Character Design

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Game Of The Year editions and Collector's Editions are too very different things. The first ones come a long time after the release of a game and are reissues that include any extra content that has been released since then and are fully patched and polished. They are also usually sold at the same price or lower than the original game. Collector's Editions are different packages of the original game with some bonus stuff at a higher price released usually simultaneously (then of course there are collections, which include many games and are a little bit of both).

The established fanbase argument is invalid, since there is no committee out there that decides when a game is worthy of a Collector's Edition. All games have fans, even games that have sold poorly, like, say, Beyond Good And Evil or Shadow Of The Colossus. Complaining about them is meaningless. Yes, Collector's Editions are usually overpriced, but it is your choice whether you are going to spend money on this luxury or not. I would rather own ten Collector's Editions of games that I personally love than an i-pad, but, as everything, it all comes down to personal preference and priorities, but having that option at least can only be considered positive. I was happy to trade in my new copy of Assassin's Creed 2 once I realised that it kicks ass for example, fork over 25$ more and upgrade to the Collector's Edition. For the price of a KFC dinner, I consider it money well spent.

Lastly, screw all of you "digital download whores". Some games are more than just 1's and 0's; they are everlasting memories of times spent with a smile on your face and your imagination running wild. A box is a reminder of that, something to look at occasionally and remember those times, as I still do with my copies of Grim Fandango and Diablo 1 for example. Stop bitching about boxes taking up space (yes, that means you, Yahtzee). Instead, empty your liquor cabinets and fill them with games. Or move out of the basement.

I can be a sucker for Collector's Editions. 'Specially if they include the soundtrack.

'Course I'd like soundtracks included standard. And for the tracks to last at least five minutes, not this two minute BS, I don't care if that's all that's looping ingame.

If you remember, that barcode on the back of 47's neck is part of the game in the first one.

When you go to kill your creator, you have to use one of your clone's barcodes in order to open a door. Using your own causes you to get gassed.

Yahtzee:
I always thought the barcode on the back of the skull was overdoing it a bit. It made me picture some kind of underworld assassin/slave market where transactions are made with a supermarket checkout scanner.

Did you play the first game in the series? That's literally what was happening. 47 and his clone "brothers" were being sold by their "father" to the highest bidder. The barcode designated their model number, he was was a model 47- someone with 47 chromosomes and could the barcode granted him certain access in the research facility.

And yeah, I'm someone who throws their hat in the ring who hates collector's editions. 50 extra dollars for a single extra item that you can use in the game and merchandise most people will never use. It rubs me the wrong way when I see my more priviliged friends have scores of that junk collecting dust, because they were pressured into buying it. I rubs me even worse when a few of my friends who were less priviliged needed help with the bills and borrowed money from me and soon I see them with a flimsy fifty-dollar plastic batarang.

So that was how the clients checked 47 out of the Assassin supermarket.

You should have just titled it "Bitching About Collector's Editions" so I could have skipped this article. The little bit that you included on the topic of Character Design was neither informing nor interesting. All you did was a half-assed critique of characters from twitter. The only thing in the article that might have been interesting was the blog link but if the blog is anything like your article then I'd rather not waste my time. I would say more but I really don't care to waste anymore time on this.

I found "Design Reboot" when i discovered Yahtzee now has Twitter and was looking what's he put on it. I must say a big, big Thank You to him for pointing me to said blog, because i actually have a large intrest in that area.

A salient point:
The existance of 'collectors editions' allows those who are so inclined to purchase them, and those who think they're a bunch of garbage are still not obligated to part with their money for them. (I still have yet to see of one example of where a CE gave the purchaser a definitive in-game advantage over someone who just bought the real game.)

If CEs are not your bag, please feel free to ignore them. But there has not been a single argument yet that has successfully argued that CE/LEs are damaging to gaming as a whole.

PT Barnum: "There's a sucker born every minute." If you're not the particular flavor of sucker who would drop extra money on a special edition of a game so you can get a batarang, or a soundtrack CD so you can listen to game-music in your car, or whatever, then more power to you!

But until you can prove a difinitive link between success in a game and spending more money, what is the freaking problem?

Maraveno:

Xombee:

Maraveno:
I have to disagree here on the collectors/limited edition thing

It is what it is A COLLECTORS edition right or a LIMITED edition
It's just what it is it's supposed to come with that stuff cause that's what it is
Limited editions most of the time include maps and soundtracks and making off's
Collectors editions go a little further and off everything thathe limited edition has + Art books,goodies,Posters,lore books and the like

I Don't see anybody ranting about buying A premium Xbox (with the hard disk) opposed to an arcade one (without hard disk) I know it's not the best of comparisons but still

Because it has more storage space than a lowly card.

That's not what I was referring to but ok

Well that was teh flaw in your example.

