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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Right, the sky is blue, and if you have malaria in a game you have to press B to take a pill and then they can run out and if they do you have to go to talk to the journalist and find a tape for him and bring it back and then talk to the priest in the church in town who will give you supplies which you have to take to a hut somewhere and give to a man who will give you more pills.

    Totally the same thing, clearly.
    If the game havent teached the mechanic properly, be creative. go to he key bind and see the use of the buttons, for example. Just stop being a braindead moron who complains on tweets. Also, just follow the HUGE MARKERS.
    Last edited by dnf; 11-12-2012 at 04:44 PM.

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf View Post
    If the game havent teached the mechanic properly, be creative. go to he key bind and see the use of the buttons, for example. Just stop being a braindead moron who complains on tweets. Also, just follow the HUGE MARKERS.
    Yes, again, because if you can find a way to work around bad design, they don't matter. I'll start doing that at my work, too. Hey, you need that form to get your grant? Well, you can just take someone else's, tippex over it, then photocopy it and write your own details in. Just don't complain, yeah? The important thing is that I don't have to do my job well.

    Edit: Neither of those things would help explain what was going on with the malaria, anyway.

    See, part of the problem with enforced tutorials is that people who just want to play the game and figure it out as they go won't take it in anyway, because they're not interested. I used to work in a library, and some of the staff would bitch because the readers always asked questions that were answered by notices. But the problem is, our world is covered from head to toe in notices and signs and warnings and adverts and maybe one in three hundred has any relevance to us. We stop reading them, we stop seeing them.

    It's the same with games. Frontload all your information and mechanisms and force the player to sit through them, and half of it won't go in, because they're still thinking about something else, they won't need that feature for hours, or they're just sitting there pissed off that you're wasting their time when they want to start playing so they'll know whether they even care about that advanced feature or not.

    Making it unskippable is impractical and shows contempt for your audience (and some of your audience will be reviewers, who have sat through 500 identical wastes of time, and will be even more susceptible to these problems). It also means that anyone who wasn't taking notes in the tutorial only has one chance to find out how the hell to do that thing they need to do, which they might not need to use until four hours later. Or two and a half years later, if they abandoned the game halfway through.

    Make the tutorial optional, and have a help menu. It's just better design. And yes, good key binding pages can be a helpful part of that, of course.
    Last edited by sinister agent; 11-12-2012 at 05:25 PM.

  3. #63
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Isn't Clint Hocking working at Valve now?
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  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post

    Make the tutorial optional, and have a help menu. It's just better design. And yes, good key binding pages can be a helpful part of that, of course.
    But the game has a journal. It's incorporated in the menu. There are giant markers on the map.
    Why couldn't he follow them?

    Related: I tried to find a screenshot of the journal. The first search engine suggestion: "Far Cry 2 journalist location".
    I refuse to believe some people out there are too stupid to figure out where he is. The game couldn't make it more clear. Even Jeff found him, I think, since it's the church he was looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Isn't Clint Hocking working at Valve now?
    He is.

  5. #65
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    In an open world game, the first thing that I, and likely many others do, is immediately fuck the story off and go exploring. In some games I don't come back for hours. In others I never come back at all. Players who weren't riveted by the coked up NPCs rattling off 300 words a minute, two of which are "mike's bar", might not have realised they need to go there. "journalist" and "mercenary bar" aren't exactly closely linked, y'know?

    As for the malaria thing, even the church is marked as "underground", which I would take to mean some kind of arms trade or guerilla movement missions, rather than "here be malaria pills".

    I don't think those things are very badly done by Far Cry 2, but they could have been done better. It's not all because of the nebulous "dumbing down" bogeyman - some people just approach things differently, and won't pay attention to the intro and plot because they're usually shit and even if they're not, at the start of the game you still don't know whether it's even any good. And you don't even know for sure that you're still in the tutorial - the point where games say "go see x at y" is sometimes one where open world games have let you off the leash.

