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Author Topic: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design  (Read 40879 times)

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Sharkey

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2008, 12:23:07 PM »

Reminds me: They added escort missions to City of Heroes. Around the same time they added unskippable cut scenes, actually. I think they only reason they didn't stand out as much in my mind is that they're a bit of shitiness already present in most MMOs, while unskippable cut scenes are fuckheadery hitherto unknown in the medium.

Actually, they didn't bug me too much until a couple issues ago, when they altered the AI for NPC allies to have a much larger aggro radius. I'm reasonably sure this was done to make NPC battles taking place outdoors look more interesting, but it also means that inside missions you're stuck with a dude made out of tissue paper running around a room, pistol whipping a boss in a spawn, and running like a coked up ferret to the next one. I had a guy piss off three separate Nemesis bosses this way before faceplanting and failing me. There's really fuckall you can do to prevent this.

So yeah. Not the first time they've done something completely retarded to the game because someone thought it looked cool.
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Kayin

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2008, 12:40:48 PM »

I've been playing Guildwars lately since a friend roped me back into it. Escort missions seem to come in two fashions.

One is a very nice and reasonable one where the escort acts like another party member and tends to do their share of the fighting sufficiently and is generally a pretty successful implementation of Escort bullshit.

But other times they do te Little Sister route and just have the fucker shuffle his feet, requiring you to kill everything within it's eventual path like it's Blast Corps or something.

... Then you wait for 10 minutes for the fucker to actually make it.

After one of these missions there was a cut scene where the slow fucker who you just escorted said "We must go! Keep up if you can!" I was very angry.
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Thad

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2008, 12:45:37 PM »

...I'd sure like to see more games use some equivalent of the Gambit System in cases like that.

Not to say the Gambit System was free from stupidity (I shouldn't have to use a kludge like "stop stealing from the thing after one of your other party members damages it" to stop infinite-looping), but it was much LESS stupid than the norm.
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Lady Duke

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2008, 12:55:43 PM »

I know no one else cares, but I hate that pokemon battles don't involve any real motion on the DS.  Scratch marks over the opponents sprite doesn't look cool.
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Fredward

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2008, 01:17:13 PM »

Graphic design =\= game design

That said, it is perfectly unforgivable that, after three (four?) generations of Stadium games, the moves still look like shit. People buy these games to watch their Pokeymans battle in spectacular 3D!!!, goddamnit.

Anyway. Game design. System Shock 2 had a much better resurrection system than Bioshock, and I'm not afraid to say it.
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Brentai

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2008, 01:35:54 PM »

And System Shock 1 had a much better resurrection system than System Shock 2.  In fact the whole resurrection thing is a holdover from the first game, where it was actually a really big part of the plot.
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Arc

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2008, 01:36:40 PM »

No native screen capture key. Add to this, not recognizing the minimize key, so starting up the memory adoring FRAPS is out of the question if not done beforehand.
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Bal

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2008, 06:47:04 PM »

Escort missions in WoW usually didn't punish you by having a weak, or aggro happy ward, but instead just made most of them impossible without a party (or alternatively be a Hunter). Periodically on most of these quests a bunch of mobs spawn and fucking bum rush you. Ever been gang raped by a pack of gorillas while you're trying to lead a mechanical chicken to safety? It's really not so bad though. Most pairs of players can manage it.

I fucking hate bad inventories. It's not an issue in most games, that limit your items, if any, to essential shit you get and use, for the most part, automatically. In any kind of RPG, or adventure game though, and it's fucking torturous. Mass Effect is a recent perpetrator that I was able to forgive for being otherwise excellent. The first problem there is that you have to pick up everything. You loot enemies automatically, everything going into a sort of post fight hopper where you can later choose whether you want to put it in your inventory, which sounds all right until you realize that your options on that screen, as on every looting screen, is you either dump everything in your inventory, or painstakingly delete those items you don't want, before dumping the rest in your inventory. For the first half of the game, fuck it, you just dump everything in your inventory indiscriminately. Then around the halfway mark your inventory fills up and you have to now go through fifty discreet and often downright hidden inventory menus and one by one delete (or rather convert into omnigel) everything you don't need. It's not the first game to pull this kind of crap either. Obnoxious shit.
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Sharkey

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2008, 07:29:50 PM »

Sounds kind of like every MMO ever. My favorites are the ones where acquiring a pouch to store three more things is a memorable moment.

