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Morpheoz

Cinematic camera use for action games?

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Morpheoz    115
How hard would it be to control a game that uses fast paced and cinematic camera moves for action games. A behind the back and isometric view is starting to look really old to me. I thought of an example for Devil May Cry to explain this better: You press a button to draw out your gum, the camera would zoom in on Dante's hand taking his gun out of it's holster, it would then zoom out so you could see Dante again, you decide to shoot an enemy, and the camera would swipe to the front of the gun and zoom in really close the the barrel suddenly a flash and you've shot an enemy. (Wow I cannot explain things in writing very well)

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Those kind of effects would get old really quickly.

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aramstudios    130
It's an interesting idea, but they would be way too disorienting and the player wouldn't be able to see everything they needed to see... or atleast wouldn't be able to keep track of where it went to.

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WeirdoFu    205
Actually, you do run into the problem of disorientation because cinematic camera angles aren't the best when you're actually trying to,say, aim at a target. Now, the occssional bullet cam (where the camera follows the bullet to the target) when a critical hit is about to be made would be pretty neat, but you'll need to add the option to turn that off.

Another thing you can try for a fast action combat game like Devil May Cry is to have rhythm based combat mini-games for certain combos. Once the combo is initiated, the camera freely moves around to the best angles, while at the same time, buttons that need to be pressed flash across the screen. This way, you at least don't disorient the player as much.

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There was a cinematic view for driving in Grand Theft Auto. Did you ever try driving in that mode? It was not easy.

What a cinematic camera mode would be good for is if someone was watching you play (or you were amusing yourself), and you wanted to add some style. Hold down R2, and the game camera gets all cinematic.

Or, if you wanted to encourage it's use, give some kind of bonus for skills done while cinematic camera is toggled, like increased XP, Minor HP recovery, temporary increased accuracy, etc. Make certain powerful techniques only availible while in cinematic camera mode. Something like that.

But don't force the player to work around flashy camera tricks all day. GTA with only the cinematic camera I mentioned would be confusing and stupid.

A GAME IS NOT A MOVIE. And a cinematic camera style only has any meaning when compared to a "vanilla" game camera style, which is how players orient themselves in 3d space. Constantly cutting, panning, and zooming is going to wreak hella havoc on the consistency of any control scheme you have.

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Si Hao    166
Cinematic camera is good when used in limited and appropriate situations.

Here's 2 examples:

1) Need For Speed - whenever you do a special stunt that earns you points, like flying off a ramp, cinematic camera kicks in. Looks nice the first few times but gets old pretty fast especially when it is impossible for you to judge how your car is going to land. Luckily they provide you with the option to turn it off.

2) God of War - camera will change angles when the player enters special situations. e.g button mashing to kill a minotaur or boss fights when you are required to press the correct buttons at the right time.

I think God of War did a great job with cinematic camera, I don't feel irritated whenever it kicks in.

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Beagle    122
The successful use of a cinematic camera can best be shown in the "comic book" first person shooter "XII" (http://www.xiii-thegame.com/uk/virtualtour/). The game is highly stylized, as the graphics look like a comic book come alive: Characters have the black outlining from "inking", sound effects are all displayed in "BOOMS", "CRASHES" and "RAT-TAT-TATS", and cut scenes are in the form of a comic book. The game, although it was overlooked in stores, is truely amazing.

The use of its cinematic camera is one of the game's stylized features. When an arrow is shot from a crossbow to kill a man at long range, small inlay panels show the enemy falling from his position in a guard tower or on a cliff (http://www.xiii-thegame.com/uk/screenshots.php, screenshot 8). These inlays appear at other moments in the game, such as doors being unlocked or alarms going off. My personal favorite is the inlays of a man crumpling to the ground as you hit him over the head with a chair (or any other object you find). They provide a cinematic camera without disrupting the player's view of the world around him or effecting his ability to fight. Overall it was an excellent use of the cinematic camera.

