Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 29 May 2008.
surely this is a game/level design problem and nothing to do with difficulty?
true, could have worded it better, usually difficulty adjustments only affect combat, the rest is either too hard or too easy no matter the settings.
also difficulty adjustments generally only lower the amount of damage you can take and up the amount of damage your enemies can take without any adjustments to AI.
Actually, I've always thought of Counter Strike (pre v1.6, anyway) as being a good example of an 'intelligent' Shooter. Yes, pure twitch reflexes count for a lot, but there is a lot more to it.
You could play it as a standard Scoot+Shoot FPS (and most people on public servers did). However, if you paid attention to the small cues and used your brain, you could get an edge over the other players - sometimes enough of an edge to offset p*ss poor reflexes (in my case). Add in the different spray patterns, the lack of sniper accuracy (on some guns, anyway), the need to lead targets, the use of different degrees of bullet penetration (loved shooting people hiding behind boxes ), and you have a FPS that provides a degree of mental exercise.
Personally, i used the positional sound + environmental effects (map 'features', windows breaking, doors opening, things falling over, weapon sounds, etc) to work out where people are. Tie that to the mini radar, and you could tell friends from enemies. With good headphones, the sounds were accurate enough (at close range) too shoot through doors/walls, and stand a good chance of killing someone on the other side - the benefits of taking a slower, more intellectual approach to the game...
Once you got off the public servers (or got lucky), you also got good team tactics, with well balanced maps. The use of objectives provided multiple routes to victory (nothing like being the last teammember alive, and still managing to win 'cos the other team didn't guard the objective ).
And yet, all this was optional - it was there if you wanted to make use of it, but you could ignore it if you wanted.
(btw - as you may have guessed, i spent a lot of time playing CS - it is easily the game i have poured the most time into, and it was this mental engagement that made it possible. Since the transfer to CS:Source, that mental engagement hasn't been there to the same degree, so i soon got bored)
Anyway - meant to say that Intellectual games don't just have to have brainy puzzles (be it Maths / Logic / Physics based) - it just needs a degree of mental engagement
I agree with this column on many points.
One game I play a lot of is Supreme Commander and its expansion Forged Alliance. To play well, you must really understand the mechanics of the games units, strategy, mass and energy production. Far too many people pick up the game, and just dont get it after 20mins... so give up.
The game isnt that difficult to learn, and once conquered offers immense satisfaction from the multiplayer side... but people are either too stupid to learn it, or just too lazy. They prefer run and gun.. simple as that.
Recently I bought Orange Box, and with it came Portal. What a fantastic change of pace. Whilst the puzzles were relatively easy on the initial pass, and then the escape rather than burning in the fire.. it was the challenge and advanced levels that made this game complete. A game for people who want to think.... Portal ticks that box.
However... its a fine line. I personally found EVE online boring, with a poor combat system and is limited by never being able to actually walk around and meet people (rather than spaceships). A shame, considering its other complexities.
I would love the biological entity simulator though... Spore does look a bit too cartoonish.. but then again its coming out on the Nintendo and other consoles too isnt it... so it has to cater for the dumbed down crowd by default.
Completely agree, I want to be challenged, and that dosn't mean adding extra hit points to my opponent and giving me weaker weapons
I've seen so many games get broken down to the core base mechanics by the enthusiasts.
On another note. Actually I agree that I play games to unwind, I'd be much better at CoD4 if I gave it my full concentration and I would probably be playing Supreme Commander in the top 500 or so if I gave ever second of every match my full attention.
agree, Portal is full of win in every aspect (except that portal 2 isnt annonced yet).
It's funny how I was thinking about this just yesterday. I was trying to think about a recent racing game that would give me a good challenge when I will buy a Logitech G25, and well... All I could think about was the old Live for Speed (and maybe GTR2). Nowaday's racing games are all arcade games that require very little to no 'driving' skills at all. If these games manage to be even slightly fun, they still take the player for a retard and don't offer challenge at all. I always find myself playing racing games in time trial mode because it is the only way I can actually have challenge (and I also like to push myself to the limit and drive perfect laps )
Eh I disagree with you, there isn't a game out there that is totally accessible by the general public, in essence every single game has target market, it just seems more commonplace nowadays to make your target market the entire playerbase (or at least try to).