Which is still a better alternative than a general encumbrance stat. Especially when coupled with... and I still can't believe this... money with an encumbrance value. I've pretty much blotted most of my EverQuest II experience from my mind, but I still recall the moment of realization when, after pretty much emptying my inventory and still walking at about two miles an hour it occurred to me that I was carrying a few hundred copper. I was actually feeling kind of foolish for even thinking that might be what was causing it, but going to the bank and exchanging it for silver allowed me to run again. I actually had to go to the goddamn bank to turn in rolls of pennies. That's such an enjoyable and thrilling activity in real life and I'm ecstatic that someone finally duplicated the experience in a videogame.
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Doom

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2008, 07:47:53 PM »

I am sick to death of Nintendo's attitude towards wifi gaming.

For those of you who are fucking blind, the Pokemon series is over a decade old. Yet after about 3-5 Stadium Games, we get Pokemon Battle Revolution with almost completely unfiltered internet play. You are as likely to run into an actual trainer as you are to find a unicorn. In the meantime, enjoy ubers, ubers and hacked ubers.

Now, that's just some low-grade pokemon shit. Let's talk about Advance Wars.

When the first AW came out on DS, the wasted potential was palpable. There was a fine, musty scent of failure about the product, of dreams never realized. We finally had the best roster of COs and a semblance of fucking balance between them, as the tag system brought low-graders like Adder into a usable stance, and downgraded monsters like Hawke to having an actual god damn weakness. But no Wifi. No god damn Wifi.

Days of Ruin comes out. New setting, new COs, blah blah blah.

Trimmed usable COs to 11. Fine. This isn't counting the 12th impossibly broken Final Boss CO, who THANK GOD can't be used in random wifi bouts, but CAN be used in friend on friend, if you want to end that friendship, at least.

So they dropped the CO roster significantly, but I guess we can forgive that for all of the new, actual good and proper CO power usage gameplay rules.

So, we go to random wifis. Imagine. Any time I want, I can fight somebody at Advance Wars.

You cannot set any of the map choices or settings. Hate Fog of war? Wanted to fight a guy without weather? Did you want a map that wasn't loaded against a player by giving one person 10 starting buildings and another four? Too fucking bad.

And hey, did you want to just play with your friends? Hope you like 1v1 duels, or multiplayer rumbles with... Computer AI. Because only 2 people can connect at a time if they've bothered to exchange fucking friend codes.

This is just too much, Nintendo. You can't even be arsed to regulate your games, either by the potential of the players(Pokemon) or the potential of the system(Advance Wars) to ruin balance.

And of course, I'll still play it forever and eat it up because the only alternative to Days of Ruin is to play Advance Wars by fucking e-mail.
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Kayma

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2008, 07:53:28 PM »

But dude. The child predators! They're why we can't have nice options.
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Arc

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2008, 07:59:15 PM »

Hit detection is fantastic and all, but there's also something to be said about hit recognition. As in, yes, I've shot you square in the face with a mobile javelin launcher, now would you please be ever so kind as to acknowledge this happenstance? Even with a lack of copious amounts of plasma emitting forth, Goldeneye 007 henchmen went the gentleman's route and stopped dead in their tracks once hit, possibly even flailing their string bean arms about as they dropped to the pavement. This enabled the computer and player to form a beat with one another, becoming semi-balletic from corner to corner. Every kill felt earned or justified.

Not so with Crysis (see above), which is packed to the brim with North Koreans and [spoiler]night-glo extraterrestrials [/spoiler] who, if hit in the shoulder or [spoiler]tentacle thinga-ma-bobber[/spoiler], merely continue to strafe out of sight, delivering perfect shots up close or hectometers. Dead in the chest? Nothing. A spray of bullets to the kneecaps? Maybe a twitch at best. With no attention paid, the player is left wondering if even a quarter of their shots are connecting. Even better, the foes have at least one magazine's worth of hit points upon their already hardened bodies of marble & steel.

