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About hypester

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  1. Modules, I think, are the best design tool. You're essentially designing an open world game, which means you can't really track all the different possibilities of what order players will go in. They have the freedom to jump from one puzzle to another. What you set up, essentially, are gates, both for seeing a puzzle, and for having the necessary keys to puzzles. Say when they first walk into the room they see a safe, well, obviously they know they'll open it, but the combination to that safe could be in a calendar in a drawer, on the other side of a door that only opens if they can find some hidden keys, that themselves may not be accessible yet, unless you decide. So you decide what the gates are, and what is accessible at a given level. The more I think about it, the more I think diagramming like a Zelda dungeon would work best, but the rooms would be mostly theoretical. Once they unlock a given clue, they are now in a new room, which contains additional clues to open up additional rooms once they beat the challenge in that room. But you can't track the sequence because the number of different things they can do in a room is too large.   When you say competition, do you just mean fastest to complete? Like having two teams in identical or similar rooms?
  2. Squad-based Heist Game Background: There was a top-down 2D stealth action game I loved called Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine that I spent hours and hours on. The goal was to steal stuff, get past guards, all that good stuff except the fun part was that there were different characters to choose from each with a heist-themed special ability. One person was better and opening locks, one person could disguise themselves for a short time, one could knock people out if they came from the back. This also reminded me of one of my favorite shows bar none: Leverage, a group of thieves with Robin Hood morality who each have a special skill: one person is the hacker, one person the actor/"grifter", one person is the combat specialist, one the cat burgalar and one the mastermind. One of the games I would love to play one day, and may need to make to do so, is a 3D stealth action game in which getting in and out, with mission objectives closer to those of, say, Mirror's Edge, is the thing. There was a game that had a very similar theme to what I'd like, it was called PayDay 2, however the gameplay was very much like a first person shooter, with the themed heist mechanics treated much like perks are in other FPS games. I would prefer something more like an Assassin's Creed in terms of camera and controls. Title: Heistworthy Genre: Stealth Action RPG Players: 1-4 Player Co-Op; 1 v 4 player assymetric play. This game will have a typical stealth gameplay loop: Observe obstacles, plan a strategy, excute, run into static which escaletes suspicion, hide and take action to subdue suspicion, repeat. Each mission or 'heist' will center around retrieiving an object and escaping with that thing. Classes: All players would have basic abilities to pick pockets and do sleight of hand, as career theives, as well as wear disguises, use keys and keycards, and answer basic questions correctly when approached by NPCs at the heist location. The available classes for your visually customizable character would be as follows: Hacker - The environmental mastery class. Using a hacking minigame, the "Tech" is able to access cameras, digital controls and computer data, including NPC schedules and profiles for keys on how to avoid and manipulate them. They are able to highlight useful information for their teammates. They balance getting closer to get better access against being further away to stay safer. Fighter - The combat stealth class. Using tried and true stealth combat mechanics, plays most like Hitman and clears NPCs that are otherwise very difficult to deal with, and then must hide the bodies. They balance high reward of taking out an NPC to the high risk of being seen, and because seeing them act draws such large suspicion, they are essentially a glass canon in RPG terms. Infiltrator - The social stealth class, a master of disguise. The infiltrator's disguises are more effective and they are able to have full branching conversations with NPCs in order to gain information and access. Is able to move most freely and gains suspicion most slowly and loses it most quickly. They are, in a way, the tank of the team. Taker - The thief class. This class represents the lifelong thief, who is much faster and more effective with the basic skills available to everyone: pickpocketing more quickly with less suspicion, a larger slight of hand inventory and and quicker with lockpicking and safecracking than teammates. Maker - The crafting class, making items for the team. Some of the more complicated devices, including forged documents, advanced safe-crackers, explosives and drills require them to be on hand to operate those devices, which they must maintain. Their function is not only to create the needed items, but to ensure the getaway plan in place. Thinker - The leader class. This class is able to see their teammates' actions, and can direct them by creating waypoints, which provide buffs to the actions the thinker sets for those waypoints. They also have the ability to unlock buffed versions of moves in their teammates. In this way, the thinker 'leads' his team with buffs, some more complicated than others. Missions: Heists themselves come in different tiers and players advance their abilities and become acquainted with more advanced tactics. Tier 1, Basic: Breaking into a single room or warehouse or small bank branch is easy, sometimes a 1-man job. Tier 2, Hijacks: Taking moving objects can be more difficult, especially if there is a caravan, but good planning can make it easier. Tier 3, Security and Socialization: Such as mansion parties, clubs, and concerts all involved hired security guards and a lot of eyes and bodies, which can be both helpful, and not. Tier 4, Guarded Buildings: Low level government facilities, hospitals, and other well secured places of protected business house lots of great documents and unique resources. Tech companies are the worst of them. Tier 5, Ports: As a hub of transportation, these areas provide guards, digitial security and lots of eyes and bodies. They have one of a kind scores. Tier 6, Money Centers: Getting money and resources from banks and other highly secure businesses such as museums, casinos, jewelers and the like can be the most lucrative, and the most challenging. Tier 7, Prisons: The most challenging heists can be getting onesself into and out of prison, as every level of security is employed and criminality is familiar. Multiplayer: With up to 4 players and a mastermind in a round, players are not able to use all 6 classes in a heist, and so must come up with a team with strengths and weaknesses.  In addition to this, there is a NPC Mastermind role available in which a player has mastermind tools to control NPCs and thus control defenses for their building. Story: The story would be about a ragtag of group of theives who redeem themselves taking it to the man and in the process find out their Benefactor was formerly working for the evil coproration that they're up against. Minimum Viable Product: A two person stealth action game, where one person plays plays an infiltrator/fighter and other plays a hacker/taker as they deal with patrolling senties, locked doors and trying to lower their suspicion levels. Questions: Any suggestions of other games I could look to for inspiration on systems and mechanics? Any foreseeable problem with different classes feeling useful or balanced? Does it sound fun?  
  3. I can agree it could fall under a "sim" title, but I think the term "sim" is bloated.  Most games "simulate" something else.  Battlefield is a sim game, in the sense that it simulates shooting.  But the general mechanic is shooting, and so the game is a shooter.   But since the game play mechanics for the title "management sim" could vary so much, it renders the genre title useless in describing its game play. My general belief, is that if all I read was the Genre, I should know something about how that game is played.  I.e. Shooter, Racing, Side Scroller.  These all tell me about how the game is played.       I agree sim is a bloated term, hence all the quotation marks and clarifications. I totally agree, that if a game simulates combat, or playing an instrument, or any individual's action, it's not considered a "sim" game, and we could go into whether or not action games actually have the intent of simulating combat, when they usually take very large liberties in favor of providing what they are actually known for when more realism/fidelity is possible, but I digress, let's just stick to management, then. While the theming for management games varies WILDLY, the actual mechanics seem to be pretty consistent. What is the huge difference, mechanically, between, say, Zynga's Street Racing and, I don't know, Sim City? In both cases, you use your resources to purchase assets that vary in terms of theme, cost and adjustments to the simulation, then you let the simulation run and see what resources you've acquired. Then you make more purchases and run the simulation again. Most have an 'events' mechanic, with both positive and negative themed events that occur seemingly at random and/or tied to the storyline. In every case, the mechanics seem to be about not controlling individuals, but systems. Once a game is about controlling and placing individuals, the emphasis on that makes it more of an RTS-style where instead of letting the simulation run, you can 'micro' in order to turn the simulation into something where your 'macro' management isn't the deciding factor in the outcome. Those are my thoughts, anyway, it's possible that I'm not as aware of the mechanics involved in these games, since I haven't played many since SimAnt, though, now that I think about it... that was definitely an RTS.
  4. hypester

    Is this idea too offensive ?

    If you make a game celebrating something, you definitely are endorsing it. You're putting time and energy into making, in this instance, terrorism into something fun, that you invite other people to come and enjoy. There is no stronger endorsement you can make other than doing it in real life. If on the contrary, you do it to show the player something about themselves and what makes these activities fun for them, if you offend people who like to offend people, then you are not endorsing it, on the contrary, you're making something really really special, and I would support someone who has something to say about real world violence beyond "Ha ha, take that liberals!"
  5. hypester

    is this a good idea? MMO Racing game

    Racing can be fun, but if you're talking about an MMO there needs to be a LOT going on in terms of gameplay and quests and socialization. I think the Crew was about as far in the direction of multiplayer that a racing game can get without expanding beyond just doing races. When compared to a generic MMO, it may seem that you're making a game entirely out of fetch quests and races, which while novel, is more limited in scope. What is end game in this scenario? Are there levels here? What do levels do? If you answer those questions in very cool fun accessible ways, no one will care about the graphics quality or cars, just as they don't care about the quality of the graphics in Rocket League (though Rocket League smartly avoids 'accurate' models in favor of 'fun' ones because of the lower poly counts.) I think having hundreds of cars could be nice, but if it's just a racing grind, I don't think pretty pixels alone would hold me very long. Of course, that might be the point, to have a quick and dirty free to play MMO. If we're talking 1999 graphics, you might be talking about a mobile/tablet ready MMO, which wouldn't require much more than what you have now. If you wanted a full MMO that could support a notable subscription and all, I would consider looking for inspiration for customization and missions from fuller car-centric universes such as Fast and Furious, Transporter, or something more sci-fi (Speed Racer? Knight Rider?), to expand players' abilities. I think extracting real world data into a racing game is novel, but I think you'll find that a very small fraction of the that data is useful for interesting races. It sounds like a lot of work to not just clean meshes, but to find the fun and bring it to players. If your goal is to do this with a small/no team, I think it might be worth your investment to create a procedural track-making system that evokes the real world. I honestly don't think that would take longer/be more expensive than pulling in and cleaning up an MMO's worth of real-world data. I think the overall idea sounds super-intriguing though.
  6. hypester

    A Serialized Game Concept

    Very interesting concept. Certainly sounds worthwhile. As mentioned there are a host of technical challenges lining up these three different storytelling and production methodologies together, but the overall goal seems like a worthy one. My first question is: why? I understand video games with cutscenes, or movies with video game bits in them, but you seem to want this threefold event, and I'd like to know why. Is this game targeted only at people who like read, play video games and watch videos? How much literacy is needed in each of the three mediums in order to fully appreciate the story? How should the story receiver feel when transitioning form viewer to reader to player? What literary purpose does the gaming and videos serve? What cinematic purpose do the stories and gaming serve? What effect is the literary and cinematic narrative supposed to have on gameplay?   I don't know if you need to answer all those questions here and now, but those are the types of questions that should probably influence your design.   I personally would suggest expanding on proven purposes, that is, the short stories are lore, the short videos are cutscenes and the gameplay is gameplay, motivated by the short videos and most profoundly experienced in the light of the short stories. For the short stories, the cinematics and gameplay help increase the immersion, as you start to read the fictional short story with same eyes as you might read a non fiction story, that is "Oh yeah, I know that place, I met that guy." For the cinematics, the short stories work as sort of an opening crawl, and the gameplay is, essentially, a very extravagant 'choose your own adventure' page.   That's the way I would collate everything together. I think that works without conflict to make everything harmonious instead of destructive to a single purpose. Even if you don't go that way, I'd suggest finding a united "effect" you want the serial to have and make sure everything is driving towards that.
  7. hypester

    Co-Op Beat-Em-Up

      No actual research, so perhaps I've assumed to much. I have noticed a consistent trend away from co-op since online multiplayer came into fashion. I'm projecting my understanding of how corporate America works onto this trend, but the trend could be caused by something entirely separate. Party style gaming seems to default to Dance sims, Wii minigames and perhaps a fighting game. It's been years since I went on an adventure with a buddy, as much as it forms the bulk of why I liked videogames in the first place.
  8. hypester

    Co-Op Beat-Em-Up

    Multiplayer Co-Op Beat-Em Up Alright, so, Background: One of my favorite modern series is the Batman: Arkham series, with it's super slick super fluid melee combat with plentious options and strategic challenges to match those options and a rewarding rating system and room for expansion to a really great variety and mix of enemy types. One of my biggest wishes from that series would be going back to back with a friend as Batman/Robin/whoever and waylaying a group of foes together in massive and visceral combos. They decided not to go that route, though we did see shades of what could have been in Arkham Knight and Arkham Origins. While that series may not have gone the multiplayer direction, it does seem like  current-gen evolution of the multiplayer beat-em-up gameplay that I fondly remember from Double Dragon, Battletoads, Streets of Rage or the TMNT, X-Men or Simpsons Coin-op games, and that kind of camaraderie is worth it's weight in gold, as far as I'm concerned. The Challenge: So, taking a rhythmic beat-em-up game and expanding it into multiplayer presents three pretty significant problems, that I'm aware of: 1) Part of what makes these things work is synching up animations. When you are in the midst of a move, the computer is free to quicken or lengthen the animation in order account for distance between the player character and enemies. In the cases of counters, enemies are often locked in to reaction animations that the player's animation is dependent on. A crucial challenge comes up when we open the option of another player to attack one of these foes. What happens when the target you're launching towards is already down. Your character now needs an alternate option, maybe multiple for multiple-person take downs. Now the number of animations to create has at leasted doubled, as you need interupt animations for if the player is struck mid-attack, as well as if the target is struck mid attack. More importantly, the player then has the frustration of having another player mess up their moves. Whatever they were planning, done. 2) The amount of attackers and attacks on screen to keep 2-4 people busy is a lot more than it takes for 1 player. This amount of visual information can get messy very quickly as more and more characters are flying across the screen, slowing things down for finishing moves, receiving counter triggers who it may not be clear where they are directed if two characters are standing close together. Suddenly even audio cues of an enemy being downed aren't clear anymore. It's easy for all the hits to start to come off as noise in this kind of scenario. 3) The old style of co-op is out of style and not marketable in the same way. Companies do not profit, and thus do not invest, the same way if they are selling one game to two players instead of one game to each player. Same screen co-op not only doesn't fly with the marketing department, but now you're creating a full multiplayer map infrastructure instead of just sharing a screen. My solution: Re-conceive of the two-player beat-em-up as if the two characters are really just one character in two different bodies. Instead of processing inputs from two different characters as two separate entities that must be parsed, synced, collated or otherwise integrated during execution somehow, process the button presses as a combo in and of itself. In many cases, this may look the same as two separate entities doing unrelated things, however, if processed as a combo, that means simultaneous attacks are understood to strike at the same time, and the animations are then aligned in such a way that they happen simultaneously. The visual and audio cues work together in harmony like a symphony instead of creating destructive noise. This solution also makes the idea of interrupts very fluid, the 'move' being performed is never based upon a single player's inputs, but on multiple players' inputs. Interrupts are handled as additional moves onto the "combo" and thus never start or effect independent of the move already in mid-motion. This can be driven home with a shared 'combo meter' and score, and the ability of either or both characters to counter any attack thus 'watching each other's backs' or 'doing kewl team up moves.' This of course doesn't resolve the issue of the pure amount of visual information that needs to be communicated, as what you've essentially done is created an immense combo system, which brings with it a number of it's own design challenges in terms of balance and choice and further, communication with the other player as far as how to handle things though perhaps with enough pressure, player actions will be communications in and of themselves. In addition to increasing the pace/tempo in order to allow actions to communicate to other players each player's intent with or without voice or emote communication, the increased amount of options for the group necessitates a lack of options for the solo character, in fact, instead of one character with four combat gadgets, and four special attack options, you essentially have four characters who each only have one. You could even parse it out further into 'roles' such as one character who has the stuns, another who has range, another who has a blade to counter blade weapons or some other similar set of specializations so that special attacks may require the countering or focus of a particular member of the group. In short, each individual player's combat would be simplified, at least during initial entries. Alternately ranking of specialties may also be involved as one character may be faster, another stronger, another balanced. If more characters are available than number of co-op players, then choosing characters can in a way be building a fighting machine together. Depending on how these specialties are done this kind of multiplayer system can be extended to more than 2 characters. This does not directly address challenges in implementing this for any kind of 'boss battle' that is based on something other than fighting hordes of mooks, but by designing bosses as highly intense/specialized mooks, you can actually create some really cool boss sequences, I think, as opposed to the typical 'room-as-boss' where the boss is for varying reasons a part of a wall or varied hot-spots in the environment. This also does not necessarily address the challenges in any kind of 'predator mode' multiplayer, though those challenges were largely addressed in Arkham Origins, and could be iterated upon in a specifically Batman-like game. This multiplayer solution is more open ended, and could be used for a Ninja Turtles adaptation, and Streets of Rage resurrection or an entirely original property. Example Implementation: Title: "Beatdown Bonanza" Story: The city has been overrun by a martial-arts obsessed organized crime association "RONIN". They've detonated every explosive in the city, bullets included, and have the entire city in a grip of terror. It's up to our heroes, a disgraced cop and a local martial artist, to put things back right, and no army is going to stand in their way for long... Tone: Lots of attitude and character-infused martial arts, grounded in actual martial arts maneuvers but not in the blood and pain that would naturally accompany such moves. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender or the old school Streets of Rage. Basic Combat: Players have the ability to move, dodge via jump/tumble, attack, counter and special attack based on their particular character's abilities. They are then presented with enemies who are generally also humanoid who attack them in various melee and limited mid-range attacks. Players are able to dodge or counter incoming attacks, where dodging allows them freedom, and countering gives them a gauranteed attack while locking them down as enemies are able to re-position. Special attacks and attacks are similarly balanced where special attacks have some added feature and drawback, such as Max's grabbing opens up body slam moves, but also roots you like countering for the duration of the move. If the game is played solo, an AI partner is provided, and jump-in multiplayer is encouraged. Sample Player Characters: Max: Cop trained in MMA, hotheaded, stronger and slower, but great for stunning, grappling and throwing enemies. Also possesses a rechargeable stun gun to use at range. Sakura: Kung Fu master and instructor, cool and calm, very fast and great at long combos and creating/closing distance. Can use melee weapon to block and counter melee weapons. Javion (Unlockable): College Student and Capoeria practitioner, nerdy jokester, sweeping attacks strike multiple people at once, and can 'trigger' electronic devices with computer skills. X (Unlockable): Masked former RONIN. Uses downed enemy weapons to duplicate their special abilities. Always carries a bat with a chargeable attack as a baseline weapon. Sample Tutorial: - Players cross the bridge into the city and fight past low level RONIN wannabes. - Players learn to take down enemies separately, as they would expect. They are given space to play with this idea. - Players learn how to attack a single enemy together and get to play with attacking together for cool combo moves, establishing their communication pattern and experiencing their unity in a very concreted and immediate way. - Players are put into situations where one player is prompted to click first by proximity, thus defining the combo, then in a situation where the other player is prompted to click first, resulting in a different move to help see the interdependence. Moves are not radically different to preserve feeling of control, but the idea of taking turns for control is communicated. They are then given a space to play with this idea. - Players are then put into counter situations where they learn they can counter together for more effect. Players learn that some enemies have shorter counters than others. - Players are put in positions where one is unable to counter and the other is so that they can see that one person can counter for both, these positions are, of necessity, reversed and both players get to experience this. - Players are put into a mixed combat situation, and introduced to their first special enemy: the acrobat, who counters everything except simultaneous attacks and counters. The numbers push for all of their new (basic) abilities to be tested. - Players are introduced to their first boss, a Karate Master, who counters counters back and forth endlessly, and essentially can only be hit while he is countering. This means that the players must occupy him with counters, so that the other player is able to attack him from the other side, and score a combo, at which point Karate Master then focuses on that player, who must counter back and forth with him so the other player can strike. After a few rounds of this, he falls and helps kick off the story proper.   From there the game explores a number of environments and bosses reminiscent of those old beat-em-ups.   Questions:   1) Are there any challenges in doing multiplayer beat up combat in this way that I've overlooked? 2) Does the solution actually address the challenge? 3) Is there a better way to set up a tutorial to bring players into the headspace the solution creates?
  9. hypester

