Are today's gamers too soft?

Sage
Posts: 1,232
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #16
Speaking as a gamer who beat The Legend of Zelda on the original NES without dying and without getting the sword, yes, I think gamers are too soft now.

Game difficulty should hover just below the "throwing the controller across the room" level.
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Member
Posts: 156
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #17
Nowadays, I think most adult casual gamers are looking for a means of relieving stress than of getting an adrenaline rush.

I am increasingly leaning towards making games that constantly reward the player, games where the motivation is not to avoid being punished, but to move forward and get more rewards and explore the levels ahead.

In this situation, everyone feels that they are good at the game and they just try to get better and better. The goal is to keep the frustration factor as low as possible.
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Moderator
Posts: 592
Joined: 2002.12
Post: #18
Camacho Wrote:Is your game going to be like Miner2049er? If so, goodie goodie.

The ultimate unforgiving game for wrong timing must have been the Laser Disc DragonSlayer.

So, in your platformer. when I die, will I need to recollect something?

Platform Game Death Situations
------------------
1. You die, and go back all the way to the start
2. You die, and go back to the last "safe place/marker"
3. You die, and you appear where you just died
4. You collect something, and die, you restart and you must re-collect everything
5. You collect something, and die, you restart, but the game doesn't require you to
re-collect those things that you had before.

Might be some others.

I like the idea that if I need to collect something, and I die, rather than re-collecting everything, I simply move my new adventurer to the bones of the last player and "pick up" my inventory (ie keys, potions, bombs, etc)

Anyhow, in talking about death, I think it is good to example what the objective of the level is. Can you provide a summary?

What I had in mind was the Manic Miner / Jet Set Willy type of platformer.

You have to collect all the objects from a level to proceed to the next level.
When you die you go back to the start of the screen but any collected items remain collected.

Appearing where you dies does not work for this kind of game as you may return at the top of a long drop or in the path of an enemy or on a dangerous object and that would just cause you die again straight away.
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CubeFusion
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Post: #19
I don't know about the rest of you, but I only tolerate one hit-kills in games when there is a valid reason for it. I don't mean game-play reasons either (for example, increasing the challenge of the game).

"Joe Spacecad, the mighty bounty hunter from planet Terranime has just touched down on the planet of the flying monkeys. Ever vigilant, he exits his spaceship with his trusty beamsword in hand... the hunt begins. Suddenly a glowing blob oozes out of the ground and begins wandering aimlessly around the landscape. Joe, the most badass hunter this side of the galaxy of course shrugs it off as nothing and plods past it towards his destination. Unfortunately due either to fate, or pure coincidence his path crosses the blob and he is instantly vaporized. Game Over."

The problem with this scenario is not that the game mechanics are flawed. But that the developer seems to have forgot to answer this question. Why was Joe, the almighty bounty hunter instantly killed by a lowly blob? Was it radioactive and therefore harmful to the touch? If so then there should be visual clues as to the enemies true nature. The blob could leave little fizzling trails of acid that quickly dissipate (perhaps harming plantlife in its wake). When it touches poor Joe, maybe he should be engulfed by it's gelatinous body, thereby leaving no questions about its lethality in the players mind.

I often see this same mistake made with less abstract enemies like Vampires or Ogres and such. If the creature is not acidic or at least visibly harmful (such as it wearing VERY spiky armor) then it shouldn't kill by touch alone. Instead it should have to do something to the player that looks like it could hurt (like throwing a punch, or bringing an axe down upon your puny skull).

Anyway I wrote a lot more about this subject then I intended so I will leave it with this statement. If it looks like the enemy poses a real physical threat, then no reasonable player will have a problem with instant kills. Simple as that.
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Sage
Posts: 1,232
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #20
Ms Pac Man dies in one hit if she touches a ghost. Are you suggesting she needs a health bar?

Clearly it depends on the game.
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CubeFusion
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Post: #21
arekkusu Wrote:Ms Pac Man dies in one hit if she touches a ghost. Are you suggesting she needs a health bar?

Clearly it depends on the game.

Health bar? LOL

You seem to have misunderstood me. In this situation, it would probably be better if the ghost opened his gaping mouth and swallowed Mrs Pac-Man whole. I don't like the idea of running from the ghosts just because they are there, maybe the whole reason they are chasing her is because she looks like a giant pizza and they are hungry?

Obviously with the technology of the time, they couldn't include that many frames of animation. But with todays technology and our vast amounts of memory, I really do not think it is excusable to be missing one attacking animation (Even if just one or two frames) per enemy.
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Member
Posts: 184
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #22
Contrary to popular belief, realism does not equal fun.
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CubeFusion
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Post: #23
phydeaux Wrote:Contrary to popular belief, realism does not equal fun.

I don't think the point I have been trying to make has been games need to be realistic to be fun...

The idea I am trying to get across is that a player is far more likely to "accept" his characters death when there is a good reason for it. If they see a logical reason for their characters untimely death then chances are they won't get as frustrated (Unless of course due to bad game design). Generally If the player is required to attack to hurt the opponents, then the opponents should have to attack to hurt the player. I just don't believe simply touching the player should count as an attack.

Anyway what this translates to has almost no bearing on actual gameplay. But it does help the player reason out why their beloved character is dead and learn from it, without the possibility of thinking the game is being unfair to them (even if it is all in their heads).
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Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2010.11
Post: #24
That always bugged me about Mario. Why would you damage a turtle by jumping on its nice hard shell and die when running into its soft squishy head? Here we go, tearing apart the game design of Pac-Man and Mario, but honestly things need to make a tiny amount of sense. Now, think about real life a little. If I saw a turtle walking towards me, regardless of it being bipedal or not, I would most likely not be worried in the least. Now if I saw a fiery daemon that was fusing rocks together in its footsteps and things were catching fire 10 feet away I would run away screaming, unless I had winged hat or something.

