Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Ketchaval

Too Much Detail - Overload

Recommended Posts

There is a big trap in the current trend for "more detailed and realistic" games, which is that the more detail is provided - the more player expects to be able to interact with it on their own terms. Also too much detail *may* have a tendency to slow down gameplay and make things *too* detailed. For example having a town with a hundred NPCs (some of whom give out interesting quests to undertake)might be fascinating and be one way to create mood. But in terms of replaying the game, the player *might* feel bored and overwhelmed with the burden of talking to all the characters AGAIN in order to find the quests. The same goes for combat, if the main aim of the game is not just to kill everything, then highly detailed (and slow-paced) combat will slow down the pace of the game. Thus it might be better to display environments and describe characters (or even conversations - and combat?) on a more general level. Providing the player with JUST enough detail and things to do, to create the atmosphere that you want to make and keeping the player interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I remember Wav mentioning this a while ago. I do agree with this. It really goes back to the timeless concept of only including what supports the main focus of your game.

Although, I wonder what it would be like to make a very surrealistic game. Something like Being John Malkovich where things are real but not real.




...A CRPG in development...

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yet another reason why I think the ''virtual world'' setting would be perfect for games. I wonder if we''ll ever switch from our favorite settings (medieval, earth, strange planets) to the virtual one.

In a virtual world, YOU decide what the world looks like. You don''t have to plant trees to make the world seem real. Trees that would have players complain ''hey, why can''t I cut this tree down.'' Or ''hey, why can''t I hide good enough behind this tree''.

You don''t have to follow any physical laws. Gravity? Doesn''t exist. Friction? Nope, didn''t put that in either. Life? Whatever you want, you design it.

You can still get into a situation of too much detail, but at least your core game does not have too much detail.

I mean, when I play a game, I DO expect to be able to interact with everythin I see... until after two minutes of play I find that I can pretty much only interact with maybe 1% of what I see.

Give me less detail, but make me able to use more of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Funny, Naz. I do remember posting about that just as soon as I finished making a mini demo with Panard Vision''s 3D engine. After thinking about things in terms of 2D for weeks, I suddenly got a chance to see them in 3D. So much seemed to be missing at the higher / better detail level.

Much to my annoyance, though, I KEEP having to remind myself of this!!! Only put in a small set of highly interactive elements, and leave the rest alone. Just as the examples above perfectly note, there''s inertia with having to deal with too many factors on your way to a goal. The faster and more intense the game, the worse this is.




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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I disagree. True, there are pitfalls which have to be avoided (Ketchaval''s example was good) however if done correctly a fully interactive environment could greatly enhance gameplay. NPC interactment as described by Ketchaval, when used correctly, can provide the designer with a dynamic story. My example to cite would be Deus Ex. I came up with a few rules to follow while playig that game, and rule number 2 was to talk to everybody before doing anything (rule #1 was to always complete secondary objectives first. Take note ). NPCs in that game regularily provided information that helped you, for instance talking to a little boy and giving him candy made him tell you the code to a keypad lock. The game made things even trickier by splitting up conversations, so you had to activate the conversation again to receive more info (that was rule #3, keep trying to talk to people until they start to repeat themselves). By talking or not talking to NPCs, the game is played out slightly differently. Deus Ex also provides the number one rule for making an interactive environment - All interactive objects must support the gameplay. For example, the water fountains provided health when drunk. Okay, so turning on faucets and flushing toilets really didn''t add anything - except the pleasure of turning on faucets and flushing toilets, for those who just had nothing better to do. Maybe it helped people think. I''m currently designing a game that let''s players roam free throughout a fully detailed world, and I''m liking all the possibilities it brings along. There are a lot of ways you can use interactive elements to enhance gameplay, whether it helps the player, provides and entertaining distraction, or even injures him (he could use it then to injure someone else after he discovers its dangerous properties). Anyways that''s just my take on the idea. It definetly is a thin line to walk but it can be done effectively.

==============================
"Need more eeenput..."
- #5, "Short Circuit"
==============================

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites