Connectivity

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Nooooooooo! Why did you have to point it out to me? Now I can't play it anymore. Fuuuuuuuuuu-

As far as space-flight/dogfighting-type games go, Jumpgate Evolution looks promising.

http://us.jumpgateevolution.com/

I've never played Elite, but many players of the original Jumpgate claimed it was pretty much an online version of that.

Hmm thinking about Elite, some of my favourite games, I wonder what happened to Elite 4? It's the Duke Nukem of space sim...

Gift.

Sounds fascinating. Perhaps you could try soliciting for start-up funds from the people who follow your column.

I suspect there is a viable business plan there.

I was always a fan of the controls in: Descent 3D. Sci-fi setting merged with a story.

I'm sure it was said before, but I disagree with the setup in ME 1 being more "connected". And especially with the size of the universe.

I traded off a galaxy map with no sense of my ship on the map for one where I have to physically fly to each planet in order to scan it. Then, rather than getting the "Pressly found something" dialouge box, I actually get to scan a planet. A huge planet. Or at least relatively seeming so. Even to find a sidequest, I have to scan this huge-seeming planet to get some sort of "ping" back, rather than having everything on the planet happen within a walled-off nature park.

As has been said before, the Mako was a P.O.S. It looked like an NES, and handled about as well, and turned what should have been a fun planet-hopping adventure into a frustrating jiggling of joysticks trying to find the correct angle at which the damn thing would actually move anywhere at all. Then there were the enemy fights. I never felt more disconnected from what was happening on the screen than when I was blasting away with the missles at tiny red blips somewhere over the horizon, all while jogging the mako back and forth like a baby's cradle trying to make Tali shut up about "Taking fire".

In return, I get to see my enemies up close, get much, much, much better looking planet surfaces, and the idea that instead of having just one landing zone on the whole planet, that Joker finally got his act together and became able to do what humanity has been doing since WW II, make a targeted drop.

If I don't see a version of the Mako show up on ME 3, I will be the happiest little boy in the world. I'd much rather they spend the time and money on making the feel of each planet different, rather than end up making me walk down the same mining shaft forty-three times because some twit argued that it was more "connected".

Hmm; perhaps - come to think of it it always seemed odd in Ratchet & Clank. However in later games you actually see him get in as well as a little bit of flight & landing rather than just fading out.

Perhaps you should look up/at the game Freelancer for inspiration or ideas (or a solution to this quest to find big space games), and then look up Freelancer: Combat Evolved in particular. In that mod they did a wonderful job recreating realistic physics and space movement, as well as the true scale of interstellar objects and distances.

Suskie:
I actually somewhat agree about ME2 lacking "bigness," and it's why I can't decide whether the game's lack of Mako is a good or bad thing. The game's a definite improvement in my mind, but then rather than tossing the vehicle thing away altogether, I wish they'd just worked on improving it, because you're right, it really gave ME1 a sense of scale. The upcoming hovertank DLC seems to indicate they're willing to experiment with the idea still, so maybe they'll be bringing it back in the third one. Especially given the criticism they've received for the mining stuff in ME2.

Just pointing this one out, I wholly agree with Yahtzee that the Mako was a scourge of god, it had terrible handling, generally annoying to use, and stupid for some of the things that happened. Lets take for example the fact that this is far beyond in the future, and your going to tell me if the back tire hits lava the whole vehicle is suddenly out of order? For god's sake shepard get your lazy ass out and make a tire change. As for the lack of bigness, well Yahtzee's idea of jetpack based exploration seems fun, though would likely bring in the question as to why not use them all the time and not just surface exploration.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
I'm sticking to something more FPS-style. Rotate with the mouse, ascend and descend with the equivalents of Jump and Crouch controls,

So basically the control scheme of Descent?... because if that is the case then me wants the game.

More on topic, I agree with that feeling of being disconnected from the vastness of the galaxy in Mass Effect 2 as compared to the original. I just don't want them to go to the other extreme and make me spend 10 minutes traversing the galaxy in a ship between missions. We do not need another Wind Waker.

Douglass Adams reference. Bless you, sir.

On the other hand, I've gone back to Mass Effect 1 now for a second playthrough and another legacy character to bring through to Mass Effect 2 and having to leave the Normandy through a physical door that makes you stand there as long as one of the elevators is pretty annoying.

It did seem Mass Effect 2 was a bit TOO streamlined to me, but at the same time I can't really think of any complaints. I enjoyed the game thoroughly and the ending was so intense I was actually sweating. Though the final boss was kinda goofy, but I can see why they did it: people would complain there was no real final boss. At least it wasn't as balls crazy as the battle against Sovereign.

Mass Effect 1 also made me realize how much I hate the Mako. Haaaate. I think it makes more sense in ME2 that you would be dropped exactly where you need to be on a planet, rather than an approximate location and have to drive wherever you're going.

