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Holy shit. Cool it on the tl;dr

Aka how to lose credibility in 1285 words.
(02-03-2013, 11:25 PM)the dark side Wrote: [ -> ]Your wall of text

You should try to post pictures instead.. A picture says more than a thousand words.
On another note, right now I feel cutscenes really are the most effective way to progress the story. This is not because cutscenes as a mechanic are ideal and perfect, but because people in this age are conditioned to connect to information presented in a movie-like format. We're used to emoting to movies, so it's easier for us to respond to cutscenes.
Quote: @Aldigheri, what the player goes through is NOT a story,. it is meerly
one Facet of a Story, by focusing purely on the experience of one
characheter, all you have is a Need to Know version of what is
happening, this is limited and boring, and gives no reason as to why
exactly you are killing "evil russian general #487...or come to think of
it, who Evil Russian General #487 actually is, and thus, the final
battle is little more than a depressing anti climax.
That's why you integrate the story with the gameplay. Rather than going through a wall of text explaining why you kill Russian General #487, you put clues in the environment about who he is and what he does, maybe have him do a voice on the intercom system or something, then have him burst onto the scene. This worked amazingly in Bioshock, when they introduced the characters. They did this through audio journals, but also through interaction with them, and the environment they dwell in. Often they are tied in with certain objectives, that give you background on their character. Then you get to see what becomes of them as they help/hinder you. Really putting life into the game world and not distracting from the gameplay.

There's another level, though. It's not just about the larger story, which can be told through the game world(See the levels of Bioshock, L4d2, Portal 2, to get an idea of what I mean. Those games had to tell a story about survivors. Often, you were your only ally in those games, so they had to be a bit creative with the environments to give you an idea of the situation.)

It's about what the player does, it's actions affect the personal character story. What the player does in the game world affects what kind of character is being played. Are you a daring rogue, or a trigger happy lunatic? That is determined by the play style of the character. Guild Wars 2 took this into account, and actually let's you decide from the very beginning what your story is going to be like. AND IT TOTALLY IS AFFECTED. The starting missions you have to do are completely different depending on what you chose in the character customization.

So do I believe that story and gameplay are intermingled? Absolutely! Do I believe in sacrificing gameplay for the sake of superimposing a story onto the player through cutscenes? Definitely not.

Quote: On another note, right now I feel cutscenes really are the most
effective way to progress the story. This is not because cutscenes as a
mechanic are ideal and perfect, but because people in this age are
conditioned to connect to information presented in a movie-like format.
We're used to emoting to movies, so it's easier for us to respond to
Most people I've seen try to skip cutscenes whenever possible. So it's wasted effort IMO, unless you make them unskippable...which is a pet peeve of mine. (I have so many.)
aahhh, NOW i get you aldigheri, thanks for the examples, i must admit, i do find it a lot easier to understand what people are on about when they give examples.

agreed, it would be more fun to find out about russian #487, not from a massive wall of subtitles, but by actually cracking into the kremlin computer system (via puzzle) and reading his profile on there, make the player feel more like, in this example, a spy, rather than just another grunting marine. good point, i can see there how gameplay and story could become as one item.

agreed, i do agree that enviornment should be part of the story, if there is one thing that ticks me off is the feeling an environment, say, i dunno, siberia, has been put in simply to tick the box marked "snow level" on the "to do checklist" for making "a modern game", as it feels lazy, and lazy design is a pet hate for me. now, sending the player to siberia to say, stop the development of a chemical agent that is highly temprature unstable and can only be produced in a sub zero environment, now that gives a story reason for sending the player to siberia, so it feels a part of the mission, not just making a mark next to the "siberian level" tickbox.

thanks for those examples, they have really helped me see what people are on about. im something of a concrete thinker i am afraid, not an abstract one, so, examples really do help.

hmm, im not that much of a fan of Morality systems and story being affected by player choice, as it leaves me feeling very confused and upset. i need a rigid morality path to cope, moral choices just leave me confused, and often completely Stressed Out, sure, i know they are popular, and most players like them because they give the player more agency on the story, but you need to remember, not everyone is neurologically typical, not everyone can actually COPE with a morality choice system, so, yes, they belong in some games, such as thwe RPG genre, but i really dont want to see them encroach on others, im getting forced out of gaming enough as it is by companies who dont think, without the whole "moral dilemma" things being baught in from other genres.

