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TechnoGoth

Ten games every designer should play

225 posts in this topic

Dungeon Keeper - Disapointed DK3 was cancelled. Someone should pick up the project ;-)

Final Fantasy 4, 6 - I own the original on the NES but those two games were and still are my favourite in the series. I think the newer ones are crap and lost touch of what was really important in the FF series. Espers were just damn cool!

Warcraft (series?) - I first saw this at my cousins and was impressed at his line of archers that kept any orc from getting close. AI wasn't good but the fact that you could build an army was so wicked... I discovered RTS.

Hugo and House of Horror, Hugo in the Jungle - Old DOS games where you had to type in your actions. Never figured out how to get pass the guard in the first game, but finished the 3rd. I think it's comparable to King's Quest...

Gazillionaire - Indie game, simple space trading sim. It had a nice comedic feel and introduced me to the trading games, because of Gaz I'll make a space sim one day :)

River City Ransom - Come on, first street brawler, or first really cool street brawler. I still play it! Just a really wicked game. No Final Fight game was ever able to surpass RCR!

Super Smash Bros - I think it redefines the fighting genre. Just really different and really wicked.

Zelda (Link to the Past, Link's Awakening) - IMHO the best two titles. OoT was just felt like a remake of LttP. Windwaker is worth mentioning because it was completly different then the rest, so it does deserver a spot!


Can't think of anything else right now :P
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Just in regard to this topic.

I feel that there are a number of important games missing.

Tabletop is missing Dungeons and Dragons and Risk, both of which I believe show advancements in their respective play-styles.

RTS is missing Total Annihilation, who could forget the one new bot every week for download, not to mention the great content and deep gameplay.

RPG is missing Fallout 2, my personal favourite RPG. When it comes to originality of storyline and taking RPGs out of the stereotypical dungeon, Fallout 2 is the original.

There are two games which I feel are missing but don't fit in to an individual category, MGS and Deus Ex Machina. Both are excellent games in terms of gameplay and content.
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(in no particular order)
1)Marathon (personally, I liked M2: Durandal the best)
One of the best storylines I've ever seen in a game, a meticulously crafted universe.
2)Age of Empires II / Starcraft (both apply here)
just and RTS, but one whose controls seemed intuitave and a multi-civilization system that presented different styles of play
3)GTA (pick one, they're all good for this)
Sandbox gameplay. The "do anything you like" atmosphere is just a different kind of fun.
4)Halo, (yes, another FPS) - storyline, immersive. Good soundtrack, atmosphere.
an AI that does more than hide behind crates and shoot.
5)Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
One of the few Nintendo game I liked, OoT is a great story, with just the right amount of fun thrown in.
6) Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
The game is one of the more innovative of the genre. The atmosphere is amazing and co-op and its unique adverserial multiplayer, and its brilliant (not the best word for it sometimes...) AI.
7)The Kingdom of Loathing
http://www.kingdomofloathing.com
An example of brilliance through comedy. One of the best examples that gameplay counts over graphics. Try it, its free.
8)Commander Keen series.
Just... ...fun! A great platform game.
9)Knights of the Old Republic
Immersive RPG! Well thought out.
10)Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
An FPS with an intresting dynamic (force powers)
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Reading this thread one thinks that a designer will never have time to design anything for there are so many games he should play...
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Quote:
Original post by staaf
Reading this thread one thinks that a designer will never have time to design anything for there are so many games he should play...


LOL [lol]

This isn't a list of my top fav's, but simply some that I didn't notice whatsoever when reading this list and really deserve mentioning.

Myst & Riven- immersive worlds (so atmospheric that it could make you frightened in a practically static situation), unique concept, puzzles, puzzles, puzzles, oh yeah and a very cool storyline
Golden Sun 1 & 2- There's so much in this game (it's really just one big game told in multiple parts) to love...It's got lots of cool and sometimes difficult puzzles, an incredibly complex and interesting fighting system-between the collectable creatures that simultaneously control certain magical spells, the ability to summon, and your characters' classes (and thus their stats and the regular magic they have available to them) and the ability to swap characters in and out of your attacking party mid-battle, there's bucket-loads of strategy to toy with-, a great story, and immersive characters...what's not to like?
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga- It takes a special sort of game to make you quit playing for a moment so you can literally laugh your ass off...The dual-plumber (back-and-forth and sometimes simultaneous) puzzles are genius too.
Viewtiful Joe- style to the max-This game gives a fresh breath of life to the all but dead 2D scrolling brawler genre. The innovative use of time altering gameplay sometimes makes you feel like the mastermind behind a roadrunner cartoon and will more frequently make you feel (and look) like the ungodly star of a good action movie
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if there are games i couldn't forget over these years

Baldur's Gate
just massive, i couldn't never finish it

Total Annihilation
i tried the campaign, it was really hard so i tried skirmish and it was awesome

Pokemon Blue, red and gold
I was very addicted to them.....

