Connectivity

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Yahtzee, you say it exactly how we mortals would like to. To your article I say: This, a thousand times this!

World/locational map you have to walk? Are you crazy how are you going to lead on the tweens and twitch gamers and all these modern noobs from point A to point B? Hell sticking them on the rails in a corridor can get them lost!
/Curmudgeon

Now where was I..ah yes...you know I thought he was going to rip online connectivity there for a bit.... how the more living people you get in a game the dumber ...er.... smaller the experience gets.

Online crap aside it's simple folks its today's design emphasis is on simplification be it gameplay, story, inventory you take whatever it it is simplify it down to where you do not need many if any words to sell it and then move on to the next project with the swagger of I just fooled millions into buying this product....

*sigh* I am getting old.....

I never really had that problem with ME2. The "biggest" of it all was fine for me, though I guess that because I didn't really explore that much with the last game, I don't miss exploring so much. The games seem about the same "size" to me.

So you're making in which you play a parasitic scout ship that will feature Descent style controls and lots of endlessly connected space exploration? Count me in, that sounds fucking great! I loved Descent, I love exploration, and I love the idea about trailing a shark and feasting on its left-overs.

I'll just say it. I LOVE the Mako sections. I don't understand why people are so buggied (haha get it...sigh) by it.

Mehhh...

If I wanted to be bored with travel I'd play Far Cry 2. I liked Mass Effect 2. I didn't like the scanning of planets part fun but other then that I thought it was fine just the way it was. I didn't hate the Mako from ME1, but I found ME2 without a doubt fun as hell.

Jaranja:

Sneaklemming:

Jaranja:

Juan Regular:
I too need a good space sim.
No one can tell me a mixture of Freelancer and Mass Effect wouldn't be the most amazing game ever.

EVE online and Mass Effect 2 would be good when mixed.

eve has a kinda surreal metagame to it... like right now im writing from inside the gate, im on two voice comms, and with a fleet which is taking a break from invading.

Right now, I'm hauling shit to Dodixie in my Badger. Heh.

dodixie is such a rubbish market haha. what ur ingame name, il drop you a line

You know, I have only one request for Yahtzee's space game. I want to be some form of Firefly/Han Solo style mercenary/smuggler, transporting goods from one place to another. It would justify the need to stay under the radar instead of joining big shipping lanes, and it would be a great way to live out my adolescent power fantasies.

I'm sorry, I did have a point. I think ME2 felt very small, even when compared to non-RPG games. Not only is there no more free-reigny exploration going on, but they didn't put any of that into the actual level design, which was pretty damn linear. (Every 'secret bunker' had exactly the same layout as a 'prefab shelter' or 'colony base'. Every mine was a literal copy paste.) In ME2, we have all of the linearity, but unbalanced by the exploration, so it's become incredibly constricted. Pretty much literally the only forms of expresison are in how you react to people now. It's barely an RPG anymore.

As for the simulator thing, i always did the same thing. I still do!

In fact, this whole lack of "bigness" was one of my main complaints in my review of ME2. Not to say i didn't still enjoy it, of course.

He's statement makes sense. It did feel a little small for how big it actually is. All it needed was good transition from space to land that flew smoothly and not just jumping in and out of the areas. Like he said it needed something like a fly space ship to planet, dock space ship, get off space ship, do mission, run back to space ship, hop back into space ship, and then take off back into space.

I really enjoyed certain aspects of ME1's continuity, and disliked others.

Liked:
- The general connectedness of the Citadel (the ability to go through every playable area without ever bypassing physical space if you wanted to, with Rapid Transits once you had explored the whole thing)
- The Mako sections on main-mission planets (wonky physics aside, it had purpose)
- The FTL and Mass Effect Relay jump animations which drove home the difference between in-system and cross-system travel
- The well-designed missions (all the main missions, and a few side missions) where you travelled through an area, without significant backtracking, and popped back out somewhere new
- Exiting and entering the Normandy (as others mentioned, the VI announcing decontamination procedures, and XO Pressley, etc)

Disliked:
- The lack of a Rapid Transit in the docking bay (forcing me to use the longest elevator in the whole place every single time, even though I could skip the rest)
- The Mako sections on "you should just wander until you find something" planets
- The badly designed side-missions where you went into a cave/pre-fab/facility, and then had to walk all the way back out.
- The elevator on the Normandy. Slowest. Elevator. Ever. (My brain kept trying to justify it, like... maybe this is a freight elevator, geared-low with the intent of moving really, really heavy things?)