as for my own play style, i tend to be flexible and will use whatever tactic the situation demands, provided its clearly defined (ie "objective: Dont Get Spotted") although i tend to default tactically to, "if it moves, kill it".

i have never said that gameplay should be sacrificed for cutscenes, that is one of my pet peeves as well actually, especially when the cutscene could so easilly be done as gameplay,lets take project: IGI as example. when jones steals the Mig-27 at the end ov level 3, we see him fly it in a cutscene, that grinds my gears, seeing as the games graphics engine was shared with a flight simulator, i have to ask, how hard would it have been to re-instate the flight sim mechanics and allow the Player to fly the jet themselves!

I agree, you should never make something that would have better as gameplay, into a cutscene. lets say, with the MMS, if i did play them (i dont) why have the bit when the player dodges the falling towerblock as one of those damn boring first person cutscenes, when it would have been cheaper, and a lot more fun, to make the player dodge it himself by practically welding down the straffe keys.

also, no offense to you or your freinds but, personally, i feel that cutscene skipping tends to be a sighn of the impatience of immaturity,... i mean, what is the point, really, in playing a story focussed game, and skipping the story? it doesnt make sense to me i am afraid. unless the story is REALLY, REALLY bad, or the cutscenes are absolutely god-awfull satellite view thingies, then skip away with pleasure as that kind of rubbish is a total waste of dev budget and isnt worth watching,. better NO STORY AT ALL, than a Bad Story or those bloody satellite things.
Quote: also, no offense to you or your freinds but, personally, i feel that
cutscene skipping tends to be a sighn of the impatience of
immaturity,... i mean, what is the point, really, in playing a story
focussed game, and skipping the story? it doesnt make sense to me i am
afraid. unless the story is REALLY, REALLY bad, or the cutscenes are
absolutely god-awfull satellite view thingies, then skip away with
pleasure as that kind of rubbish is a total waste of dev budget and isnt
worth watching,. better NO STORY AT ALL, than a Bad Story or those
bloody satellite things.
It's when you play the game multiple times where it becomes an issue. Even if it's just that beginning cutscene that sets everything up. I'd rather do without that so I can get onto the gameplay.
(02-03-2013, 11:25 PM)the dark side Wrote: [ -> ]Thunderbunk, kindly do not speak ill of the health pack system in front of me, as far as i am concerned regenerating health is only for mindless casual gamers who lack the intelligence to understand the idea of "find a medkit when your health gets low". i see no excuse, neither story nor gameplay related for it, it exits PURELY to help the game appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator!

so kindly do not insult the traditional and superior health system in front of me as that grinds my gears into a Powder, thankyou, non-sequitor it might be, but it improves the games challenge, and thus, its enjoyment, and is thus superior as a gameplay mechanic.

I never insulted the health pack system in my post, I ridiculed bad and unimmersive use of the health pack system. On the other hand, I feel the health pack system as used in the past is retarded, so there you go. In general gaming knowing where to find the health kits shows no skill, it shows that you've done something before. Everyone, even you, started as a casual gamer and ridiculous systems like this create a threshold, a divide that makes sure casual gamers will never be able to learn and become better gamers. Essentially systems like the ridiculous health pack system is the reason hardcore gamers have all but disappeared, not the other way around.

I read that post and I see nothing but elitism. What you're saying is "I don't like the stupid way new games handle it so what we should do is go back to where we were, never change and stagnate forever!".
Hmm, interesting idea with the cutscene issue, Aldigheri, how about having it so that, although the cutscenes cannot be skipped on the first time they run, the player is given the option to skip them on all subsequent runs.. gives the best of both worlds i think.