:rage:
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Royal☭

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2008, 08:20:59 PM »

Actually, along those lines, enemies should play by the same rules as players.  There's nothing like being pinned down while enemies throw infinite grenades and continue to fire a machine gun non-stop.  Their death then reveals that apparently they only had one grenade a 7 rounds in their rifles.

Brentai

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2008, 09:54:15 PM »

This is somewhat forgivable seeing as how for most of the history of gaming the idea of tracking ammunition for every enemy in the area sounded like a nightmare.

But hey welcome to 2008.  Your ideas have been noted and will be passed along to the proper officials, have a nice day.
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Thad

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2008, 10:12:13 PM »

Actually, along those lines, enemies should play by the same rules as players.  There's nothing like being pinned down while enemies throw infinite grenades and continue to fire a machine gun non-stop.  Their death then reveals that apparently they only had one grenade a 7 rounds in their rifles.

See also: the original Super Mario Kart.

Of course, newer Mario Karts have introduced their own kludges that made computer opponents play by different rules.

This is somewhat forgivable seeing as how for most of the history of gaming the idea of tracking ammunition for every enemy in the area sounded like a nightmare.

Well yes, we've already covered the "it made sense 20 years ago but doesn't anymore" premise several times.
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Burrito Al Pastor

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2008, 10:42:09 PM »

Well, just because we have the technology to do it doesn't mean it's a really good use of time. Keeping track of ammo isn't hard, but having AI that attempts to conserve ammo is.
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Arc

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2008, 11:23:07 PM »

Their death then reveals that apparently they only had one grenade a 7 rounds in their rifles.

Crysis goes about ammo inventory in a sadistic manner, in that you must pickup each individual gun dropped by a deceased soldier. No simple running over an ammo box here. Instead, your scrambling about, looking down at the muddied jungle floor for even a handgun, while a dozen Koreans snipe away from any given distance.

At least thirty percent of any firefight is spent staring at the ground, circling around, and rapidly jamming the use key. No picking up a better gun if your in the middle of a reload animation, either. To top it all off, only a few weapons can be carried at a time, ensuring even more scavenger hunts for just weaponry (all while your NPC escort is screaming 'Hurry!' over the radio, before their gutted).
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Disposable Ninja

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2008, 11:39:35 PM »

You know how after Final Fantasy X every JRPG and its prequel started using a turn bar? Well, I've found (while playing Shadow Hearts: From the New World) that a really terrible transgression against the Gods of Good Game Design is when enemies actually somehow ignore it and the very rules on which the game is based upon.

Take for example the second fight with Killer. Even with all of his turn-adding stock removed and his lonely, single little icon in the turn bar amongst all four of my characters' icons, he still somehow manages to attack twice in a row. And considering his basic attack can insta-kill my guys, and he does 200-250 points of damage per attack to my measly 350-400 HP... well, that sucks.
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Koah

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2008, 11:55:49 PM »

Personally I always figured that they didn't bother keeping track of enemy ammo stocks because most enemies didn't live long enough for it to matter.

...although they did do it in Deus Ex.
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Classic

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Re: Unforgivable Sins of Game Design
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2008, 12:51:45 AM »

I'm not sure that letting enemies "break the rules" makes for bad game design. Back in my day, we called it, "challenge".

Presumably, your mad skillz would allow you to overcome the advantage given to your opponents. Or if not that, the fact that your intelligence is still way smarter than your average game AI.

After only a little bit of practice, I was able to deal with most of the BS that the com drivers threw at me in SMKart. I don't think anyone was given lightning or seeking shell by default though, having access to those powers definitely would have broken the game beyond a point that I could call it fair.

Really, the only rule to rule breaking is never break it in such a way that your player has no real way to anticipate or counter it. In Shadow Hearts 4, it sounds pretty bad. If there were other enemies in that dungeon with that power, and some kind of countering strategy that you could develop, it might be okay. But it sounds like they just opened up on you with a rule breaking boss. Though, it would be cool to show you an incredibly difficult boss with rule-breaking powers, and then give you that rule-breaking power (this doesn't change that it's rude game design).
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