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Old 05-08-2009, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default Neglected Features

If there's one thing that consistently bothers me in the gaming industry, it's the fact that people always borrow the wrong ideas from each other. I can't count how many games have decided to utilize Halo's shield system, despite the fact that it's an absolutely atrocious mechanic that completely ruins the pacing of most shooters (lose your shields, hide behind a rock for ten seconds).

To get to the point, there are some great, fantastic, ideas that seem to have been forgotten, despite their potential to become quite prominent and save everyone a lot of trouble, or just in general present an improvement to existing formulae.

A few of the ones that I miss.

-Inexhaustible resources. This one is picking up (SupCom, CoH, DoW) but the games it's present in are typically utter garbage (SupCom, CoH, DoW). Spawned by Total Annihilation, it allowed the player the focus on the more important aspects of an RTS, namely combat and having to defend your resources instead of tediously searching out new sites.
The entire concept thrived on the idea of 'resource flow', essentially, you consistently created hordes of units, structures and your towers and big guns used up resources as they fired, because of this you were forced to develop a stable influx of resources. Since the more metal and energy you had allowed you to produce more units and structures, it was essential to keep the flow alive. This meant that the enemy could easily dust off a clump of metal collectors or energy structures and ruin your entire economy in the space of a second. It forced the player to perform both defensively and offensively since turtling meant that you couldn't expand your defenses as quickly as your enemy, and thus you'd be overrun by superior forces.
Too bad no one has done it right since, not even in TA's successor Kingdoms.

-Non-regenerating health. I don't just mean the CoD element of waiting for a red screen to fade, I mean that in general you don't recover health. This was seen in GoldenEye (for the N64), Perfect Dark, and Perfect Dark's infamous sequel Zero. While I don't want to see it in every single shooter, it worked perfectly for the style of gaming GoldenEye and Perfect Dark possessed, it forced the player to move carefully and excel in combat, since there's no way he would find a health pack. Occasionally you'd get some more armor to pad you up, but your health was precious and altered only in a negative manner. I'd prefer more games using this system in order to add an element of tension. It would be nice in a stealth game.


So the question is, what mechanics do you expect to see more of in the industry?
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:05 AM   #2
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Of course the developers won't be so open to different ideas. Because gamers whine too much nowadays (it didn't happen in such large proportions in the past) about their games, they're afraid to be original, open-minded, different. They just try to stick with an idea that proved out to be one that pleases the most people, and they constantly recycle it.

But the worst gamers, that constantly kill originality in today's games are the genre purists. "Oh no, it's not a true RPG. This game sucks because it's not an RPG, while it says it is."
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:12 AM   #3
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Way to contribute.

And people who whine are the people who cause change in the industry, you wouldn't have had the French Revolution if the revolutionaries had sat back and let the royalists screw them in the sphincter.

Stop shitposting mi breda.
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Old 06-08-2009, 07:28 AM   #4
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[Socrates]No ad hominem arguments, no begging the question, and no entry without mathematics![/Socrates]

Otherwise you'll all be thrown out of Philosopher School!
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blood-Pigggy View Post
-Non-regenerating health. I don't just mean the CoD element of waiting for a red screen to fade, I mean that in general you don't recover health. This was seen in GoldenEye (for the N64), Perfect Dark, and Perfect Dark's infamous sequel Zero. While I don't want to see it in every single shooter, it worked perfectly for the style of gaming GoldenEye and Perfect Dark possessed, it forced the player to move carefully and excel in combat, since there's no way he would find a health pack. Occasionally you'd get some more armor to pad you up, but your health was precious and altered only in a negative manner. I'd prefer more games using this system in order to add an element of tension. It would be nice in a stealth game.
Although I haven't played the games you say that have that mechanic, I don't think if I would like it too much. If health is a resource that can only be modified negatively, it would be easy to reach a point where you can't continue because of extremely low health. I am a little against mechanics that makes you reload constantly or go to a long way back savegame to have an opportunity at winning it.

And answering your question, I love the export character feature that some RPG and RPG-like games series had in the days, like QFG and the Krynn series. This feature lets you see your character grow along the series.

And there were other features that I would like to see, but I can't remember them now. I will post again if I remember them
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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I miss detailed character creation processes for RPGs.

Games like Darklands, Daggerfall and Megatraveller have great PC creation setups.

These days, the likes of Fallout 3 and Mass Effect just don't cut it. I'm hoping Dragon Age will be better.

Many of the other things I miss are either coming back, or being remade (adventure games, mechwarrior, TIE Fighter...)
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:22 PM   #7
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I miss detailed character creation processes for RPGs.
Seconded.

As for inexhaustible resources, I actually think that the aspect of their exhaustion is an important part of the "strategic" part of the game. Manage your resources and at the same time defend and expand. Also, I think it adds to the realism of the game. My option though.

Concerning the static health, I would agree it would add to the hard-core feeling of the game. But I would not want it to become the only option in FPS. Possibly only on higher difficulties.

I, for one, miss the expanded dialogues in, for example, PS:T or Morrowind. Morrowind's sequel drastically cut the dialogues and in my opinion that kinda ruined the could-be-wonderful game.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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Don't be afraid of isometric view.