@Funderbunk, sorry, it read as if you were insulting the system, also, i feel i should mention, i AM an elitist, i admit to it completely and see no crime in it.

if you are going to say the old system is retarded, then kindly explain to me why you feel it is so, as i certainly feel personally the new system is completely retarded, as it removes all need for exploration from the map, encorages the player to rush in, instead of hanging back and actually thinking about how to take on the platoon in the distance without getting a smacking to their healthbar, and basically, promote clueless gameplay, just run down a corridor killing everything that moves without need of tactics, boring, even Wolf3d needed basic tactics, such as straffing, ammo conservation, and attacking from behind, all to avoid your health taking a smacking, with regen, all that goes out the window, resulting in very simple, near brain dead experience... i will not tolerate the use of terms like retarded without explanation!

also, threshold? what are you talking about? the healthpack system is perhaps the easiest system of all to understand, even for a complete and total utter rookie. on screen healthbar gets low, seek out medical items pictured in the (nowadays) on disk, manual,, easy peasy!. They are also easier than regen to understand, as there is a clear on screen display of what you have left in the tank, if its at about 30% you may take another good 4 or 5 AK hits before taking a dirt nap, were as with a "bloody Screen! so real!" system, its often very obtuse as to how many hits you have left, sometimes the screen can be totally splattered in jelly, and youll still take a good 2 or 3 AK rounds before going down, were as other times, it can have a slight red tinge, and youll go down with one makarov hit, its almost random feeling and smacks of bad game design.

IF, and i say IF, there is a threshold, wich i personally doubt, then there is also this new Segmented Healthbar system that ubisoft cooked up, that is perhaps a good way of getting casual gamers to understand the idea of medkits, in that the health is split into segments that can regenerate if not drained totally, but can only be refilled once drained by using a medkit, offering the best of both worlds, its far too easy for my tastes, but i can see how it would be usefull to a casual gamer, so perhaps offering a segmented health system on easy, but pure medikit only on normal and hard levels might be the way forward.

if you ask me, hardcore gaming has dissapeared because MOST hardcore gamers i know are PC elitist, most games now are designed for consoles and casual gamers, resulting, in easy, boring gameplay, mechanics that are not in the least bit entertaining, and have woefull graphics, not to mention the PC ports are often very rushed, are unreliable, and often even lack such basics as graphical performance options and key rebind, most hardcores i know are OFFENDED by this and have decided to not bother with gaming until after the inevitable next great games crash.

i am not saying we stagnate, no, i just feel the modern gameplay systems are pathetic, they offer little entertainment value and no challenge, there is no point in playing an easy, boring game, as you are better of watching a Schwartzenneger movie instead, so, thats what i do. i am saying we return to the classic systems as they are Superior, they are more entertaining, give the player more of a chance in a bind, and are actually more realistic (in a battle, there is often NO time to use the iron sites, soldiers are trained in shoulder based point shooting, wich resembles the old "hip shooting" style, and to be accurate in it far mroe than they are trained how to use irons, irons are an NRA target range style that has NO place in a battlefield, as a result, the old school "hip" system is more realistic for a battle scenario, in the same way if you get SHOT, you are not going to regenerate wolverine style hiding behind a rock, you will bleed out, you need to find a feild compress, part of the "Medics kit" wich corrupts to... you quessed it Medikit) and then take them in new directions from there using advances in procedural generation.

For example, you say knowing were to find medikits takes no skill, good point, your correct there, once you know where they all are, you can pretty much sleepwalk the levels, so what about using Procedural generation to ensure the kits are never in the same place, after all, the army doesnt always fill all the emergancy aid cabinets due to logistical oversight, by using procedural, to ensure not all cabinets are filled, and by ensuring the filled ones are never the same each time, you make the game more realistic, more challenging, and you can give a story reason as to why most of the aid cabinets are empty, especially if the mission is in Russia, as moscow hasn't resupplied many of its outlying garrisons since Brezhnev was in the Kremlin. again, making story and gameplay as one on top.

its the same with using the old point shooting (FIXED non Expanding Crosshairs with high hip accuracy) and "2 eyes open" style of aiming (precision aim, ge64 type, rather than ADS). by using that, the player is using british battlefeild tactics, not NRA range assists, by having the story define the player charachter as a British elite operative, the 2 eyes open style of aiming (used by the british as it still gives a clear view down the sites, but also gives far better periphial vision and situational awareness, compared to American style one eye, wich will get you blindspotted and killed) as well as the old "run and gun and straffe" systems become more realistic (via point shooting training), make the game more fun and faster paced, but also gives a story reason for the classic gameplay.