The functionality of the 'collectors' xbox is FAR beyond the arcade version.

They aren't even the same console because of that memory limitation.

Most collectors or limited edition games have about 2 seconds of extra content in them if that. Most of which comes out for everyone anyways if it doesn't it is largely because nobody liked it originally.

Kurt Horsting:
Not all Collectors editions are just pricey rip-offs that work off of fan hype. Blazblue (A mildly popular Japanese fighting game)had it's collectors edition have the same price as the regular product, and came with a soundtrack and a tutorial dvd made by top Japanese and American players giving tips on the game to help new players understand the strategy and depth of the game. It also came with explanation of all the terms and mechanics in the game (now why they just didn't put that in the game is beyond my understanding). It was only available via pre-order, and now all material that was on the dvds is on youtube so anyone can get the info on the game if they didn't get the collectors edition.

Also, the game was out in arcades 6 months prior to the console release so people that where interested could try the game for 50 cents before they thought about the $60 purchase. Fighting games might not be most people's cup of tea, but it feels like Arc System Works where not trying to force people to get the extra bits for there its own sake, but a way to help the guys pre-ordering to justify their purchase.

My personal favorite section of the dvd is Mike Z's tutorial where he does a parody of the old school street fighter tutorials that where on VHS as he explains the finer points of Iron Tager. Here's a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp8KOM2zw98

Actually, it wasn't pre-order only. It was given in every new package of the game when it first came out. They only released a limited number of the 60$ "Collector's Edition" games, which had the sound track (God-f***ing-awesome I might add), and the mentioned tips dvd.

I don't mind figurines and artwork being included in special editions. It's the exclusive game content that really gets on my nerves.

It would be nice if... you know... one could simply get the entire game when paying for it - no matter what "edition" is purchased.

I don't know how many of you have seen the Teken 6 Special Editon but it's got a large hoodie, a booklet with all the moves of the characters in the game (About 5 cm thick, A3) and a copy of a game. It was a size of a small child. I've only seen it once in a JB HiFi store for $159 Au.

I agree with Yahtzee that games should prove their worth to warrant a "special/collector's/GOTY edition", but I argue that in some cases putting out a special edition on the game's release date does make sense. That's due to media evolution: these days gamers know so much about almost any given game that they can become genuinely interested in its design and possible artistic value before actually playing it: there's tons of previews, reviews and promotional material just a couple clicks away on the Internet, so building interest for a bonus art book, a "making of" DVD or whatever is easy. And in some cases you can see a game is worth its "collector's edition" before it's out. But back when PC games still came in big boxes (mostly filled with air) a game did have to make the rounds - so to speak - to create that interest.

Seems to me though that the bonus schwag in these special editions has become more, well, special. There's statuettes, lithographs, soundtracks etc. Back in the Half-Life: GOTY-edition days it was almost always a t-shirt (like in Half-Life's case) or a poster, usually folded and creased so that it wouldn't even look good on your wall. I'm not saying most of the plastic Master Chief helmet-stuff is actually any good, most of it is utter crap - but at least they're trying to come up with something special these days.

Then again, you can pretty much always find use for a t-shirt...

These days, however, special editions for games are released on launch day at the same time as the standard edition. That strikes me as an act of legendary arrogance on the part of the publisher. "No-one's even played this game yet," they say. "But we believe that people are obviously going to go so nuts for it that we will cut out the middleman and bring out the Game Of The Year edition right now. That'll save a bit of time, won't it, you figurine-buying tards. Now, bleat! Bleat like little lambs! You'll like whatever we tell you to like!"

If people don't like it, people don't buy it. Really. We are very much in control of them. If you feel in control of them, I suggest you go talk to somebody =p

Mad World:
I don't mind figurines and artwork being included in special editions. It's the exclusive game content that really gets on my nerves.

It would be nice if... you know... one could simply get the entire game when paying for it - no matter what "edition" is purchased.

How about extended special edition DVDs? Isn't that the same?

You know, Valve designed every single TF2 class to be recognizable immediately. That's good characterization, seeing as how there are 9 classes to characterize (meaning it'd be difficult to make each one unique from the other).

DeadlyYellow:

Fanitullen:
I think Agent 47's character design is quite good as well. There's just something about that look that screams "Professional." And too often, people focus on the "Killer" part of "Professional Killer" and forget about the "Professional" bit.

Compounded by the games themselves. You get the best ratings for making things look 'accidental' rather than just breaking out the dual pistols.

Indeed. Making it look like no murder ever took place be the most professional way to kill someone. That would leave the client out of the frame in the investigation as no suspicion would fall on him or her.
47 is a service provider and carnage is not good for business. It may be slightly less action filled to use the wine barrel to kill a dude than your gun, but I sure as hell feel a lot more professional when no one is on to what really happened.