These days everything has to be full 3D (by this I mean also full perspective view). In certain games - like the city building series Caesar or SimCity or even something like Transport Tycoon - having a fixed angle and no perspective distortion actually helps the player to assess distances (laying out the buildings precisely).

The real Fallout 3 (codename Van Buren) looked great despite using this view. And they did implement 3D engine, so isometric doesn't mean "spirtes". Games like Railroad Tycoon 3 or Trucks & Trains Tycoon were inferior to older versions as the player didn't benefit from the full 3D perspective view, but constantly fought with camera placement.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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Seconded.

As for inexhaustible resources, I actually think that the aspect of their exhaustion is an important part of the "strategic" part of the game. Manage your resources and at the same time defend and expand. Also, I think it adds to the realism of the game. My option though.

Concerning the static health, I would agree it would add to the hard-core feeling of the game. But I would not want it to become the only option in FPS. Possibly only on higher difficulties.

I, for one, miss the expanded dialogues in, for example, PS:T or Morrowind. Morrowind's sequel drastically cut the dialogues and in my opinion that kinda ruined the could-be-wonderful game.
These are all features you'd like to see more of, don't assume anyone means "all games need to have this". I don't want to see the standard resource model removed from RTS games, it works well in Starcraft, it's just that too many games slow down and become boring in the early game because you're busy stockpiling resources in order to tech up. The Age of Empires games are extremely bad regarding this, it almost feels like it takes twenty minutes to just start the game because everyone is spending resources on more villagers and gathering nonsense. I love the AoE games, their early game is just astonishingly slow.
Just making that clear, we still need shooters like Doom with replenishable health, I just want the static health to be more prominent in games that emphasize not making mistakes, ie stealth games or more 'realistic' titles like CoD which at least offer to maintain the illusion of realism.
Perfect Dark and GoldenEye used it well without becoming an aggravating issue, but that's also thanks to their great level design.

There's only one thing I want to see removed and that's regenerating health which hasn't worked well in a single game I've played yet.

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Don't be afraid of isometric view.

These days everything has to be full 3D (by this I mean also full perspective view). In certain games - like the city building series Caesar or SimCity or even something like Transport Tycoon - having a fixed angle and no perspective distortion actually helps the player to assess distances (laying out the buildings precisely).

The real Fallout 3 (codename Van Buren) looked great despite using this view. And they did implement 3D engine, so isometric doesn't mean "spirtes". Games like Railroad Tycoon 3 or Trucks & Trains Tycoon were inferior to older versions as the player didn't benefit from the full 3D perspective view, but constantly fought with camera placement.
I don't think isometric is as dead as many people would point it out to be, I just think the issue is that too many developers become comfortable with their existing engines and gaming models.
Bethesda is a prime example, GameBryo is great for isometric or turn-based games, it gave us Kohan, Civilization IV, Freedom Force and a ton of other games, but Bethesda doesn't want to deviate from their existing formulae, because that's hard to do, because it takes more money and time (although God knows what took them four years just to reskin Oblivion and add in horrible shooter combat to make Fallout 3), also there's always the idea that they just can't pull it off which is why developers stick to the same genres and ideas.

Since there are fewer people making isometric games, that means there are fewer companies that actually have experience making them, eventually leading up to a scenario where there are very few companies that are making them at all because they're comfortable with them.
Let's not forget that the genres that the perspective lends itself to are difficult to make, top down RPGs in the realm of Baldur's Gate or Temple of Elemental Evil, RTS and TBS games, simulation titles, all that stuff is more difficult than an action game, or the vastly overrated first person action RPG.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:42 PM   #10
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These are all features you'd like to see more of, don't assume anyone means "all games need to have this". I don't want to see the standard resource model removed from RTS games, it works well in Starcraft, it's just that too many games slow down and become boring in the early game because you're busy stockpiling resources in order to tech up. The Age of Empires games are extremely bad regarding this, it almost feels like it takes twenty minutes to just start the game because everyone is spending resources on more villagers and gathering nonsense. I love the AoE games, their early game is just astonishingly slow.
Well of course it depends on how is the resource management employed in the specific game. For example, in the mentioned AoE series, the problem in my opinion was, that there were too much resources (food, stone, wood, gold IIRC) to gather and often they were quite scattered. So the resource aspect became much too dominant part of the RTS, to the dismay of many people. Despite this issue, AoE managed to gather quite a fanbase. Don't take me wrong I like the series, yet as you mentioned, it kinda starts slowly and often in the late parts of a long mission, the resources are too much of a nuisance.

A good example of resource management, in my opinion, is Warcraft. You had the gold mines and you had to harvest lumber. You built your base around the goldmine and when it was exhausted, you built a mini-base around another one and you had to protect them both, requiring you to take a more tactical approach to dealing with things. You protect the main production base, you protect your resource flow, you expand, you win. Similiar with Starcraft. This way things, if handled well, do not become too hectic and you can focus on the more important aspects of gameplay. Everybody wins.
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