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TechnoGoth

Ten games every designer should play

225 posts in this topic

Quote:
Original post by Saluk
Blast Corps
Um, just a very original puzzle/action game. You have to stop a nuclear truck from blowing up by - KNOCKING DOWN ALL THE BUILDINGS IN ITS PATH!


I am so glad I am not the only one that remembers that game! It was so FUN! I should get a N64 and that game...
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geez..no one played ICO?
great game, atmosphere(a minimilist approach to SFX was well done), game play, graphics had a very impressionistic feel

and my others in no particular order
oldskool favs:
KungFu
IkariWarriors
Original Contra
tetris

more recent favs:
chrono trigger, legend of zelda series, SMB series, secret of mana, doom/quake, starcraft, streetfighter series, mortal kombat, soul caliber (spent a lot of quarters on fighters!), metal slug, gta, resident evil, tony hawk

among others

play/design on!
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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
geez..no one played ICO?
great game, atmosphere(a minimilist approach to SFX was well done), game play, graphics had a very impressionistic feel


More information please? In particular, a link would be great if you can find a decent website (google wasn't particularly helpful, but without any additional information I wasn't able to refine my search more than "ICO") - I can't add it to the formatted list without details!

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
SMB series


Super Mario Brothers, or something else?
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Feels bad to leave so many amazing games out, but here's my list trying to cover as many genres as possible.

ICO

Gran Turismo 3

Grand Theft Auto 1 and 3

Total Annihilation

Advance Wars

Diablo 2

A Tale In The Desert

Super Mario 64

Soul Calibur

Tetris
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Quote:
Original post by Kazgoroth
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
geez..no one played ICO?
great game, atmosphere(a minimilist approach to SFX was well done), game play, graphics had a very impressionistic feel


More information please? In particular, a link would be great if you can find a decent website (google wasn't particularly helpful, but without any additional information I wasn't able to refine my search more than "ICO") - I can't add it to the formatted list without details!

Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
SMB series


Super Mario Brothers, or something else?

http://www.google.com/search?q=ICO+%2B+PS1&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official
try ICO + PS1 [smile]
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Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
http://www.google.com/search?q=ICO+%2B+PS1&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official
try ICO + PS1 [smile]


Thankyou.
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My interest in this thread was little, then I saw Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. I literally yelled out, "HOLY CRAP! PERSONA!" I was unaware there was another person that actually played that game and agrees it's on the top 10.

Top 10 games Devs need to play and why (no order):

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment - The game is a niche game, it's queer style and story is appreciated by very few. However, it's gameplay style is immense. The system pre-dates Pokémon, but in the nitty gritty is pretty similar only this is more in-depth, and of all the games of the Shin Megami Tensei series Persona 2's system is probably the best developed. Developers would also help to learn from this because while it's still a very good game, many gave up on it because they found it much harder than the normal RPG (when the average person has difficulty playing a Final Fantasy game you gotta worry about how challenging you make your RPG).

Zelda: A Link to the Past - the second 'true' Zelda game, it takes the original idea and shows how it can be expanded upon and effectively without confusing anyone or throwing in too many variables for players to watch out for. Plus it's the original Action-RPG, combining elements from two genres effectively and giving the player their own world to explore. Sometimes the simplest gameplay is the most effective.

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - very short, but a malgomation of good directing, acting, and tons of gameplay. This one game combines the elements from many genres and at no one point in the game do you ever feel like the gameplay is getting cheap or letting you down. Even backtracking in this game is fun.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - now, I haven't beat it quite yet, however this is the kind of open-ended gameplay one can only hope to look for. Oppurtunities sprout at random times and the level designs show there's more than one way to skin a cat. When you're given one setup that leads to countless ways to execute a solution you can be assured you have great replay value.

Half-Life 2 - I can't help but think that years from now HL2 will be thought of as a great sci-fi classic without regards to that border people insist lies between mainstream media and games (like appreciating Star Wars as a sci-fi movie). Varied gameplay and a fully interactive environment fueled by an interesting story captivate players into an experience as realistic as you can get out of a science fiction computer game.

Resident Evil 4 - As I equate Half-Life 2 to a great sci-fi movie I equate Resident Evil 4 to a great action/horror game. A stupid story, but everyone goes to see it because they love all the guns, explosions and endless hordes of zombified villagers to slaughter. Going at an average of 16 hours the first time through, this shows how a very simple gameplay concept can be stretched out to last if done right. Not to mention the replay value in Resident Evil games has always been there, rewarding you with plenty and still plenty more to get including items and mini-games. Still sci-fi/fantasy enough to have a sort of arcade feeling to it and not provoke any unwanted qualms with videogame violence either.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - the best blend of the action and RPG genre since Zelda. KOTOR offers tons of choices for players, with a deep conversation tree that tries to evoke feelings out of the player those that answer truthfully will find their character shaped out to be more like them as the game progresses.