-Beagle

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Steadtler    220
As a rule of thumb, dramatic camera movement are to be used when your action potential is limited. In the car example, when your car is making a jump, you cannot move it a lot (if at all), so its a right time. Its used both to add style to the game, and to cover the little bits where you cannot act. While your mind is busy changing frames of reference, it will not notice you cannot act at that time. Obviously, your aim should be that such situations are very spaced in an action game, while you can let them happen more often in a turn based game (like FF-style RPGS).

Because the mind takes a noticable time to switch between frames of reference (I dont remember the actual ms number, its pretty high), you should especially avoid changing the camera origin, orientation or trajectory right before critical action moments in the game. At best, you can also use it for relief after a long heavy-action sequence.

Thats my 2c (can)

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WeirdoFu    205
Quote:
Original post by abstractimmersion
There was a cinematic view for driving in Grand Theft Auto. Did you ever try driving in that mode? It was not easy.

What a cinematic camera mode would be good for is if someone was watching you play (or you were amusing yourself), and you wanted to add some style. Hold down R2, and the game camera gets all cinematic.

Or, if you wanted to encourage it's use, give some kind of bonus for skills done while cinematic camera is toggled, like increased XP, Minor HP recovery, temporary increased accuracy, etc. Make certain powerful techniques only availible while in cinematic camera mode. Something like that.

But don't force the player to work around flashy camera tricks all day. GTA with only the cinematic camera I mentioned would be confusing and stupid.

A GAME IS NOT A MOVIE. And a cinematic camera style only has any meaning when compared to a "vanilla" game camera style, which is how players orient themselves in 3d space. Constantly cutting, panning, and zooming is going to wreak hella havoc on the consistency of any control scheme you have.


I think that's exactly what the game (series) Viewtiful Joe does. When using the special camera effects like mach speed, slow, zoom, or any combination of those, your attack power increases along with the availability of new attacks. Warrant the game itself was played on a 2D plane, thus camera angles can't move around as much as in a 3D game, but it was a cool concept that was pretty much central to its core gameplay.

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methulah    172
Max Payne also tackled this in an interesting manner. It showed advanced camera effects, but only after the last enemy in the group you were attacking was dead. Once you had killed the last enemy in a given area, the camera would spin around them as their death animation played.

Even this got a bit old though. I feel the idea is kind of untapped, and Remedy could have expanded on it some more in the sequel. However, in general, "artistic" camera angles can have a detrimental effect on gameplay. In Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil the camera would often be looking through a window or from behind a cupboard, giving nice atmosphere, but making the fine art of mashing zombies very difficult indeed.

So basically, go for it. Be inventive, if you like the end results of experimenting with camera effects, that's great, chances are others will like it too. However, if it makes the game at all more difficult to play, it probably isn't such a good thing.

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I'm surprised there is no mention of The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time here. It offered many dramatic camera angles while still allowing varying degrees of camera control.

The camera wasn't always located at the optimal angle for certain situations, but the feel of the game still allowed me to progress without such things being an obstacle.

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Aiursrage2k    320
I was thinking that it would be cool to have emulate Samurai Jack, mainly using different perspectives/styles.

When your Hero kills an enemy you go into some split frame kill. For this effect I would not suggest it happening too frequently, and give the option of disabling it, or at least shortening it. As I would liken it to Final fantasy Aeons which are cool at first but become far too repeatative.
IE: http://www.acmearchivesdirect.com/prodimages/L107F_XL.jpg

I wouldnt suggest changing the camera based on players action but rather on the situation.

For example the player is at the base of a great mountain, and starts off with a faraway view, the hero should be small. Then when the player reaches the top of the summit, he fights some boss, you could change the view back to normal. As your about to give the boss the kill blow it changes to the split kill where the boss "jumps good" up the moutain. You realize that its not the top of the mountain only the low peak. It mode zooms out again, you now but a tiny spec trying to climb up the mountain.

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