FAQ Search
Memberlist Usergroups
Profile
  Forum Statistics Register
 Log in to check your private messages
Log in to check your private messages
Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
Is there a connection between Talos, Hades & Cerebus
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Battlescape View previous topic :: View next topic  
 Author
Message
Johnh



Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Posts: 160



PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends how you play the game, or the manner in which the game is played.

Manner in which the game is played:

How large is the punishment for death/failure?

In Starscape, the punishment isn't very large - you just go to your last save point, and you can save imbetween every battle. However, in other games you can't save very often, so dying could mean as much as half an hour in gaming. And once you've played a part, it isn't NEARLY as fun to trudge through old content, fight the same guys, etc... This is ESPECIALLY bad in many RPGS.

How difficult is the game?

If a game is unbelievably difficult, then many people look for cheats so that they can beat the game. Most gamers REFUSE to leave a game unbeaten. Unless it completely sucks. But still there is that desire to at least BEAT the game.

How the game is played:

Played like a game:
Pretty self-explanatory. The person likes games, and plays the game. The player likes the challenge, the gameplay, the puzzles, the strategies involved, etc...

Played like a movie:
The player likes to *see* the game. Likes watching himself move around, killing things, solving puzzles (though not actually working the puzzles). Dazzling and fluid graphics appease these players so long as the gameplay isn't horrible.

Played like a book:
This is where I fall in. I play a game like I read a book. When I played Warcraft 3, I didn't play the campaign for the gameplay - I played it for the plot, to see the story within the game unravel before me. I admit it - I cheated anytime I was about to die.
Back to top
View user's profile
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very interesting (The game/film/book thing), and clarifies some thingsfor me, not least why people want cheats.

It makes almost no sense though, but surely reading a book is a better experience in that sense?

I kind of get it now, but for me, it would be very difficult - I'd constantly be aware how there was no point to it all other than being an excercise in massaging my ego. Perhaps my attitude is a result of working on games though and relaising what is happening behind the scenes.

This is definitely a trend I'm seeing in more and more gamers - even with Starscape - the plot was very important to people.

What I'm wondering though -is it possible to do this in a game, and yet still make the game fun on a purely gameplay basis? To make gameplay work though, do you need the ability to lose something? In which case, wouldn't people who want to play through a game for the experience of the story just want to cheat?
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, I mean, some of that seems like over simplifing. In my view, I think it all comes down to presentation. With Starscape, the plot was ok because it gave you a taste in the beginning, then again at every Boss, and a wee bit in between, stuff like rescuing your people and messing with the xenarch (the end of the game stuff notwithstanding)

Much of the time its all fighting though. I felt it was just enough plot content to wet my appetite for the setting and what everyone is faced with, but the action for me was the main drive of the game.

Even games with missions that explained things inbetween each thing you did wasn't too bad. I wouldn't say I was more inclined to cheat if a level was too tough so much as wanting the cheat sometimes, just to immerse myself in the plot first time through at something.
Back to top
View user's profile
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Dallas wrote:
but the action for me was the main drive of the game.

Yes, that was the point in Starscape after all, and I don't think Starscape is a good example of what we are talking about here - it was specifically designed around the gameplay. Perhaps your views are more like ours at Moonpod, but I know there are a lot of people out there who do this thing where they just want to play through the game fore the experience - even if it's all quite false. I don't know, it's hard to describe, and hard for me personally to understand. I do know that keynote speeches at many recent game development conferences have been about moving away from gameplay and more towards 'game experiences'. I actually find that quite disheartening, but it seems to be the key to making money and is probably what the 'console masses' want.

Perhaps it is possible to do both in one game though.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theory: Much like roleplaying games are obsessed with death (you have 1 minute in which to name as many roleplaying games as you can think of in which there are no rules for dying), computer games are obsessed with Game Over. This is one of the things that made Monkey Island so revolutionary. It is the default assumption in computer games that if you fail to meet certain requirements you die and must start over. This is okay for some, but a large number of people dislike being told, "You're so bad at this that we're going to stop and go over it again from the beginning. Maybe you'll pay attention this time."
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weeble wrote:
but a large number of people dislike being told, "You're so bad at this that we're going to stop and go over it again from the beginning. Maybe you'll pay attention this time."