God of War
i usually don't play ps2, cause i don't have it and just too challenging,
but i gave this one go... i like how the game is based on Greek mythology

Unreal Tournament
i used to hate shooting games until i played this one. the assault mode is fantastic!!!
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1. WarioWare, inc.
2. WarioWare, inc.
3. WarioWare, inc.
4. WarioWare, inc.
5. WarioWare, inc.
6. WarioWare, inc.
7. WarioWare, inc.
8. WarioWare, inc.
9. WarioWare, inc.
10. WarioWare, inc.
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Quote:
Original post by GarlandIX
1. WarioWare, inc.
2. WarioWare, inc.
3. WarioWare, inc.
4. WarioWare, inc.
5. WarioWare, inc.
6. WarioWare, inc.
7. WarioWare, inc.
8. WarioWare, inc.
9. WarioWare, inc.
10. WarioWare, inc.


Which microgame is which? [wink]

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If you haven't already played more than half the games mentioned here (obviously scaled for your age, hehehe) then you shouldn't really be a designer anyway :p
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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
If you haven't already played more than half the games mentioned here (obviously scaled for your age, hehehe) then you shouldn't really be a designer anyway :p


You would have had to spend way too much life to play that many games, most of which are probably boring anyway. :P
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Damn, only 10?

GAME ( ) Significance?

1. Super Mario Bros 3 (nes) AMAZING gameplay.
2. QUEST FOR GLORY I (mac and win) Humor + Adventure = KickAss experience.
3. Bionic Commando (nes) Unique gameplay mechanic, awesome storyline.
4. Streets of Rage2 (gen) (Good gameplay, good level design and music design)
5. Sonic the Hedgehog (gen) (Amazing level design and character design. Great gameplay)
6. Final Fantasy VI (Snes) (Music, story, and characters were/ are unmatched)
7. Chrono Trigger (Snes) (Overall execution of every aspect of production is top notch.)
8. Simcity (Defined the simulation.)
9. River City Ransom (Amazing combination of action, gamplay and RPG elements)
10. Metal Gear Solid (Ps1) (Gameplay with quality cinematic storyline progression.)
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i agree with everything you said but "Bionic Commando", that game was just horrible.
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Some games I feel every designer should play (a little bit of a modern point of view)<br><br>1) World of Warcraft<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This game has something for every type of player. Quests, rewards, and raids for achievers, the open world for explorers, peer to peer interaction for social gamers, and PvP servers for players who like to cause havoc. The pinnacle of the "Jack of All Trades" category. Also good at the "carrot on a stick" method to keep players playing, especially in for a subscription based model.<br><br>2) Angry Birds<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The ultimate mobile game. Simple gameplay allowing for multiple plays of a single level in the spam of a minute. The go to example for mobile games.<br><br>3) Demon Souls<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Probably the best RPG we've had in a long time in terms of level and challenge design. For those who don't know of the game, when you die, you lose all of your experience and character levels, but you keep your equipment. You can get the experience back, unless you die again, then it's gone for good. This sounds incredibly frustrating, and believe me, it is. But the genius in this game is that every time you die, you died because you made a mistake. There is no such thing as a random death in this game. The best part is you know why you screwed up right as you die, so the thought of "Oh man, that was so stupid. There's no way I'll let that happen again. I'm trying again." And that thought alone shows incredible level design, enemy design, and AI.<br><br>4) Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core Plus / BlazBlue: Continuum Shift<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Why? Character design and balance. Fighting games generally tend to fall under two categories. Either the cast of characters is extremely large and diverse at the cost of balance (Marvel vs Capcom 2), or the differences between characters are minute, sometimes there are clones as well, and some if not most of the characters play in a similar fashion (Ryu / Ken / Akuma / Dan / etc. and before people hate on me, their differences aren't clear to people who play the game for the first time). However, these games are a different beast. Every character has a distinct play style AND every character has a reasonable change of winning. For a fighting game to have such a diverse cast and still be reasonably balanced is good enough to at least look at the game.<br><br>5) Portal<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A case of a simple concept going a long way with excellent level design. It went well enough to warrant a sequel, and that plans of taking the level design up to the next level (although the concepts are becoming less simple).<br><br>6) Farmville<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Yes you're reading this correctly. And before you dismiss this one, think about this. The number of people playing Farmville is about 1% of the Earth's population. I don't care what you think of the game, you should learn why it's so damn popular.<div><br></div><div>7) Ico / Shadow of the Colossus&nbsp;</div><div><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span>Yes these are often cliche choices on most people's top games lists, but they are there for a reason. The games do wonders for showing how gameplay and story can coexist. Everything you do in these games directly advances the story, and the story heavily influences the player's motivation for playing the game. Anything by Team ICO should be played and enjoyed.<br><br>More to come