While the article itself is interesting (Seriously, what's up with special editions on release? I figured it was just a marketing ploy but OH WAIT) I have to say it's a bit overshadowed by the blog Yahtzee linked at the top of the second page.

I just read that thing from darn near top to bottom without realizing how long it was. That may be the longest I've spent looking over an analytical look at character design decisions in one sitting. Seven brownie points to Gausswerks. Good stuff.

cursedseishi:

Kurt Horsting:
Not all Collectors editions are just pricey rip-offs that work off of fan hype. Blazblue (A mildly popular Japanese fighting game)had it's collectors edition have the same price as the regular product, and came with a soundtrack and a tutorial dvd made by top Japanese and American players giving tips on the game to help new players understand the strategy and depth of the game. It also came with explanation of all the terms and mechanics in the game (now why they just didn't put that in the game is beyond my understanding). It was only available via pre-order, and now all material that was on the dvds is on youtube so anyone can get the info on the game if they didn't get the collectors edition.

Also, the game was out in arcades 6 months prior to the console release so people that where interested could try the game for 50 cents before they thought about the $60 purchase. Fighting games might not be most people's cup of tea, but it feels like Arc System Works where not trying to force people to get the extra bits for there its own sake, but a way to help the guys pre-ordering to justify their purchase.

My personal favorite section of the dvd is Mike Z's tutorial where he does a parody of the old school street fighter tutorials that where on VHS as he explains the finer points of Iron Tager. Here's a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp8KOM2zw98

Actually, it wasn't pre-order only. It was given in every new package of the game when it first came out. They only released a limited number of the 60$ "Collector's Edition" games, which had the sound track (God-f***ing-awesome I might add), and the mentioned tips dvd.

At least they didn't make you pay extra before it came out to get a special version of a game that no one knew was good or not. (Oh, its damn good btw).

I like the idea of special editions on launch simply because it means if I'm really interested in a game I can get the special edition and get the extra stuff now. If it turns out that I don't like it, I can toss it or what have you. If I do like it, I'm not put in a position where I have to buy basically the same thing I already have but with more goodies again later. *gives a scathing glance to DVD special editions* That's a gamble I'm willing to take if I'm interested in the game.

I think the complaint here is more one of a changing set of terms. To me, "Collectors Edition" doesn't necessarily mean the game is worthy of collecting, it's more that it includes collectable stuff.

I'm a figure collector i'll admit..but i have to have a like of the figure that will have future low-rent housing on my collecting shelf.

I got the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition as a gift, and I thought it was pretty awesome.

It all came in a metal lunchbox (exactly the same as the ones you make Bottlecap Mines out of), and it came with the game, a conceptual art book, and...

A Vault-Boy Bobblehead.

After spending unfathomable hours on Fallout 3, seeing the bobblehead when I went back to my room filled me with that small instant of joy and success when you find one in game. That went on for a couple of weeks.

yeah, I agree with yahtzee here, I think that all these preorder specials are just gimicky crap to get people to buy it.

gee i hate it when special editions like forza 3 sp ed has content you can't buy as dlc if you get the regular edition , goty like fallout 3 is a great idea but buying the same game twice sucks , when i switched from ps3 to 360, buying fallout 3 goty was worth it

Sometimes you want the figures because you like the character design, even if the game is only mediocre, or doesn't have wide appeal. These special editions of the game are usually purchased by people who are determined to like the game anyway.

Design-Wise:
I think you (do we address lord yahtzee directly in these parts?) are overlooking the genius of evolution. Legend tells that mario has a moustache because changing a couple pixels made his 8bit face clearer. So it was GENIUS design back when it first arrived. yeah?
The way they've chosed to evolve the character since then is the thing to argue. Somehow he's become this bouncy perfectly rounded mickey mouse. I doubt it's an accident. He has gotten so far from "italian plumber" that it's kind of crazy. but maybe that's also a good movie.

I wonder if the agent 47 barcode is a similar example. a detail that's there for the closeups, but not really core to the design. Which to me is just well dressed baldy, with gloves. I hadn't played those games enough to know he always had a red tie. I'd guess this is meant to evoke just a splash of blood in the player's mind. (or is it explained in story? does it ALWAYS have to be red? could they one day do a multiplayer mode where different agents were only really discernable by goofy lifesaver tie colors). hmm.

Gordon freeman seems like a non character. in that you never speak, and your focus is on the hands. I think he must look freakish in his special coppery suit, when hiding out with rebels in rags. It works well in making you feel like you stand out. but. seems like it's worthless to discuss? since you just don't look at his character, and it's totally incongruous with the worlds he passes through, its design has no real relevance to gameplay? (maybe i'm missing something). Maybe it works on a subtle level, making you feel separate from whatever story you're in (which does seem to be part of the story's point), with just a dash of feeling like a spaceman.
I think it's more interesting to focus on the recognizable shapes of alyx and the combine bastards, and anything you look at and have to differentiate. (these designs are huge winners, yeah?).