I think I would've preferred in ME2 if they'd kept more of the Likes, while also ditching the dislikes as they generally have.

Mortagog:
Yahtzee, you say it exactly how we mortals would like to. To your article I say: This, a thousand times this!

To which I say No, a thousand times no.

As I stare down the barrel of 30 and my free time with which to consume my electronic entertainment dwindles as I am not a paid reviewer of video games, I would say that "travel" in games is downright obnoxious.

It turns me off of so many games. Plus, repetitive travel doth not an expansive experience make. What it does, is pad game play time and encourage me to do other things while I'm playing the game.

Note: If you include anything in a game that makes me feel "Oh good, I can use this time to do other things," you have failed as a game designer. Running around needlessly to get from the same point A to the same point B for the 42nd time is archaic game design.

Yes... you made a big world... yes it's large and expansive and I can see things a mile away and actually walk to it. Now please don't make me walk the entire mile to it in order to progress in the story. If I wanted to do that I'd play an MMO... or, you know... go outside and actually walk somewhere. The best thing to happen to the GTA series was taxi's. In Mass Effect 2, I was pissed I couldn't skip the Relay Cutscenes to move the game along quicker.

Unless you're making a Lord of the Rings game, excessive walking is totally unnecessary.

So according to Mortagog, I must not be mortal...

... sweet.

Sneaklemming:

Jaranja:

Sneaklemming:

Jaranja:

Juan Regular:
I too need a good space sim.
No one can tell me a mixture of Freelancer and Mass Effect wouldn't be the most amazing game ever.

EVE online and Mass Effect 2 would be good when mixed.

eve has a kinda surreal metagame to it... like right now im writing from inside the gate, im on two voice comms, and with a fleet which is taking a break from invading.

Right now, I'm hauling shit to Dodixie in my Badger. Heh.

dodixie is such a rubbish market haha. what ur ingame name, il drop you a line

Jarannia.

The game I've found that strikes the best balance between having a big world and reducing tedious repeated cross-world travel is Final Fantasy XII. One had to traverse most the world at least once but after that you really weren't forced to go through the boring cross-world trek every time you had to go somewhere due to save crystals and other teleportation methods. There were even two completely optional massive areas for that extra "big-ness" feel.

I love Extra Punctuation, Mr. Croshaw. Keep it up! :)

ZippyDSMlee:
World/locational map you have to walk? Are you crazy how are you going to lead on the tweens and twitch gamers and all these modern noobs from point A to point B? Hell sticking them on the rails in a corridor can get them lost!
/Curmudgeon

Now where was I..ah yes...you know I thought he was going to rip online connectivity there for a bit.... how the more living people you get in a game the dumber ...er.... smaller the experience gets.

Online crap aside it's simple folks its today's design emphasis is on simplification be it gameplay, story, inventory you take whatever it it is simplify it down to where you do not need many if any words to sell it and then move on to the next project with the swagger of I just fooled millions into buying this product....

*sigh* I am getting old.....

Alas, I feel the same way. Gaming will fall due to the younger generation of gamers...

Sorry for double posting! Carry on, folks!

That sounds so cool. the game could be called Adventures in the Galaxy of Fantabulous Wonderment 2: Redshirts revenge!

erm, mass effect 2 will have ahovering tank instead of a shitty space buggy yahtzee. wait till the DLC

Infinity: The Quest For Earth looks very promising on this matter, (and on every other one too), though as an indie game that aims to be bigger than most AAA games, it will probably never materialize.

I'll play your game when it's done if you'll play (and consider reviewing) mine. Deal?

He's got a point and I never thought about it till now. You know I read some where (please don't ask me where) but there was someone interviewing someone about Mass Effect 2 and they were talking about how this game would appeal more to shooter fans with it's concentration on gunplay. It makes me think that the overall focus on the shooter aspect of the game took attention away from the galaxy exploration part. But Commander Shepard was a Spec-Ops soilder; not a inerstellar explorer.