X-Com: UFO Defense - an old game, but easily my favorite strategy game among many others. This is quite a thinking-man's game, anyone that loves aliens and chess would be sure to enjoy playing X-Com. A game that makes you think way far ahead into your plans as you decide how to manage and micro-manage your army of pawns. If the gameplay ever gets stale you're always motivated to see the next big breakthrough in the game, and it always comes just in time to refreshen the game and suck more hours out of your life.

Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly - two game concepts in one, that work perfectly together but defeat their own purpose soon enough. This game has it's flaws, and I have no doubt that if it weren't for these the game would garner higher praise than most of the games sharing the horror genre. The game has such a great atmosphere, and the fact that you're limited to tunnel vision in the dark and don't know where your enemy could come from makes for a very scary and exhilerating experience. If this was all the game was it'd get pretty boring. Of course it's got the same stuff every other survival horror game does, requiring you to collect objects, go to point A to point B, back to A, back to B and solve dumb puzzles (something every survival horror game needs to rid themselves of). Additionally the battle system is changed up, you fight with your camera and the camera can be upgraded with features to make it better at excercising ghosts. However, the atmosphere at this point all but dissolves when players stop being afraid of the wonderfully orchestrated atmosphere and concentrate on getting the highest score.

Tetris - I don't think this needs explaining.
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okay I'm new so First I'll say hi
1)Chrono Trigger- Seems everyone is mentioning this game. I've gotta say this is probably my fav game of all time. Its a nice length without getting boring, mainly due to it's outstanding story line. There are a lot of little touches in the game that really make you feel like you're having an affect on your surroundings. Not bad for a 16-bit game. It looks lovely and sounds just as good. It has a lot of nice touches when it comes to combat too. I'm supprised the double and tripple technique idea hasn't been copied in other games, as it adds a nice touch. The game has random battles but you don't feel cheated like you do when you play FF games. That's because the enemies are on screen. None of that fade out you're in a battle crap. I feel I could go on for ages, but it seems most people on this board have played it so know what I'm talking about. It's just a crime it wasn't released in europe.
2)Rez- okay this game gets in the list just because of the music. Add to that some of the most intresting visuals ever and some old school game play and you've got one hell of a game. Sure it's simple gameplay wise but that never make it dull. It needs to be simple as everything else is so abstract.
3)Ico-one of the best looking PS2 games to date even if it does seem to only have on texture. This has some of the best game design ever IMO. Never will you feel totaly lost or not know what to do next. The puzzles aren't simple but are presented to the player in such a way that they just know what to do next. A perfect learning curve. The relationship between the two characters is one of the best in any game. Ask yourself are you trying to get the girl to point X just so you can continue. Or is it because you want to save here?
4)Frequency-This game is the sole reason the PS2 was invented. I played this game then went and bought a PS2. Never before have I played a game where you contantle imporve at, and constantly get rewarded. I guess many wont of heard of this game but please try and find it. There was a second game called amplitude, but I always though Frequency was better.
5)Halo-Probably the best example of an FPS since doom2 (whihc would have been in this list if it wasn't for Halo). Befect gun balance. Some brilliant game design like the shield just adds new life to the fps style of game. Apart from some dull level design in places this game is close to perfect. The one thing I love about this game (that was destroyed in Halo 2) is the weapon balance. It's the only fps game where the game doesn't give you bigger guns for bigger monsters. Every gun is as good as the next. Sure some guns are more powerful like the rocket launcer, but it isn't right for every situation. The grate thing about Halo is how you don't need bigger guns for bigger monsters just a different approach to gameplay. This sadly I think is missed by a lot of people, and Bungie.
6)GTA Vice City- I haven't played the latest GTA yet so I'll stick with VC until then. Maybe not for everyone but just the fact that the designers have left it up to the player to decide how they want to play the game, makes the game. People have tried to imitate the style but none have come close, maybe that says something about rockstar. Sure the missions become the same and a little like trial and error, but mix that up with what ever you want to do in the city and the game never gets dull. I still sometimes think about how fun it would be to drive along the beach on a bike.....then maybe steal a chopper.
7)Jet Set Radio Future-Don't think this has been mentioned. Firstly the music, what can I say I love it. I loved jet set radio but after playing future I find it hard to go back because sega improved upon the first so much it hurts. Well worth picking up if you haven't played it. A game with so much style you'll be begging for more.
8)Dues Ex-The simple fact is everyone should love this game. The fact that there is a FPS that lets you decide how you're gonna play. Good replay and a cliche story what more do you want.
9)Shenmue-not everyone likes this and I can understand why. But put simply it was a milestone in game history IMO. No other game has blended genres quite as well as shenmue. One of the best looking console game when it came out and for some time after. I just hope they finish the story with a third.
10) tough one this but I'm gonna go for Tiger Woods PGA- not the best game ever but probably one of the best sport titles ever. The chanlenge and reward factors is this game are balanced so right you'll be coming back and playing for months. Add to that great multiplayer and you've got a top class game.