First off, ZP just makes my week, every week. I look forward to Wednesdays now. Awesome.
Secondly, I really want this game to come out: Darkstar. It originally sold me because it's got the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in it, but it just might be the adventure space game that Yahtzee's been looking for. Probably not, but it would be worth a look...if it ever comes out. *cries* Waaaaaah! I want to play it!!!!!!
http://www.darkstar.gs/main.htm?hilo=1

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.

That would be the perfect game!

A well-thought-out article, Ben. The "airlock door" sequences and decontamination were things I missed, too. That said, they ARE coming out with a supposedly-better space buggy system for better exploration and whatnot, but I think it should have been released with the game. If they weren't done making it, they could have delayed the game's release; I'm willing to wait another month (having already waited three years) for the sake of a bit more on the immersive side.

As odd as the controls for the space sections can be, Ratchet and Clank did a fairly decent job of exploring space recently with A Crack in Time. It would probably be of interest to pick up at some point if and when you have time for it.

The article reminds me of the point at which I realized that the world in the Pokemon games moves around the character as if you're on some sort of populated treadmill.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Ghonzor:
As Douglas Adams once said, with his usual spectacular insight, space is big.

Amazing. I never would have guessed.

The full quote, so you can appreciate the context:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times over many years and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers.
The introduction begins something like this:
"Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly big it is. I mean you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts compared to space. Listen.." and so on.
(After a while the style settles down a bit and it begins to tell you things you really need to know, like the fact that the fabulously beautiful planet Bethselamin is now so worried about the cumulative erosion by ten billion visiting tourists a year that any net imbalance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete whilst on the planet is surgically removed from your bodyweight when you leave: so every time you go to the lavatory there it is vitally important to get a receipt.)

Oh lord, I've read the "trilogy." In fact, I regard it as one of my favorite book series of all time.

One of the things that confused me about ME2 was that you could actually open the airlock door but you never once used it.

A full on space exploration game would be most welcome to me, preferably one that has a 1950s retro-futurist feel to it. I want to be Flash Gordon! With a rocket pack added too!

Don't suppose reusing some of Oolite's code would be helpful? - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oolite_(computer_game) [GNU GPLv2 licence]

Outright Villainy:
This reminds me of wind waker, to be honest; a lot of people complained about boring sailing sections, but really, it helped me believe I was travelling across the vast ocean. I liked the change of pace at any rate. Immersion is something I go for a lot in games, and a little tedium here and there wouldn't really bother me if it strengthens that.

Thats why I loved Wind Waker because I could just go sailing for hours while singing Styx. Hell I have been known to run from place to place in games with quick travel just so I feel more like it was an epic journey. That and I tend to run into the most unusual things along the way.

sunpop:

Thats why I loved Wind Waker because I could just go sailing for hours while singing Styx. Hell I have been known to run from place to place in games with quick travel just so I feel more like it was an epic journey. That and I tend to run into the most unusual things along the way.

Above all else, this is the best thing about fallout. There is loads to see and do on the way anywhere...

I played ME1 on PC and didn't think the tank controls were that bad, but it sounds like it was shit with a controller.

In ME2 I wouldn't hate the scanning(as much) if there was a mission/landing zone to find on more of the planets. Theres lots of star systems with nothing but resources and descriptions.

I agree that the sequel lacked the connectivity of the first. The starmap is just a mission selector with minigames and the hubs are the size of your ship interior... nevertheless I just started a third playthrough.

What's really fucked up is I had about the same issue as a kid, until I missed the bus one day due to an AP test while my mom was out of town and had to walk the four hours to the next town where I lived. THEN the shit was real.

I haven't played any of the Mass Effect games yet, but I'm wondering why they wouldn't just do the sort of thing they had in KotoR where you both have a hatch to exit the ship and you appear again on the other side, looking at the entrance. Doesn't seem that difficult to do and hey, by the same company. Or is there something about the docking in ME that wouldn't allow for that?

Foggy_Fishburne:
Huh, funnily enough, I agree. I remember Shadows of the Empire

Oh what a classic game! Probably my second favourite non-sports game on the N64 behind GoldenEye and ahead of such classics as Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. God I miss that game!

"Instant-travel" is one of the reasons why I'll probably never love any game as much as Gothic 1 & 2.

Mortagog:
So, you disagree with Yahtzee's article but rather than taking it with him, you jab at people agreeing with him. That's not how I'd go about it, but then again, I have a scrotum with testicles in it, and I do not mean that in any misogynistic sense, if anyone must know.