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Secret of Mana - SNES and Series
Breath of Fire Series
Suikoden Series
I enjoyed Secret of Evermore.
Chrono Trigger. Never got around to play Chrono Cross.
Baulders Gate
Champions of Norrath
Champions of Norrath Return to Arms. Not sure but this part two game was really in depth with details but it seemed like it had to many bugs for loading time and it kept freezing up on me. I remember getting up to or around the clock work area or junk yard area that nuts and gears everywhere. But it was such a waste of time of loading. Did any one have this type of problem as well? I really wanted to get further. But oh well.

Zelda series
Y's 3 series
Equinox - SNES
Illusion of Gaia - Snes
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This really depends. I doubt there are ten absolute games every designer, because every game a designer plays will be helpful.

If you're looking to create an RPG you should probably play a bunch of RPG's and if you want to design a FPS, play FPS games. Research appropriate things.

To me it's almost more important to play games that are considered to be disappointments to the general public and figure out what went wrong.

I can recommend dozens of games, but I could never pick out ten that would be more important than other games.
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The one game that has stuck in my head all these years is Final Fantasy Tactics. Not for the game it's self so much, as it was full of exploitable mechanic flaws, but the Sound Effects.

13 years later and I can still vividly remember the crunch of leather when the one character grabbed the other by his shirt and lifted him up.
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FPS
Tribes 2 - Well beyond it's time and it still has servers up (google Tribes Next). The concepts it features are far ranging in terms of revolutionary data map linking, community and features, inventory management and equipment, a multi-level approach to combat including air and ground vehicles in addition to being on foot, one of the first games to feature VoiP support, ridiculously modable, and had quite active developer interaction before the team was fired.

Empires - A free mod for Half-Life 2 that is bent on combining RTS and FPS perspectives into a interactive game. Games like this have not been done well in the past and they are doing a pretty good job at combining the two. It does represent a very unique take on the perspective and hurdles that FPS's with RTS elements in them need to overcome.

Raven Shield and/or Ghost Recon Advanced Warrior - Very tacitcal shooters before they became more consolized. It represents another take on the FPS genre when pulled away from more casual interactions between players such as Call of Duty, UT, Q3, and CS:S

Call of Duty 4 - I don't say this lightly, but the first in the series of Modern Warfare games was done quite well. Many points can be taken from this as to what most casual players like in a game. The game is far more forgiving in terms of gameplay then other games in the FPS genre as well as throwing in a hefty dose of 'carrot-on-a-stick' for players who are after that sort of gameplay.

Serious Sam - Gameplay in this game is mind numbingly addictive and offers quite a different take on what should be considered fun in games. It's not quite a survival game like the latest iterations of XYZ Zombie Shooter, but throws as many mobs at a player as it can muster. Really it's one of those games that's loads of fun to play with friends at a lan party till your eyes bleed.

RTS
Dawn of War - W40k Dawn of War, not the second one (it isn't like the first one) or Soulstorm (made by a different developer), is a revolutionary RTS in my opinion. It differs quite a bit from most other RTS as the game centers heavily around fighting and not only is it done well, but it's extremely well balanced. The animations, voice overs, equipment load outs, interface ease of use, unique races, and the overall quality of the game makes for some remarkable gameplay. The races aren't mirror balanced either, each and every race is quite a bit different from one another. They play nothing alike and are suited for many different play styles.

