Tom
I liked collecting photos in Beyond Good & Evil. Giving the main character a camera was a clever innovation. (I remember Metal Gear Solid 2 also had a camera, but I despise the MGS series.)


I second BG&E. Very cool.

I like collectibles to be big, shiny and epilepsy-inducing. In RPGs I like to be able to combine objects intuitively: corn + torch = popcorn :)

I'm also a fan of redundancy (to an extent). It seems unrealistic to me that there is only one key to every door. I remember in System Shock, there were two of exactly the same keycard in the same place - I liked that.

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