So, after years of not touching my PS2, I plugged it up and begin playing all of my games with the rule that if I failed or died on the hardest mode I would quit the game. I did leave out some games that didn't fit well with the formula, such as the Final Fantasy games or racing games. Anything largely story-based wouldn't work very well. I did this to see if I would learn more about games and failure.
Any ways, here's the summary of all of the games:
- Ace Combat Zero: Died on first mission by two missiles (right when it said mission completed)
- Sly 2: Detected on the first world during the follow Dimitri mission
- Need for Speed Most Wanted: Lost the first full race (with the Ronnie guy, he looks really silly) after he used their rubberbanding to rocket past me
- The Matrix Path of Neo: Died 40 mins. in during a samurai training program
- Smuggler's Run: Failed on a racing mission in the first world when I missed a single gate
- Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal: Killed by Captain Quark (first boss) right after successfully doing the gauntlet first try
- SOCOM US Navy SEALS Combined Assault: Died on first mission just before completion when one of the last troops shot me a few times (hardest difficulty). I was being a little bone-headed...
- Twisted Metal Head On: Killed by a very weak cop car on the first level (this *was* on hard though...)
- Secret Service: Glitched up on the first shooting part (it never ended & enemies stopped coming). It killed me instantly when I tried to go away from the shooting spot...
- Stuntman Ignition: I fell off my bike on the third mission and built up a ton of strikes after that
- Star Wars Battlefront II: (Now, usually you go through many units during a battle, so I could go without losing a planet battle, but it's much hardcore if it's individual troops) Killed by a dang imperial battle droid (the silver one) after not killing a single enemy (the aiming was really annoying). This was on elite difficulty.
- Shadow the Hedgehog: Accidentally jumped off the edge when boost attacking a monster on the second level
- Lord of the Rings, Two Towers: Killed by a Nazgul Rider on the second mission
- Enter the Matrix: Mowed down by two cops on the mail level (hard)
- Syphon Filter Dark Mirror: (hard) On the first mission I accidentally ran off a walkway due to the slow deceleration of the character
- Spiderman 2: Killed by a petty thief after killing the Rhino guy used up all my health
- Ghost Recon 2: Killed by a terrorist ten minutes in to the first mission, partly because this game has a terrible control scheme
- Sly 3: Killed by drowning in the ice cold waters of Venice (before the first real mission). Evidently raccoons cannot swim
- Burnout Revenge: (Quit if failure or car explodes/crashes, crash event doesn't count) Failed on a crash event when I only made it into oncoming
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3: (Quit if crash) (actually, quit if no achievement) I crashed (landed sideways on a half pipe) then failed to get any achievements on the foundry level
- Kings Field, The Ancient City: Died by bats when trying to run through them (they are quite strong in large groups)
So, what I learned:
- A lot of games do not work well playing permadeath. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was probably the worst out of these. The more you care about the story the less you care about dying/failing. Permadeathing is best suited for games where the player has a little time to prepare. If you all-of-the-sudden die from a spike trap or something you feel cheated, but if you make a large plan that ends up in death then you feel it was completely your fault, not the game cheating you. When I died in SOCOM (7) I didn't feel cheated because I knew I was stupid to just stand in the doorway rather than employing more complex tactics.
- It takes time to adjust to controls and look sensitivities. Make sure to let the player adjust before you throw them into your game.
- I think games that allow you to fail and adjust if you do rather than making you retry are superior in some ways. For example, some racing games let you lose races and keep progressing. This doesn't make it less valuable to win because us humans are naturally programmed to try to win. Something like Sly 2 or 3 could be significantly more interesting if failure resulted in different storylines. What I mean by this is that if you got detected by a guard and the guard escaped, the boss would be alerted strengthen their guard. They could even counter-attack. This would add significant development time but would result in a much more engrossing world.
- Failure is very important to games. A large amount of learning results from trial and error. It would be preferable if those failure learning cycles could be sped up a little by not making the player restart the entire level. For example, in Braid if the player dies they can just rewind and start a few seconds before they died. This doesn't hurt the game at all because the game isn't about death. In most games death is necessary, but failure doesn't necessarily have to be death.
[FIXED] EDIT: Sorry, but it appears that the lists and bullets aren't working. They show up in the editor window though...
Edited by makuto, 24 December 2012 - 02:10 PM.