A book, games, Tv...now all we need is Yahtzee Radio and we're set!
I would listen to Yahtzee radio...It'd remove some of the immense tedium of just being angry by yourself!

Hm, sounds like Descent in open space. Or, as you might call it, Descent: Free Space (that was actually the project name for Freespace 1 before they lost the Descent trademark or something and renamed it to Conflict: Freespace, it did have gigantic spaceships that you could sneak around and practically consider terrain though it had plane movement so maybe there was a bit of Terminal Velocity to it). Slightly related would be Shattered Horizon which has you play as an astronaut in a space suit and get into battles but since that's multiplayer-only it's probably not suitable for you.

Now that may be slightly OT but I liked the stealth missions in Star Crusader too, you had to run your ship stealthily and that didn't just mean avoiding patrols but also watching the EM emissions of your ship and being careful with your thruster usage because accelerating would cause a short spike in your emissions that could put you above the detection threshold.

Thibaut:

ZippyDSMlee:
World/locational map you have to walk? Are you crazy how are you going to lead on the tweens and twitch gamers and all these modern noobs from point A to point B? Hell sticking them on the rails in a corridor can get them lost!
/Curmudgeon

Now where was I..ah yes...you know I thought he was going to rip online connectivity there for a bit.... how the more living people you get in a game the dumber ...er.... smaller the experience gets.

Online crap aside it's simple folks its today's design emphasis is on simplification be it gameplay, story, inventory you take whatever it it is simplify it down to where you do not need many if any words to sell it and then move on to the next project with the swagger of I just fooled millions into buying this product....

*sigh* I am getting old.....

Alas, I feel the same way. Gaming will fall due to the younger generation of gamers...

Sorry for double posting! Carry on, folks!

Not really as they keep on coming like hordes of zombies, its fr more likely the industry prices itself out of existence via sky rocking prices,DLC and production costs.

Maybe THAT is why I like driving better than flying.

Anyway, an ongoing problem with space games is that they lack content. In reality, space is blackness, piles of dirt held together with gravity, and the occasional star to spice things up. In terms of objects of interest, the Nevada desert and Antarctica run circles around most of space. Anything beautiful about it usually lies outside the visual spectrum. To make a game about space, it can't "simulate" it--it has to be filled with content.

Exotic green aliens eagerly awaiting the next starship captain is a good start. Relics of power and ancient knowledge from an extinct alien race works too. Las Vegas in space would be fine. Points of color amid the vast loneliness is what space expoloration games need.

I too used to (still kind of do) have that same game where I would imagine that every vehicle I got into wasn't really taking me anywhere and that the different destinations were just being set up outside the vehicle. It's kind of like the Truman Show.

I agree that it messes with your head sometimes.

I heard rumors about SWG after I heard of The Old Republic, so I got the free trial. Dispite complaints I really enjoyed going in space and flying around

THis is a bit of DP,
Well its simple devs need to make a deeper game and a well implemented instant travel system. FO3 dose this well, add a random encounter thing to help with pacing and whatnot, have buyable items that lower and raise encounters(when used in real item your encounters are rougher with tougher opponents). I mean the industry can do better but it wont because its not profitable...

Or you could, you know, use that website you have to post updates on the game instead of using it to pad out your opinion column.

Just a thought.

ldwater:
I'm actually quite surprised you didn't mention anything about the sence of urgency in the game - since it starts off saying "Oh no! Aliens are taking humans, you are the only one who can stop them! (Sound familiar? :P)". Then the game allows you to take as many side quests and optional missions as you like without consequence. I could imagine the colinists and collectors on Horizon just waiting for you to finish off what you were doing before commencing the human harvest.

Actually, there is some consequence for running off and doing side-quests between the second to last story mission and the last one. I've played it through twice now and got a different ending the second time, when I rushed right into the last mission instead of dawdling around and doing side-quests.

I'd like to help with the title.

Flight of Commander Gobulcoque.