Procedural can also be used to ensure the charachter feels better trained, with less bullet spread, but still realistic, by say, dividing the screen into two algorithim areas, the section inside the hairs, and the section outside, programme the game so the majority of round hits will generate, procedurally, inside the hairs, but a few will generate outside, simulating mechanical innacuracy, say a ratio of, for an AK47, 22 hits inside hair and 8 wild ones. thats about right for a highly trained trooper with an AK47, just ask Andy Mcnab.

Again, story reasons can be given for classic gameplay mechanics, even the use of HUD, making story and gameplay one, and allowing games to return to the superior classic gameplay mechanics without any loss in realism, in fact, they gain an actual increase in realism (look, popping into Sites DOES NOT magically make a gun more accurate, if you cant hit the broad side of a barn from the shoulder, popping into sites does not magically make you the worlds best sniper, you still wont be able to hit the broad side of a barn, because the very reason you cant hit that object is because you dont know how to correctly controll the firearm), and by using Procedural Generation, it will be possible to return to these classic mechanics, and then advance them into new forms, preventing gaming from stagnating.

Wich, yes, i agree it will do if we just "go back" without trying to improve them with procedural and integrating story to give reasons for those mechanics,. but, by just making everything copy "call of duty 4", gaming has Completly stagnated, as i am sorry, i personally cannot tell the difference between Modern Warfare 3, Battlefeild 3, and Warfighter, at a gameplay level, the all look Exactly the same gameplay wise, and they even have, get this, the EXACT SAME STORY! "evil russians backed in leaque with evil moslems attempt to kill everyone in new york.." im sorry, but, if that is not total stagnation, i do not know What is.
The threshold is twofold and very simple - obviously as you stated the fake difficulty is an issue. For new gamers it creates a threshold you have to know that health kits might be hidden everywhere and know how to find niches where they are. Take a competitive game - the experienced players will know where the health kits are or where they are likely to be or spawn, the new players will not. The experienced players have a distinct advantage causing a niche of "hardcore" players (they're not really, they have the upper hand due to repetition and not skill) to form an ever increasing threshold as the metagame evolves that no new player can enter into causing a stop of new dedicated players and make sure the game experience gets abandoned over time. It keeps out the casuals, yes, but it also keeps out everyone with the potential to be something more. Using the traditional healthpack system is guaranteeing the death of your game as a multiplayer experience.

Second way the threshold works is towards non gamers who are potential gamers. You show someone a game, they're interested in trying it out, they're getting immersed in the experience, they feel the stress of getting hurt in the game, how do I solve it? I shoot an exploding barrel and there's a completely intact medkit in there? Immersion is gone, the game gets ridiculed, the person won't play it again. Non sequiter game mechanics such as this are the main reason why games were never taken seriously as art and still aren't.

Another problem I have with health kits is the fact it more often than not removes the experience of the game. Players who get low health essentially drop all other game mechanics and tactics as far as possible until they find a health kit. It makes finding an item the primary goal for a player in a game where this is not the focus.

I have to clarify some things - I'm not defending auto-heal or regeneration, and that I'm not saying health kit systems never work. But health kit systems have been misused for years just as regeneration systems are being misused to heck now. They both have proper uses - in fact I find Amnesia itself uses both quite well.

I am also not defending spunkgargleweewee games such as the Modern Warfare games, because like yourself I truly, truly despise those games. Disliking one system does not equal liking the alternative by default - I honestly can't think of an element I like in those games, and while I don't agree with you that gaming is dead, I do feel that the majority of FPS gaming is definitely in a slump since hiding behind chest high walls was introduced. I myself was always more into fast paced arena shooters, preferably with an instant kill mode (health kits are for casuals, haha), but those went the way of the dodo.

I do not disagree with you on shooting accuracy however, console shooters destroyed that. I am also interested in your ideas to improve upon broken gameplay mechanics but I'm still not convinced that health kits work in a games' favour.
Honest question, did anyone actually read this whole thread
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