I'm not saying games have to be realistic, or make sense. I have read the hitchhiker's guide and have a great respect for things not making sense, but if they don't make sense, they had better make absolutely none at all. For example if my player was a yellow blob with an eye I probably wouldn't expect the regular laws of physics to take effect, especially if my purpose in life was to collect power pellets. Now if I was "Joe Spacecad, the mighty bounty hunter from planet Terranime" I would expect the ghosts to be running from me or through me, and the turtles to die wether I walked in to them or jumped on them.

my 2.626198 Canadian cents
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Member
Posts: 336
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #25
For me it's more a question of frustration than simply dying in one hit. It's not frustrating to die in one hit in Contra, but it IS frustrating to make a jump in the original Ninja Gaiden and hit one of those strategically-placed birds/bats, sending me and my nearly full health bar straight to my demise.

There IS another alternative that I am finding interesting, and that is to assign a grade to the player based on their performance in the level. Contra: Shattered Soldier does this. Your grade is based on the % of enemies that you kill, -2% per death and -10% per continue. The normal game was 5 levels, but if you got straight A's you got to play additional levels.

An idea I've been kicking around, is instead of giving the player say 3 lives, you give them infinite and just keep track of how many times they've died. You let them continue from the exact point they die, and assign a grade at the end of the level. You can make the game much more difficult, and can have some really disgustingly difficult grades to achieve (such as the AA or AAA in DDR.) Also, like DDR, you can instantly fail the player if they're screwing up way too much.

The result is that the casual players can advance through the game and finish, and the hardcore players can strive for the best grade. They'll strive, too. I've seen people pump countless dollars into DDR machines to try for that AA. Hell, I AM one of them.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Sage
Posts: 1,232
Joined: 2002.10
Post: #26
Heh. While I agree that realism is usually not fun, just for another perspective I find that, for 3rd person adventure/horror/what have you games, I prefer the "one life, you're dead" approach. If you die, that's it. You're dead. Having infinite lives can be really nice for trying things out (i.e. stair-diving a room full of soldiers in MGS2) but in other games like ICO or Silent Hill (the type I'd make if I did 3D games) avoiding death is a powerful motivation for careful, exploratory movement.

So again, it depends on the game.
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Hog
Member
Posts: 151
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #27
the metroid games are good example of difficulty of a game (especially for platform games), though you don't have 1 hit kills. while the original metroid was pretty tough to beat, the later ones are actually pretty easy to beat. in the last one for gba (zero mission), bosses healths are even proportional to how many items you collected. however while they are easy to play through there is still alot of stuff and tricks you won't get with little experience. you can watch some gameplay movies of elite metroid gamers at: http://www.metroid2002.com/ (like the secret in metroid fusion, or all the tricks in zero mission)
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Member
Posts: 100
Joined: 2006.05
Post: #28
Why don't you just make your save points more spaced out? That way you don't have to worry about the game being too 'easy' in a sense. I mean if the save points are more spaced out, then the player is less willing to slack off getting there (although they can mess around if they want and go back to the save point, but they will have to have plenty of skill and strategy in their maneuvers in order to actually make it to the next save point). Also, you'll want the save-points to keep track of the player's health and status too, that way the player won't just restart the game just to get their health back. If you have to (That is, if it's too hard) just through health kits and ammo at the save points.

Also, it's cool to have it divided up in 'levels'. That way if the player gets 'stuck' at a certain save point (ie. he has close to no health and no ammo and there's no hope for him making it to the next save point) they can at least be able to restart at the beginning of the level with all their health and default ammo.

Anyway, one thing I've noticed have spoiled gamers was having save-points too close together or being able to save literally anywhere. When you do this, they can just save at every single hard part, and just keep going like that until they get through without a hitch. I just think it made the games a little too easy and less exciting or suspenseful....

Just my 2 cents....
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Moderator
Posts: 592
Joined: 2002.12
Post: #29
I agree about the save points thing.

Tomb Raider on the Playstation had save points and I acutally finished that game as I kept pushing to get to the next save.
Tomb Raider 2 on the Playstation had save anywhere and I never actually got around to finishing that one as there was nothing to keep you going at 3am to find the next save.

However if I do my Manic Miner type game then there would be no save points as there was no such thing in the original. It just made you get really good at the earlier levels Smile
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Member
Posts: 336
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #30
There needs to be a distinction between save points being a place where you can record your progress and turn the game off, and save points being a place to which you simply return after you die. In many games the two are one and the same and I don't 100% agree with this approach.

I enjoy difficult games, but I don't find myself with a whole lot of free time nowadays. I'd like to be able to record my progress in a game and put it down at a moment's notice, while at the same time not having the difficulty of my game spoiled because I can just save every three seconds. There has to be some middle ground somewhere for the hardcore-gamer-turned-wage-slave.

Say for instance, in an RPG, you can have an option to save & quit anytime. This records any collected experience points, gold and items, but not your position in the dungeon. You'd still have to navigate the dungeon in one sitting.

arekkusu Wrote:I find that, for 3rd person adventure/horror/what have you games, I prefer the "one life, you're dead" approach. If you die, that's it. You're dead.


You're absolutely right. Infinite lives makes the "survival" part of survival/horror sort of trivial. I was thinking more along the lines of arcade or action games, particularly the old Konami classics like Contra or Life Force.

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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