Rise of Legends / Rise of Nations - Both of these games are quite a bit different from the typical cookie cutter RTS's such as Warcraft 3 and Command and Conquer. Rise of Legends in particular is a more polished example of the concepts in Rise of Nations. Units are seen more as a commodity then something you need to strive for and the gameplay is extremely rewarding. All three races present in the game are not mirror balanced and their economies function differently, but still are easy to grasp. The most notable quality in these games is the attrition system which adds a more 'territorial' feel to the game. I have presently not encountered another game with such a system.

Sins of a Solar Empire (4x)- Another largely different take on space combat. It seems very close to Homeworld, but is definitely a lot more polished and each expansion pack has seemingly added more unique content to the game. There are many different ways to play the game and exploit your enemies, not centering combat solely around one specific strategy or micromanagement (like Blizzard games). Combat also takes quite a long time, but it fits the breadth of the game considering what they are trying to represent. It's really one of those games you have to play.
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This list could get really long, but I probably shouldn't take too much time so here's my short list:

Demon's Souls - For long-term teaching mechanisms. When you begin playing Demon's Souls, you are confident and cocky. You've played action/adventure games before, right? How hard can it be? You run into a room and try to play God Of War, killing anything that moves. The game kills you mercilessly for it, and after your death [i]it gets even harder[/i]. It gives you half health, but makes it so that your attacks hit harder. Why? Because that means the only way to live is to play it [i]correctly[/i]. To move slowly, avoid getting hit, and plan your attacks. Every time you don't do this, it kills you again. But once the player stops playing it like God of War and starts playing it [i]like Demon's Souls[/i], the balance of power shifts. The player has the reins. Demon's Souls is like a zen master, slowly teaching you through repeated failure. But the reward to the player isn't just XP and loot, the reward is much greater: self-discipline, confidence, and empowerment. A brilliant game.

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door - For unbreakable RPG leveling. Most games that claim "RPG elements" let the player pretty much break the game by just grinding a bunch of time away on low-level enemies. The XP system in this game is excellent (100XP = Level Up, always. The amount of XP per enemy changes logically as you go past their level, until it's 0). And for players who want that extra "edge", the badge system is equally well-designed (do you want to use a bunch of cheap badges or a few really potent ones?)


Half Life - For linear level design. Half Life (particularly the original) does an amazing job of making you [i]think[/i] you are exploring a detailed world and finding secret passages, when actually the game is 100% linear and the "secrets" are part of the main path.
Deus Ex - For non-linear level design. Every player can play every level differently, the game crafting itself to their unique play style.

999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors - For experimental storytelling. The game (and story) have their faults, but I've [i]never[/i] experienced anything else like it. Six endings, designed so players replay until they reach the "Perfect End", with unique content and puzzles in each playthrough. By the time you've seen the third or fourth ending, you start to realize that the rabbit hole goes much deeper than you could ever expect. By ending #5, the game is playing you. When you reach the Perfect End, you realize that the game has been playing you since the very start and the revelation changes the way you interpret everything you've seen up until then and thus you are encouraged to replay all six again to see [i]what was really going on[/i]. Amazing.
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I would hate to see the Close Combat series overlooked.

A Bridge Too Far (2) and Battle of the Bulge (4) were my favorites. By far the best company/platoon level wargame I've seen. Some might say that Company of Heroes covers the same ground, but Close Combat really gets away from the whole resource collection and unit building grind that characterize so many RTS's. In Close Combat, you placed your men at the start of the battle, and knew that those were all the guys you were going to get, and you had to preserve, not only them, but their ammo, if you wanted to win. Highly realistic, but still fun.
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Planescape: Torment for possibly the richest story ever crafted in a CRPG.

If you have doubts please check reviews. Legendary.
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RPG: Gothic 2, for most immersive world. Especially the main town (which is very dense)

RTS: Sins of a solar empire, for it's
-low advantages with high apm
-solid engine
-scalable to huge amounts of units
- AI. Does some cool stuff, like attacking one planet, and a little later another of your planets (far away) with a much larger force.

FPS: Crysis for its,
- Open enviroments
- How they implemented AI in such an enviroment (very easy to see how npc's reacts, because of minimap and open enviroments)
- Physics (it does add to gameplay)
- customizable weapons
- nanosuit Edited by ImmoralAtheist
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