Geoffrey42:
I really enjoyed certain aspects of ME1's continuity, and disliked others.

Liked:
- The general connectedness of the Citadel (the ability to go through every playable area without ever bypassing physical space if you wanted to, with Rapid Transits once you had explored the whole thing)
- The Mako sections on main-mission planets (wonky physics aside, it had purpose)
- The FTL and Mass Effect Relay jump animations which drove home the difference between in-system and cross-system travel
- The well-designed missions (all the main missions, and a few side missions) where you travelled through an area, without significant backtracking, and popped back out somewhere new
- Exiting and entering the Normandy (as others mentioned, the VI announcing decontamination procedures, and XO Pressley, etc)

Disliked:
- The lack of a Rapid Transit in the docking bay (forcing me to use the longest elevator in the whole place every single time, even though I could skip the rest)
- The Mako sections on "you should just wander until you find something" planets
- The badly designed side-missions where you went into a cave/pre-fab/facility, and then had to walk all the way back out.
- The elevator on the Normandy. Slowest. Elevator. Ever. (My brain kept trying to justify it, like... maybe this is a freight elevator, geared-low with the intent of moving really, really heavy things?)

I think I would've preferred in ME2 if they'd kept more of the Likes, while also ditching the dislikes as they generally have.

Agreed with everything here. My biggest personal gripe with ME2 though is that it brings in all those annoying Gears of War mechanics of cover based gameplay and regenerating health, so you could always tell when a fight was coming because of the sudden and convenient appearance of chest-high walls.

As for the ultimate space game: mixing Freespace 2 with Escape Velocity: Nova. Which is kind of what Microsoft tried to do and failed with in Freelancer.

When you make a game that is about the entire Galaxy, developers can't help but make it feel small. I mean consider it for a minute, how could they possibly make it anything but small by comparison? I mean how long do people want it to take to get from one system to another, 10 minute? 20 minutes? 5 minutes? That is all much too long for me especially when you travel around so often. When I flew around in the mini space shop deciding where i wanted to go, I wasn't envisioning some weird conspiracy or crazy elevator altering the outside world. I was thinking, ok I'm going to fly in a straight line to the mass relay, hit it to the other system then manually fly to whatever planet I wanted to go to. That's how I'd want it to be. If I was the Commander, and in this case I am, I wouldn't be concerned with how I got from where I was to where I wanted to go, the pilot is in charge of that, I say go here and he does as fast as he can. It doesn't make it any less connective cutting out massive amounts of walking around or flying around, it makes it more engaging and faster to get to the best part of the game, the story and the combat.

Agreed. On that note I have a game that MIGHT be what you are looking for. Unfortunately, it is an MMO and you don't care for those much. It does give you First person controlled flight, and a literally infinite universe. Sadly, it is still in development. I would say it resembles Eve online which I know you hate, but it is flying around yourself with you at the controls, not 3rd person point and click. Collisions matter, you can dodge missiles and gunfire etc. Fine heres the dang link.

http://www.infinity-universe.com/Infinity/

kaizen2468:
When you make a game that is about the entire Galaxy, developers can't help but make it feel small. I mean consider it for a minute, how could they possibly make it anything but small by comparison? I mean how long do people want it to take to get from one system to another, 10 minute? 20 minutes? 5 minutes? That is all much too long for me especially when you travel around so often. When I flew around in the mini space shop deciding where i wanted to go, I wasn't envisioning some weird conspiracy or crazy elevator altering the outside world. I was thinking, ok I'm going to fly in a straight line to the mass relay, hit it to the other system then manually fly to whatever planet I wanted to go to. That's how I'd want it to be. If I was the Commander, and in this case I am, I wouldn't be concerned with how I got from where I was to where I wanted to go, the pilot is in charge of that, I say go here and he does as fast as he can. It doesn't make it any less connective cutting out massive amounts of walking around or flying around, it makes it more engaging and faster to get to the best part of the game, the story and the combat.

Unless you feel such simplification takes away from the game.... you can only dumb it down so much before the gaping holes in the over all game become that much more apparent... options mean you split the difference you can do it the slow way and find more stuff or do it the fast way and get the abridged but not really missing anything important version.

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