I wouldn't have a problem making a game with a smaller target market at all, after all if you really want to design a game wouldn't you want to do it with your vision for it in mind, not "What game would make the most money?". This goes back to the idea of considering games as an artform, would you compromise your work of art just to appeal to more people and make more money? There have been a lot of successful games in history that have not appealed to the entire market, "niche" games if you will. I would hate to see games like this disappear in favor of economically viable games that appeal to the masses.
dumbing down games just make for a less enjoyable experience
Hmm..... I guess Coza has all the Barbie games.... As far as I know it is aimed at young girls... fine... and maybe at some grown men... jk. These games are made for selling Dolls, but I agree with the article. There are target groups untouched. Marketing concepts applies to the game industry also. The main point of this article is the "smart" niche is not been exploited. I hope it starts soon and we get some more choices of generes.
I think as you start trying to widen the appeal, you risk actually stopping being attractive to some groups and eventually becoming so wide in scope that nobody actually enjoys it very much. That and aiming at the lowest common denominator combined with the above, might mean you end up aiming for the least loyal customer group too.
The games I've enjoyed the most over the years have mostly been what would be considered niche games, with the variety of generic shooters being very much "meh I'l give it a go" type games that I've kind of stopped buying these days (you can only play much the same game so many times after all)
By the way, to comment on EVE - they actually have a dev team assigned to developing walking around on stations (Or Ambulation, which was the last code-name I heard it called by) I have no idea how many years it will take them to get it out there (It's not in the expansion in the next few months at least and I've no idea what's in the one after that.) but they have some pressure to get it done since they have to start developing World of Darkness: Online using the same tech soon. And for a final bit of rambling, if its a long time since you tried EVE, give it another go, it's always improving.
I enjoyed this article.
My first game system was a Sega Genesis, back when games were more difficult even if they weren't more complex. For example, though Sonic the Hedgehog is a pretty straightforward game, the original Genesis version is much more difficult than the Sonic Adventure game I own for my Sega Dreamcast, even though Sonic Adventure has a few (limited) puzzle elements. Completing a "classic" (read: old) game such as Sonic the Hedgehog, because it is more difficult, is inherently a more rewarding experience than completing a newer game because newer games are not as challenging. I realize that games have evolved from arcades in which they were designed to make money on single play-through attempts, which I suspect is the reason that most (all?) newer games have done away with things like "score tally" and "lives." Halo-type games have even done away with health bars.
Which feels more rewarding to you, attaining an uber-weapon in a modern single-player shooter, possibly after a few attempts from a save point you created just before the action, or attaining an uber-weapon in a game like Ranger-X or Contra, within a limited number of lives (or even in an arcade, in front of a few spectators?) Lives and health bars give you a certain type of rush; each time you accomplish something in-game, you feel as if you've "beaten the clock," and this rush is one aspect of your reward that makes you want to keep playing the game (and paying quarters to an arcade game, should you happen to fail). Games are meant to trigger our brains' reward centers in this manner; remember how good you used to feel when you earned enough points to get that extra life?
Newer games lack these rewarding elements because developers are developing for home console markets, and these people only pay for the game once. Developers no longer concern themselves with giving gamers the tiny rewards that our brains all crave because we no longer have to insert quarters each time we get a "game over." When was the last time you saw those words and felt absolutely dejected, because you knew you would have to replay an entire level, or even an entire game? Staying alive in older games truly made gamers aware of their actions, and of the risk versus reward principle, because taking a big risk in an older game could mean total failure and a replay of the entire game (sometimes at the cost of a quarter) while success meant a bigger reward, both in-game and in-brain. In modern games, before taking any risk, the gamer usually just saves their game, and replays the action as many times as they need to. I like to play Half-Life games using only autosaves, but even those occur right before major game action. Where the risk is reduced, the (physiological) reward is also reduced.
I won't deny that the best newer games have engaging storylines, but the reward of advancing the story, in my opinion, just can't measure up to the reward of completing a level in an older console or arcade game, simply because of your body's natural reward pathway, which makes you feel accomplished depending on the magnitude and difficulty of the task you've just accomplished. If this reward principle weren't a factor, arcade games would not have been as popular as they were, (some arcade games are still popular) and gaming might never have caught on.
I wish games today were a bit more challenging in the manner that the article suggests. I enjoyed Call of Duty 4, but playing through it on Veteran was more like a chore at some moments than an enjoyable gaming experience because the factors contributing to the "difficulty" were unrealistic amounts of enemies who would aim for the player-character with deadly accuracy. Most people will know what I'm talking about here.