    Where can I show my video game script to a team?

    Read these: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/idea.htm http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson11.htm Those refer to the mainstream industry, not to indies. In regards to indies, I'll just say that most of them already have ideas they want to work on. They might consider your script as a portfolio piece, but then they'd want you to write what they want. This is not to discourage you. You SHOULD write the script. Then, after that one's finished, write another. And keep networking!     Truth hath been spoken here.   Everyone making video games is doing so because they have a video game idea they wanted to make. If your idea isn't strong enough to get you to learn to make video games, then it won't be strong enough to get anyone else to either.   I usually don't support trolls, but I would love to see a thread where someone claims to have a top notch video game team and they're just looking for someone to give them ideas. Of course, iirc, I think someone's used that as a marketing gimmick and ended up just making the game they wanted to make in the end. I can't remember the name of the project though...
  10. hypester

    Creating a city

    Don't get trapped trying to make it perfect. Give it your best shot, and then test it out.
  11. hypester

    Staring animal characters.

    So, a big part of many games, especially action-adventure games is getting the player to identify with the player character. While there are a lot of techniques to this, one that is often taken for granted is making the main character humanoid, just like the player. Certainly there are diversions from that, as you said, but generally... people see themselves as people, and then because of that, there are considerable resources dedicated to and designed to make playable humanoids possible, and a lot of people in the industry have experience and skills in playable humanoids. Playable, say, quadrupeds? Not so much. In fact, many of the design assumptions you might have, from object interaction, to talking to NPCs to who knows what, all go out the window.   I think Okami did something really marvelous, and it worked, psychologically, for two major reasons. 1) It was about the gameplay. Okami would have lost much of its charm in different genres, but as an action puzzler the character is already abstracted to a tool. 2) It was a highly stylized world, and based on a well-known myth, so there was a lot of freedom to explore that concept. 3) It was a canine, and many players are used to humanizing and empathizing with canines (sometimes better than other people). Add to that her cat-like agility, another familiar domesticated animal, and Okami has a familiarity that isn't TOO far off from a humanoid.   The other barriers, I suspect are that playable animals are associated with "kids stuff" and if not that, with the "Furry" culture, which is, among other things, overly-sexualized.   I mean, I'd be intrigued about a game where you play as a dragon, instead of a guy with a dragon, but what, exactly would be the gameplay? You're not platforming. You're not performing combos. You're not getting ambushed by rival factions. Or are you?
  12. hypester

    Hero Shooter Idea

    ^That's an even better point. The amount of freedom and complexity int he character creation system directly translates to how 'readable' the battlefield is.
  13. hypester

    Hero Shooter Idea

    It's a question of balance. What makes a hero shooter work, imho, is that it allows a high degree of competitiveness and strategy and skill mastery, which relies on expert balance. This can be very difficult, even with 10-20 heroes. When you have an open system like the one you're proprosing, you're essentially going to try and balance hundreds of different heroes, some with very similar builds. That would be pretty frikking awesome if you could pull it off, but otherwise, just as you learn to abandon strategies in a Hero Shooter, you may need to learn to abandon characters in an unbalance Hero Shooter, which isn't very fun when you've invested a lot of creativity into one. You also rob the players of stepping into a personality, but having to create their own, and if those created personalities aren't as vivid and interesting as those of other Hero Shooters, the freedom won't seem as compelling to those who are playing alongside and against them. So, it's a high bar to clear, on top of the normal challenges in creating a hero shooter, but if you could pull it off, that'd be pretty sweet.  
  14. hypester

    Your mmo ideas

    - Action game combat and movement. Quite done with RPG 'miss' messages and superflous animations. - Really inventive classes. Teleportation based control classes. Glacier Rogues. A group of ascended pets controlled by one player as a class called 'Pack' or 'Squad' or the inverse where multiple players fuse into one avatar and control different aspects of it. - On that, really different control schemes for different classes. One class (or group of skills) may play like a hack and slash, another more like an RTS, another still play like an FPS. - A really rich developed world with a strong theme and lots of diversity of color and culture. A great example of a world I'd love to play in is Avatar The Last Airbender's world, or Syfy's Dark Matter. - Really strong exploration/collection-centered mechanics, where a character is entirely made up of their experiences (and perhaps associated items) that they have collected.
  15.   Nothing says a game has to have 60 hours of content.   Sure, $1 per hour of content and a $60 price point for a new AAA game are pretty standard, thus the expectation of 60 hours+  gameplay.   But that's not written in stone anywhere.   And fewer and fewer titles these days deliver on that one hour of gameplay per dollar spent.  Either they are small, and deliver less than that, or they are huge, and deliver hundreds or thousands of hours for $60.         I don't follow...    they were too shallow?  IE great gameplay, but not enough of it? At least not enough to want to do it for more than 20 hours?     I understand. What I was attempting to refer to with my earlier comment is that you should be able to look at the gameplay you've created and have a strong idea whether it's a best fit for the hundreds of thousands of hours or the less than 60. A great example, for me, is the Arkham game series. I've enjoyed each game, but as the 100% completion has gotten bigger and bigger, finishing the games has gotten more and more tedious and less fun and engaging. The depth of the gameplay doesn't last long enough. And while mileage naturally varies on such things, I think there's a ballpark or sweet spot that can be aimed for.
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