I'm not sure that's the core issue of what I talked about above though (although, it's another really interesting subject that I'd love to hear people's opinions on). Monkey Island for instance provides taxing puzzles - its equivalent of 'death' is getting stuck, and having to walk about finding new items and trying to see if they have any bearing on your current predicament. What I'm seeing in a few people, is the wish to play a game that offers no resistance whatsoever to what they want to do: e.g. playing through Halo on easy and not dying once without really trying- either for the 'experience' or just to feel like you played through a story. As I've said - I don't totally get it, as it's not something I would find any enjoyment in.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
icarus
Troll
Troll


Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for once i would like to see a MMORPG whare you have to start over from the begining if you die
however thare would be plenty of ways to keep you alive

you start out pritty powerfull so you wount get killed by a bunny

if you die thare is an 1 hower window for pepple to heall you (you arnt dead just unconcince) so you might die and then when you log on the next day to find that you chair has been revied



you would also be able to have kids and if you chair dies you can play as them and get a fraction of thare parents stats
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It reminds me somewhat of the debates going on over at Xenocide's forums (they're doing an X-COM remake). In one of those they were discussing the save/load characteristics of the first game. Some were in the camp that said it was more like a cheat to be able to save at any time, others liked it either for that very reason, or the more simple one of being able to go back where you last left off if you had to push the game aside for awhile.

Still, others who were for the way it was would use another argument, and one I think is probably a lot more sound for those who really are into the game its self. They can make the game as hard or soft on themselves as they like without other impositions getting in the way regardless of difficulty setting. Some might only use specific technology (Earth derived rather than alien for instance) just to name one.

This was the kind of thing fans would get into later on, way after they've done the plot stuff however. Also later on, editors coming down the line would help players come up with their own challenges in other ways.

As far as plot, much of it was through information screens from things you researched and built, but you wouldn't know the ending unless you did that final mission. Which is fine I think in retrospect because up until that point, your playing in an otherwise free form way, which is the only way you can immerse yourself in the game's world without getting any more story content. It just becomes about the battles at that point which is what it was about anyway so no complaints there.

Appropriately enough, it does leave me at least, craving for more story content though. I had a point here and lost it for a sec. Oh yea, I think with this example, plot worked well because it had it sprinkled in liberally through those information bits, but it didn't necessarily dictate a form of playing. It was story for the sake of story in that respect.
Back to top
View user's profile
Gravitron



Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 125
Location: Isra(H)el



PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I liked about Catacomb Abyss is that once you've finished the game via a lot of hard work you were treated to a bonus room whereas you were told the game's cheat code/key-strokes.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
BluePhoenix wrote:
Ah but being able to destroy the entire horde using naught but a peasant is fun! Razz


I'm not saying you're wrong there - that's the vibe I've been getting off a lot of people - I just totally don't understand it.

Here's an example: I have a nephew who plays through all games on easy, so that he can complete them quickly. He played through Halo, which was no challenge whatsoever on easy, he never died, and finished the game. Yet I'm sure he had lots of fun.

To me the experience would be like watching a movie and having to press a button to see the next scene, but it seems that's what a lot of people want. Truly, I don't understand.


So long as he enjoyed it, who cares? Where I think designers go wrong is thinking that their theory of gameplay is best and design accordingly. This is where we get **** like limited saves or no saves. It's technologically feasible but the designers don't want to "cheapen" the experience and so leave it out. Screw you, designers! Leave baby mode in for babies, put a god-hates-us mode in for grognards and leave everyone happy.
Back to top
View user's profile
jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:

This is definitely a trend I'm seeing in more and more gamers - even with Starscape - the plot was very important to people.


Because computers can do so much, there's so much more involved in a game aside from gameplay. When all you had were a couple of sprites and some beeps, squawks and farts for sound, the gameplay had to be good or people would go elsewhere. Joust is one of my favorite early games. Missile Command was also a fav. There was NOTHING but gameplay there for either of them. The graphics sucked! The sound sucked! Who cares? The games rocked!

With today's multimedia capabilities, you can add feature after feature, pretty buttons, shiny graphics, motion-captured actors, 3D photorealistic environments, voice acting, fully-digitized orchestral orchestra soundtracks, and gameplay is forgotten. You get something that walks and talks like a game but lacks gameplay. That's any EA title for you.

Me, I like gameplay. Starscape appealed to me. I could fly the little fighter around and shoot stuff for a while and enjoy it. But once the enjoyment factor of shooting and flying was done, once the self-fulfilling reward of simply continuing the activity was over, I'd move on. That's the only reason to add plot and features to a game, to enhance that core gameplay experience and provide greater meaning. Starscape had a plot. Not a great one but it was servicable enough. Boom, suddenly playing had greater payoff. You had equipment you could work towards, better ships. Boom, more payoff.

For games like Warcraft and Starcraft, after the basic mechanics of beating a level got old you still kept playing because of the story. Sometimes the story would setup an interesting challenge for a level, like defeating an enemy race and rebels from your own race.