I imagine that most people enjoy learning new things more than they might even realize. After reaching level 55 in CoD4 (PC), I simply stopped playing it and went back to TF2. After downloading the StumbleUpon toolbar, I have noticed that I spend MUCH less time gaming, and much more time reading new or interesting content via StumbleUpon. It would be a great innovation in gaming if a game could satisfy my curiosities by providing me with task that require the use of my brain or to learn something entirely new, while still providing decent gameplay that activated my brain's reward center like the games of old. If that game had a decent story as well, why it couldn't it set a record number of sales?
Sorry if this is long; I don't contribute often, but I am a frequent lurker.
I always think the half life series challenges gamers abit more than most games, still has the shooting in there for dummies, but puzzles for clever poeple
My pups always told me if your going to play a game make sure it can help you with your studies but be fun at the same time.
He believes most video games make u dumb. its true. The game i play don't mean i have to impress him.Its just i belive he is right.
My currently installed games
1.Unreal Tournament 2004.multiplayer carnage (BEST TACTICAL SHOOTER EVER MADE!!!!!!!!!)
. Never mind ut3 becuase it was dumbed down to cater the noobs of this world. >>Unreal tournament 3 sucks.
2.Galactic Civilization 2 Twilight of the Arnor ( amazing turn based space strategy game..best)
3.Supreme Commander Forged Alliance.. what can i say. Supreme. Had to get a Quad core this year to really enjoy it.
4.Crysis .multiplayer carnage (my second best shooter) (Tacticle Strategy)
5.Portal- mind blowingly awesome
naokaji its not your fault games are hard for you, its the fact some people have a spark in there heads to remember corridors and simply come up with the best killing styles while in the action. Believe me they exist 2 worlds of gaming. The gamers who game because they are bored, will use cheats, whine, cry,flame and will never crank up the setting to hard to challenge there brains.
The other side well lol they call us mental athletes not because we are crazy but because we are the 'hardcore' gamer, learn games faster and try to master them....There lots of us out there, many are here as i can see. Its simply the way we see things is different. hard core gamers start out as noobs but they learn. Pro gamers start out as noobs but they learn.
RPG games are for noobs. NO offence. World of god damn world craft is another virtual world for people to socialize not learn skill.
You would think the population gets clever as each decade passes by but its the complete opposite. They demand easier and easier stuff, we suppose to be advancing not the opposite.
It is easy to be a pro..just challenge yourself , think and keep trying if u fail.
When developers decide to target the larger audience being non-pro gamers its becomes really frustrating for the rest of us. We buy the gadgets, we make the mods, we scream and demand the features..they listen but not thoroughly. Then they wonder why there games didnt sell so well (unreal tournament 3). Its not like PC games can only be bought. When a game is worth buying we buy,,(all the game above i purchased).. If i dont like a game ill download and try then end up deleting it anyway.
we...save up money for months and months to get Nvidia GTX280.. yes i cant wait omg!
Gears of war was Tacticle but easy slightly after a while.It was cool on xbox live. Its not on my list because at the end of the day u can learn all the tricks.. No aim precision, no gaming mouse needed, plain old modern gamer style.
Gears of war is my 3rd best because it is a story teller and protraits violence, skill and graphic pretty well. Violence online fuels the thirst to keep us at bay from doing it in reality.(If children under 16 play then things go bad). Basically it is for the cool gamer.rocks
Panos u are also right. Games are to unwind. They should be fun. Thats why when you play a game for the first time it should be easy and fun. If u choose to increase the difficulty and complexities it should be optional. The problem is that option is no loner available! It becomes stupid if i open a game and the ai player cant duck and cant even fight back,,what the heck is that. Shooting rag dolls,, i can go blowing instead for that with my buddies, beers, party scream, fun fun.
( and dont even get me started on the bowling pc games out there, and pool too. wtf is this ****)
If u can see this 9800GTX advert down below then thats me in the middle..hunger to own u noobs. Take care people, game on!
I got the special edition of COD2 and on the DVD the devs actauly did use the real guns. But found that modeling the guns acurately would make a boring game as the machine guns were so so much better than the rifles in every respect. Especialy the MP44 which was lethaly acurate with practiacly no recoil, light weight and with a fast fire rate.
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