Here are some other games that didn't make it into the list. Not the list is not my top ten games but what I think are some fo the most important games. Hard to say that with so few classic games. But these games have learnet from the classics, now we need to learn from them.
Secret of Mana, Sim City, Monkey Island, Fallout, Samba De Amigo, Beat Mania, Eye Toy Play and Super Mario 64.
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I've seen Axis and Allies mentioned a few times in here, and while it is a very good game, and I love it, I don't consider it a 'Master of Design' kind of game. The fact that, played straight out of the box, the Allies should *never* lose might have something to do with that. The problem is that it's a statistics-based game, and as such, there is a statistically 'best' way to play it out (namely, buy truckloads of infantry).

Anway, my contributions.

1.) Baldur's Gate II - yes, it has its flaws, but I still think it has one of the best storylines and presentations of any RPG I've ever played. Jon Irenicus is just the perfect villain; tragically flawed, uncompromising, mercyless, and completely twisted.

2.) Tetris Attack for SNES - This game is as addicting as crack, 10x better than regular tetris in my opinion. But, the game really shines in its multiplayer mode, I don't know if I've ever played a more furious multiplayer game. And it's actually a pretty good little puzzle/tactics game; some say that there's a ton of luck involved, but I've found that there is a lot of real skill in the game.

3.) Dune II - where RTS all started. Play it to see how little progress has really been made in most RTS games

4.) Zelda series - At one time I could boast about playing every Zelda game made (inclduing the terrible one for the 3DO (or was it CDI?). Zelda 1 and 3 are masterpieces, and I'm actually a big fan of Zelda 2, although most people blasted it. True, they aren't RPGs, more like adventure games.

5.) Civilization I - another vote for Civ here, I played this game a rediculous amount of time back in the day.

6.) Wing Commander III - come on, you play as Luke Skywalker fighting against the Kilrathi. I actually really enjoyed the 'interactive fiction' element of the game. It had a great cast (the acting was adequate considering it was a freaking game). And the gameplay was amazing (though, Prophecy took space-shooters to a new level in gameplay it hasn't reached since. I really, really want a multiplayer WC:Prophecy type game)

7.) Doom II - I still like playing this game multiplayer, the high-paced frenzied action is just superb, and the source code ports allow it to be played over the Net (Doomsday is the best source port now, by far)

8.) Chess - don't really need to defend this one

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Personally I don't think you could possibly make a satisfactory top ten list for this sort of thing, there are just too many differeing opinions and too many great games. A designer should play as many games as they can get their hands on so they can learn what works and what doesn't. Anyway, heres a very short list of some games you should play if you never have:

Puyo Puyo - quite possible the greatest action-puzzle game ever made
The Jumper Series (www.helixgamesinc.com) - The most frustrating games I couldn't put down. *WARNING: REMOVE EASILY BREAKABLE OBJECTS FROM COMPUTER AREA BEFORE PLAYING*
X-Com Ufo Defense/Enemy Unknown - enough has been said about this already
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1. The Sims
2. The Sims2( and EP's)
3. Fable
4. GTA: San Andreas
5. Breakout
6. Halo(or 2)
7. Dreiver3
8. Wolfenstein( your choice of any)
9. Stronghold or any other Medeivel game
10. Galaga
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Daikatana -- to see why so many people hated it, and to see why there's still people around who love it.

The Neverhood -- One of the most unique games I;ve ever played.

DOOM 3 -- to see the effect atmosphere, tech, and wow factor can have on an otherwise basic shooter. If you're designing a horror game Aliens vs predator is also one to look into.

Unreal

Sonic the Hedgehog
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Quote:
Original post by Al Gorithm
Daikatana -- to see why so many people hated it, and to see why there's still people around who love it.