In any case, you have missed Yahtzee's point by a mile, or let's say A.U. to keep with the current topic and to emphasize on just how much you missed it. No one is asking for repetitive gameplay, but a sense of scale, of proportion. A sense of "Holy shit, I'm really moving awesomely awesome distances in but the blink of an eye, and I know that I'm moving, for I have something to relate to other than a cutscene and the interior of my ship".
Again: no one has said that the cutscenes aren't worthless, and no one has professed that we are to be forced to walk the same path over and over again, but we should damn well have the choice of doing so, barring any other features serving the same purpouse.

No I didn't jab at people agreeing with him; I jabbed at the person trying to include the incendiary apropos statement "we" that seemed to represent the fact that Yahtzee was right and that all of us agreed with him but weren't intellectual enough to colloquialize our own viewpoints and opinions.

Now if I were to have said: "Oh my god never before have I seen an entire forum of people uniform-ally fellatiously bowing down to the off-the-cuff opinions of one game reviewer without so much as analyzing what was said and contrasting it to his-or-her own views before taking one in the back of the throat..." ... THAT would have been taking a jab at the people agreeing with him.

I took a jab at ONE person... who I whole heartedly disagreed with. Again, having unnecessary travel scenes between plot points in a game that focuses on plot points for some semblance of "bigness" is game-padding and if I can post this response on a forum while my character in xyz game travels from one place to another (read: MMO's) then that game in MY (see what I did there? You should think of doing the same) opinion, that game is unequivocally broken.

And "taking it up with him" would be about as useful as thinking that by worshiping him in an internet forum that you're going to receive an e-mail from him asking you to come over for tea because you're so cool. My issue wasn't with him, it was with the person thinking that said that his views represented my views... that's it. Deal.

Space game sounds awesome.

I like the metroid prime 3 system though i font know if it would feel right off the Wii you physicals pressed buttons to fly your ship to different places then it landed and you got out and walked round.

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.

I have sunk 216 hours into eternal silence sort of Freespace/ class based fps hybrid it would be hard to top that

BlueInkAlchemist:
I never thought of it until now, but that walk from the galaxy map to the airlock would make a great deal of difference, especially if it segued from there to the loading screen involving the airlock itself.

Yahtzee's Frontier experience is one I had with a game called Privateer. I wasted so many hours flying from one system to another just to trade commodities because I was in space.

This was probably the first sign of how incredibly dull I am.

If by 'dull' you mean 'desiring the fun of exploration and space commerce,' then you are correct. I can't remember the number of times I've played Freelancer through the main story arc just to get to the end, and have the mission log tell me: Get a job. Basically it felt like I got all my chores and homework done, and the rest of the weekend was MINE!
I want that sensation in another game. Basically you get some free roam during the main arc, but you don't get your true wings and freedom until quest's end. Able to explore the universe and make your own story.
I myself wouldn't mind a chance to sit in Joker's seat, and find out what the Normandy really could do.

Jack T Robyn:
What's really fucked up is I had about the same issue as a kid, until I missed the bus one day due to an AP test while my mom was out of town and had to walk the four hours to the next town where I lived. THEN the shit was real.

I feel your pain, but in my case I had been at an activity at the local fairgrounds, almost 2 miles from my home. I got let go early, and nobody was answering the phone from home. So I opted to just walk home, exploring streets that I had not been down before or were just a blur in the car. Yes, most times I opt to make the journey myself ingame instead of just jumping there.
Real life though I would rather take a car for that distance these days. Where have those days gone?

SavingPrincess:
Snip

Only an overly defensive idiot would presume that I meant the entire forum by "we". How old are you? Three? It's okay to take the fucking stick out of your ass now, provided that you have finished pulling statements out of it and attributing them to me (read: I still haven't said that forced repetitive travel is the only way to a sense of scale. I could be wrong (read: I couldn't), but I'm fairly certain that you are the only one to have proposed such a thing).

And I am not sorry if I offended you, if you had any such misconceptions.

Baibai Mr/Ms Butthurt!

AYE! - 'bigness'/appropriate contextual scale is vital.

It's what Daggerfall had which Morrowind & Oblivion lacked - they feel like theatre-sets or toy-towns...

I wanted to get into space sims but never got around to it.
Though I did buy a ps1 space sim yesterday, I could get into this genre.

I see your points here. Imagine if someone made a big, big sandbox game in space where you could fly around, then land on and explore any planet you want.

That might happen at some point.

Oh, another Amiga 600 user. That's not usually something you admit to, but if we are in a confessive mood; I had mine until 1997, when I bought a PC. Despite the weird kickrom it was a sturdy little thing. Mine still works. It had the largest available hard-drive at the time installed, a whooping 40MB.

Actually, a FPS control scheme is more realistic for a spacecraft than the imitation flight sims that are the staple of the genre. Also, the speeds are way too large for dogfights to work, so even if you can't write a dogfight AI, the game's probably better off for it.

Good luck on your project, then...

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