    If I recall correctly, you can run off and start exploring and fighting for as long as you like before going to see the journalist, and again after seeing him once, before you've ever even been to the church. It's lazy and narrow-minded to sneer at people for being "dumb" for not knowing something you once didn't know either.
    Last edited by sinister agent; 11-12-2012 at 05:53 PM.

  6. #66
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Bankrotas's Avatar
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    Bah, pills... Isn't there a mod, where you drink Gin&tonic instead of pills?
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadJax View Post
    Unfortunately not, The Hazard Course wasn't included because (if I remember what they said on their site correctly) most modern players "are familiar with standard game controls"

    I appreciate that a lot of us are, but Half Life 1 is the most recent example that comes to mind (It's been a while) of a tutorial done right. That's to mean that it's a separate option within the menu for those new to the game, and it's integrated well into the lore of the game.
    Yeah, that definitely makes it Black Mesa's fault if a player gets stuck. I get that they didn't want to do Hazard Course, but they should at least have put in an in-game notification about the mechanics at the first section of the game where you need them, and made the notification repeat until the player successfully clears the section.

    BTW, isn't HL "crouch jump" really two entirely separate mechanics and inputs? "Tap crouch before jump" for an extra-long horizontal jump (I forget whether this has any effect on vertical), and "press crouch during jump" to clear slightly higher vertical jumps?

    Neither of them are very intuitive, and I think it would be better design to cut them out.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Alternative: Make the "jump" button work. If you make jumping, y'know, jump, then you don't need a special jumping move to get over knee-high objects.
    Except jumping 3 meters in the air is stupid.

  9. #69
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    I had to google crouch-jump to find what this thread was about.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #70
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Except jumping 3 meters in the air is stupid.
    I agree. You should be able to make at least twice that.

  11. #71
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victory View Post
    Yeah, that definitely makes it Black Mesa's fault if a player gets stuck. I get that they didn't want to do Hazard Course, but they should at least have put in an in-game notification about the mechanics at the first section of the game where you need them, and made the notification repeat until the player successfully clears the section.
    That's exactly what happens. The instructions for crouch-jumping are displayed on-screen, with the appropriate keyboard bindings, right at the time when the player has to jump onto a chest-high ledge.

    BTW, isn't HL "crouch jump" really two entirely separate mechanics and inputs? "Tap crouch before jump" for an extra-long horizontal jump (I forget whether this has any effect on vertical), and "press crouch during jump" to clear slightly higher vertical jumps?

    Neither of them are very intuitive, and I think it would be better design to cut them out.
    You're mistaking the crouch-jump for the long-jump. In HL and BM, crouch-jumping with the jump pack gives you a boost, but without it, crouch-jump simply lets you reach slightly higher places. Combining that with a running jump lets you reach slightly further ledges, although I seem to remember that this was underutilised in BM. The effect is essentially like pulling your legs up in mid-air. That would be more meaningful if the player character wasn't physically represented by a camera on a stick in most FPS games...

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Yes, again, because if you can find a way to work around bad design, they don't matter. I'll start doing that at my work, too. Hey, you need that form to get your grant? Well, you can just take someone else's, tippex over it, then photocopy it and write your own details in. Just don't complain, yeah? The important thing is that I don't have to do my job well.

    Edit: Neither of those things would help explain what was going on with the malaria, anyway.

    See, part of the problem with enforced tutorials is that people who just want to play the game and figure it out as they go won't take it in anyway, because they're not interested. I used to work in a library, and some of the staff would bitch because the readers always asked questions that were answered by notices. But the problem is, our world is covered from head to toe in notices and signs and warnings and adverts and maybe one in three hundred has any relevance to us. We stop reading them, we stop seeing them.

    It's the same with games. Frontload all your information and mechanisms and force the player to sit through them, and half of it won't go in, because they're still thinking about something else, they won't need that feature for hours, or they're just sitting there pissed off that you're wasting their time when they want to start playing so they'll know whether they even care about that advanced feature or not.