...Gah. I still can't stand seeing Gordon's silly face (posters, book covers, box art). feels like the developers were just having a laugh. And now they're trying to make him sexy and sleek. but still horribly nerdy. so strange. i think that sbecause ... it's actually aweful. and nobody wants to admit it. because the games are so good.

Regarding special editions:
I thought Bayonetta was a big joke. soo. Can't we give it's "climax edition" a bit of a pass for being a big joke on the rise of special editions? no? hmm.

Dark Void strikes me as the main offender here. All the other examples I've read have indeed championed a beloved character. (if you give bayonetta a pass.)(Bayonetta should have just come with wearable horn rimmed glasses. that would have been kind hilarious commentary on the audience?).

... the example that springs to my mind is the resident evil 5 snow globe at Gamestop. It featured two resident evil characters i didn't care about. it was filled with sand, so it didn't work like a snow globe (the powder just imediately collapsed. no floating). Aren't snow globes a nostalgic thing for girls? ... this stands out as the most bizarre special edition gambit i've seen. hmm.

Mako SOLDIER:
...Actually, the image of Bayonetta thrashing around from being incessantly tickled is slightly erotic....

Play the game, and when you die, don't continue. Enjoy your slight erotica. (Okay, so that's not exactly tickling, but....)

It seems like the real problem here is the use of the words "Special" or "Collector's" when dealing with a new IP. Would it offend you any less if it was called the "Bonus Edition" or "Extra Edition"? Still descriptive of the package contents without the arrogance of an unproven game.

I had forgotten about Mr 47, which is strange since he is is one of my favourite characters. No remose, no emotion. He is the ideal man for games increasingly being filled with romance side plots.

I have to tell you that i have yet NEVER ever bougth ANY Special Edition, except for those GOTY Editions where not only a game that i wanted but also their additional add ons where on.

only reason why I like collector editions is artbooks. AC2, Fallout 3, Resistance 2, Mass Effect and even MW2 had great artbooks (not Gears 2 though, that thing was ass) and I'd be happy with just the artbook but noooo, they had 4 other things to make it 30 bucks more

Personally I haven't believed in a special edition since "Star Wars Starfighter Special Edition" is the epic shaking where you can't see s*** the only thing special about it?

tobyornottoby:

Mad World:
I don't mind figurines and artwork being included in special editions. It's the exclusive game content that really gets on my nerves.

It would be nice if... you know... one could simply get the entire game when paying for it - no matter what "edition" is purchased.

How about extended special edition DVDs? Isn't that the same?

Probably. I'd say so. Although, I'm not too familiar with "special edition" DVDs, but I'll take your word for it.

Personally, it annoys me more when it happens with games (exclusive in-game content for only certain editions), but DVDs can definitely experience it, too.

No one really touched on this topic on the special edition thing...well, aside from jimduckie and Mad World.

The fact that recently, as I was checking out the state of upcoming games, I noticed that a fair amount of Special or Limited editions have been coming out with expensive DLC out of the package. Dante's Inferno's Divine Edition for the PS3 for example, not exactly a special edition, but comes with a new level that isn't available right off.

Not all games have DLC that's worth it, such as Mass Effect 2 having just weapons and armor, also Zaeed, the latter available on a regular new game too, $15 if not. As well as Dragon Age having the 'buy the game new, now' incentive of that $15 DLC 'the Stone Prisoner'. If you look ahead, it's getting more common for that stuff to be skipped on a mere new copy, but added to a special edition. Since most are between $10 and $30 more, and the DLC can be worth similar, sometimes it's a good investment. Sometimes.

I'd predict it will become more common in the future to have the specials, limiteds, and other such versions come with DLC worth at least as much as the cost hike, since it'll cause a scramble to buy up as much of those editions as possible by those who want that DLC. Conidering that any DLC that offers such things as levels and whatnot upon release just screams 'it's unfinished, pay us more to finish it', having that stuff with the specials mitigates that problem, if only slightly.

Some of the DLC they've been releasing is pure garbage though, multiplayer characters aren't worth the extra $20, even if it comes with a poorly made figure.

As for character design Gausswerks is pretty forward as to making characters lasting and recogniseable. Too many games have either overly generic character desgins, or way over done designs that prove to just screw up framerates or make the whole thing a clusterf-ck.

Mad World:
I don't mind figurines and artwork being included in special editions. It's the exclusive game content that really gets on my nerves.

It would be nice if... you know... one could simply get the entire game when paying for it - no matter what "edition" is purchased.

Second'd. Regardless of how shiny the box a toy comes in I hope to have just as much fun with it as the kid who blew $120 where I payed $70. Maybe even more if the game turns out to be shit

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