Yes, excellent point, I'll definately be putting that into the organised list, we havn't got too many examples of bad features yet. Thanks for the other suggestions too.
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Quickly browsing the thread I saw lots of Starcraft and little of (in my opinion) the more superior Total Annihilation. Total balance, massive battles, plenty of strategy, and new unit add-ons.
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Oh man aliens vs predator! I forgot all about that game. Where is my cd...


Scariest game ever (at least as marine).

Being an alien running on the walls, sneaking up on a marine, aiming perfectly, and biting the head? Gameplay blisssssss.
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I remember an old game that I think every designer should play, called Iron Helix. Although it was not a particularly good game overall, it was one of the few games I can remember that could really get my adrenaline pumping.
It used pre-rendered environments that were navigated in steps, very much like Myst. The player had to explore an abandoned spaceship via a tele-operated robot, which had no weapons, and try to piece together what happened to the crew. However, there was also a security robot patrolling the ship which would destroy your probe on sight. If I remember correctly, you only got one probe, so there were no second chances. The security robot would normally just patrol on a random path, but would come to investigate certain player actions such as calling an elevator. The trick was to learn the layout of the ship and find ways to lure the robot away from where you wanted to be.
The main objective of the game was not all that interesting, but trying to evade that security robot was really fun.
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I have noticed in the stickied ordered post that Far Cry was not in the list. I think it should be in there, just to see that a FPS CAN be done without lighting effects and deep shadows. Plain light and tropical landscapes can be just as fear-inducing.
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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I have noticed in the stickied ordered post that Far Cry was not in the list. I think it should be in there, just to see that a FPS CAN be done without lighting effects and deep shadows. Plain light and tropical landscapes can be just as fear-inducing.


It's on the list I'm working from, it just hasn't been added yet; It's taking me quite some time to locate good information and write up summaries for all the games (about 130 of 'em left) but I'm getting there. [smile] Thanks for the observation about the setting, I'll keep it in mind when I write up the summary.
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In the sticky list seem to be missing some SNES platform classics, but i'll mention those who haven't been mentioned before.

Super Mario Brothers 3 / Super Mario World
these two estabilished the state of the art in platform games in their era. It doesn't get any better than that.

Yoshi's Story
hand-drawn style, unheard of at the time. Original graphic style, classic SMB gameplay.

Earthworm Jim ( and EWJ2? tho good was more of the same.)
Everyone *MUST* play this one as well, the humour, great characters, unique graphic style, great music and fast gameplay (and intermission levels) make it a reall classic in my view. Pity they sold out the property and now its gone.


cheers!
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Quote:
Original post by Madster
In the sticky list seem to be missing some SNES platform classics, but i'll mention those who haven't been mentioned before.

Super Mario Brothers 3 / Super Mario World
these two estabilished the state of the art in platform games in their era. It doesn't get any better than that.

Yoshi's Story
hand-drawn style, unheard of at the time. Original graphic style, classic SMB gameplay.

Earthworm Jim ( and EWJ2? tho good was more of the same.)
Everyone *MUST* play this one as well, the humour, great characters, unique graphic style, great music and fast gameplay (and intermission levels) make it a reall classic in my view. Pity they sold out the property and now its gone.


cheers!


They're coming, it's just taking me a while to finish the list.
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-Thief 3: all the fps in the list are shooters, the list lack of stealth games, I think Thief 3 is a perfect (if not the best) example

-Chrono trigger: the problem of the jap rpg is the leveling fase, that part of the game where you have finished all side quests, but your pgs are not strong enought to beat the final boss. Chrono trigger is very long, so your pgs are at full strenght just with the main quest, there are few others jap rpgs with this merit

-Rayman 3: the best platform ever for pc

-Mario 64: I will not indulge on this game because all that someone may say about M64 is already said by someone else (with a better english too :) )

-Total Annihlation: the best AI in an rts. In Warcraft 3 the AI track a line, chose a type of unit, and keep attack from he same side with the same units. In TA the AI chose units and course of action depending on the defensis of the player base, and organise the defense of the base against the type of units the player use to attack.

where are the rpgs that made history? Fallout, Ultima 8

note: we may add a section with bad games, some game one has to play to know what we intend for a bad work, as (for me, I have my reasons, and these examples are not intended as bad games for "we" but, for the moment, just for ME) Outcast or Half Life 2 (single player).

_____
edit

WHOA!!!! How may I forgot Earthworm Jim!!! It MUST be added
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Thanks for your thoughts/suggestions. I've been taking a little break from updating the list, but I'm gonna get going with it again this weekend.
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