    Making it unskippable is impractical and shows contempt for your audience (and some of your audience will be reviewers, who have sat through 500 identical wastes of time, and will be even more susceptible to these problems). It also means that anyone who wasn't taking notes in the tutorial only has one chance to find out how the hell to do that thing they need to do, which they might not need to use until four hours later. Or two and a half years later, if they abandoned the game halfway through.

    Make the tutorial optional, and have a help menu. It's just better design. And yes, good key binding pages can be a helpful part of that, of course.
    Im not trying to excuse bad design decisions from FC2, just point out that the guy playing the game is fucking stupid at resolving issues. No game is perfect and its fair to point out the bad things but please, dont be a whiny wuss about it. I remember a glitch in the masterpiece Outcast that prevented me from advance the game. What did i do? drop the game at that point? hell no!! just 2 minutes of google is enough to handle the issue. It just boogles the mind that at this age a game journalist get stuck in the tutorial.

  13. #73
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Fair enough. Do remember that it's twitter though, and people routinely talk about very minor things as though they're a much bigger deal than they really think they are. For example, I've killed hardly anybody.

  14. #74
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Except jumping 3 meters in the air is stupid.
    And "crouch jump" isn't? Really, are you going to try to execute a weird crouch move in the air, or are you just going to pull yourself up?

    You can't argue that it's silly while advocating for a crouch jump, and the argument that it gives level designers more freedom from height limits is also on thin ice. It was a silly mechanic from an engine in the late 90s. We have better options.

  15. #75
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    If I'm in a hurry, I'm totally going to execute a "weird" crouch move in the air.

    Watch some parkour videos, maybe then you'll see what a crouchjump is supposed to represent.

  16. #76
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohorovicic View Post
    Except jumping 3 meters in the air is stupid.
    And so is fighting aliens with a bloody crowbar.
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  17. #77
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    If I could swing a crowbar 7 times per second I would totally use it to fight aliens.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    In an open world game, the first thing that I, and likely many others do, is immediately fuck the story off and go exploring. In some games I don't come back for hours. In others I never come back at all. Players who weren't riveted by the coked up NPCs rattling off 300 words a minute, two of which are "mike's bar", might not have realised they need to go there. "journalist" and "mercenary bar" aren't exactly closely linked, y'know?

    As for the malaria thing, even the church is marked as "underground", which I would take to mean some kind of arms trade or guerilla movement missions, rather than "here be malaria pills".

    I don't think those things are very badly done by Far Cry 2, but they could have been done better. It's not all because of the nebulous "dumbing down" bogeyman - some people just approach things differently, and won't pay attention to the intro and plot because they're usually shit and even if they're not, at the start of the game you still don't know whether it's even any good. And you don't even know for sure that you're still in the tutorial - the point where games say "go see x at y" is sometimes one where open world games have let you off the leash.

    If I recall correctly, you can run off and start exploring and fighting for as long as you like before going to see the journalist, and again after seeing him once, before you've ever even been to the church. It's lazy and narrow-minded to sneer at people for being "dumb" for not knowing something you once didn't know either.
    This is a very thoughtful post. Games that are hard to figure out aren't necessarily smarter games.

  19. #79
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Bankrotas's Avatar
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    This is why games are dumbed down: because people are arguing about realism of game mechanic, which is shown quite logicly in tutorial of the game (and yes, you can get on to higher places, if you bend your leg and put a knee on the ledge).
    As to Gerstman tweets, he shows either bad behaviour (pretending to be stupid) or that he's really a bad game journalist (being able to orientate in a game and able to listen to stuff, being objective is what he as a journalist lacks and it baffles me, why people keep listening to him).
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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinister agent View Post
    Make the tutorial optional, and have a help menu. It's just better design. And yes, good key binding pages can be a helpful part of that, of course.
    That's basically asking for having manuals back. Which I sort of agree with. But it's interesting to see things swinging back the other way, as 10 years ago the prevailing attitude was "get rid of manuals, get rid of separate 'tutorial' sections, and teach the player the mechanics within the game itself".

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