Grand Theft Auto 3 had absolutely killer gameplay, one of the best 3D games I've seen. Driving and shooting, walking and shooting, explosions and mayhem. I could lose a half hour just running around in the street blowing **** up. If that's all the game had, I'd still call it great. But they added a plot and challenges to it and that brought the game up to the level of brilliant. Suddenly there's more things to do, more to experience, more to unlock and explore. It gave you a reason to put more time into the game.

I've always been a sucker for story and would like to see more of a storyline developed and explored in Starscape's sequel.

Quote:
What I'm wondering though -is it possible to do this in a game, and yet still make the game fun on a purely gameplay basis? To make gameplay work though, do you need the ability to lose something? In which case, wouldn't people who want to play through a game for the experience of the story just want to cheat?


It's so easy to do it isn't even funny. Consider a game like Alice. My sister is not a FPS player. She loved the storyline, though. So put her on easy mode, let her play through the game in a couple hours, she's got a good experience out of it. Me, I put it up to hard to get a little more challenge, play through in twice the time, I get a good experience out of it. Everyone is happy.

The 3D engines are good enough that games can deliver a completely convincing and movie-like experience. I think it's a no-brainer to provide different difficulty levels that will allow all to play. I've never played through a full game of any of the Silent Hills because I lack a PS2 but a friend has shown me some of the best parts. Atmosphere and fright factor are brilliant. However, the puzzles ruin the game worse than a phone call in the middle of a movie thriller. They totally interrupt the gameplay and make you think about playing the game rather than experiencing it.

Now, for a properly designed thriller of that type, you can have puzzle difficulties that range from non-existant to fiendish, all set on the difficulty level. You can have creature combat from wimpish to hellbeast. You can have gore set from mild scratch to punctured femoral artery. With all that in place, a player like you can crank everything to max and take 50 hours to beat the game, loving every grueling second of it. Players who want to breeze through can drop everything to easy and be done in two hours. The point is, the design of the game in no way needs compromised to provide for those different levels of enjoyment. It's completely scalable and all can be happy with the exact same game.
Back to top
View user's profile
jollyreaper



Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Posts: 181



PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darth Dallas wrote:

Still, others who were for the way it was would use another argument, and one I think is probably a lot more sound for those who really are into the game its self. They can make the game as hard or soft on themselves as they like without other impositions getting in the way regardless of difficulty setting. Some might only use specific technology (Earth derived rather than alien for instance) just to name one.


That's the only sane way to do it. Starscape does that thing about blowing up your ship even if you saved the game earlier. That's a pain in the butt. Leave that out unless someone wants to play a TEDIOUS-DIFFICULT version of the game. But really, if someone wants to risk losing their ship if they die in combat, why not just tell them to not reload the game and play on from that point? Some people feel that saving before a battle and reloading if it goes poorly is cheating. Fine! Don't reload! Problem solved. I think it's ludicrous for them to argue that the option must be removed from the game in order to make it a pure and holy experience. You think it's cheating? Don't cheat! Problem solved. It's only an issue if we're talking about a multiplayer game where multiple people are affected by something. Singleplayer, who cares? Provide flexability and let everyone be happy.
Back to top
View user's profile
Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jollyreaper wrote:
So long as he enjoyed it, who cares?

We do! You can't necessarily base what you are doing around what a few people are saying they like. The funny thing is - it we that are the designers flying in the face of reason here - it seems that all the big mainstream developers have fully embraced something I will simply have to call 'dumbing down'

I don't see how a game providing no challenge is a game any more. Maybe it will give you an immediate sense of satisfaction, but I suspect that won't last like a well crafted challenge that took effort to beat would.

I can see how more modes like survival would be a cool way to give people quick fun sessions, but I don't agree the core of a game like Starscape should compromise. I really feel (mostly based on the board feedback) like Starscape gathered an audience who embrace a challenge - in fact didn't most people want harder modes? Wink

The ideal answer is as you said - more difficulty modes, but that eats time the way we do it (with massive playtests).
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website
Sterra



Joined: 20 Dec 2003
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me with starcraft I played it a lot for a long while and I got pretty good. It was fun and a challenge, but as my interest waned (and the group of people I mostly played with) I and they stopped wanting to play games and only wanted to watch other people in our group play them.

So how I feel is cheats/really easy stuff/the ability to watch other people play are for people who are only nominally interested in your game at that moment. I think that ideally I'd just like to sometimes open up a game and watch someone else play it.
Back to top
View user's profile
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Battlescape All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group