Interactivity

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CuddlyCombine:
Mass Effect 2 still has the best introduction cinematic I've ever seen, in my opinion. While it's not fully interactive, it's still cinematic as fuck.

I'm wondering (don't beat me, I'm new), does Yahtzee read the comments on his articles? Immediately after I read the word 'immersion' the Mass Effect 2 intro popped right in my head. You get to move around the way you want to, you get 2 or 3 dialog options, giving you a really basic understanding of the controls, and you get a piece of the story to understand what is to come later on in the game. The ressurection part kind of ruined it, but hey, that was pretty epic wasn't it?

CheckD3:
Now IW thought that reusing the shock and awe of a character death more than once would be strong for MW2 since it worked in MW, but were wrong there. Though adding in just one death there I think would shock enough, but overusing it is just that, overusing it.

Every time I walked into my brother's room while he was playing MW2's singleplayer and staying there for not longer than 3 mins, I saw the player character get shot. And I am not lying. How many times does the player die in that tightly written and character driven game?

I really don't share the same enthusiasm that Yahtzee does for Valve's ideas of interactivity. To me, being able to walk about in circles while waiting for the cutscene to finish is actually mildly worse than being able to, because it tends to mean that you'll potentially miss parts of the cutscene. There is not substantial interaction there when you are allowed to mill about; the few tricks which game developers have done (I'm thinking of knocking over the computer monitors during a cutscene in Half Life 2) are mostly cosmetic reactions that affect nothing else within the game.

Bioshock's intro sequence was good, but being able to look around to see the inside of the dive submersible (whatever it was called) is simply not a notable feature IMO. Freedom of movement is only as valuable as the environment you move about in, and the vast majority of games have pretty static environments - especially linear ones like Bioshock or Valve's games. To me, Valve's environments are detailed, but still pretty static and not the huge leap forward that many reviewers perceive them to be.

Space Jawa:

and you should see some of the dross they give 5 stars to

I don't spend enough time on Newgrounds to pay attention to ratings like that, but I've seen the same effect on sites like Youtube and Kongregate. I know exactly what you're talking about. Some people will give 5 stars to anything.

I did, once, spend an embarrassing amount of time on Newgrounds looking for new games to play and inspiration to start my own. Alas, none of my ideas got off the ground, and I suspect the would have been too wordy and puzzle-based for the likes of some people out there.

It seems, however, that things have not changed.

Looking forward to what the plot & themes are in Fun Space Game: The Game.

Indigo Prophecy Intro > BioShock by far imo.

Can't complain about the Bioshock opening either, other than what Yahtzee already pointed out: That totally out of place opening monologue from Jack... doesn't make any sense to me at all. Why intro a character that you keep completely mute for the rest of the game? I guess it could be interpreted as a cheap trick to throw you off the TOTALLY AWESOME twist late in the game, but still. And how much did the pay that voice actor. "Hey, you'll be voicing the playable character in Bioshock. You'll get paid up front. Got change for a twenty?"

Half-Life 2 just barely squeezes out a win for me here though. They both do an incredible job of introducing the player to the game world, and freak the player out royally as well. But half-life 2 did a much better job of leaving it up to the player, so to speak. Whereas in Bioshock you move through several beautiful set-pieces, I always felt like I was being carefully guided to the next part. Yes I had player control, but it was still very controlled and linear.

In HL2 you walk into that square in City 17, and look around, and BAM. The game achieves awesomeness. You need to find your way through the city and the apartments. Sure there's still a set of specific things that need to eventually happen (that's how a story works...), but I never felt forced to do any of the things that were happening. So yeah, HL just barely wins it for me.

You should call FSG:TG's protagonist "Oreo Fontaine". Why? Idunno. Because that's the name I enter when software demands that I enter a name. So... there you go.

Bioshock's intro would be number 2 on my personal list. Numero uno would be the original Half-Life's loooong opening (train ride, walk to the test chamber, test going wrong and then finding yourself in the wrecked labs dodging hazards).

I also remember liking the start of Max Payne 1 a lot - going home, finding your house being invaded, shooting the druggies there and discovering your murdered wife and child. I guess it wouldn't be a "hall-of-famer" of game intros or anything, but it struck a cord with me.

"All games contain crates, therefore all games can be judged empirically on those crates. ... Games can be rated and compared based on the shortest amount of time it takes a player to reach the first crate, which represents the point where the developers ran out of ideas."
http://www.oldmanmurray.com/features/39.html

I pretty much wrote this same thing in my lengthy analysis of Bioshock 2 on my website, only going even further to missed opportunities. This is a game where the MacGuffin of Eleanor Lamb is intended to tug on you emotionally. However, there's not attachment to her for the most part. She's a pretty empty vessel and thus that whole "father/daughter" relationship deal doesn't create a real impact on the player.

That opening intro could have provided moments to not only give young Eleanor Lamb some depth, but created an emotional bond. Now, I've always said most gamers aren't going to give a toss about emotion, and I stick by it. Peter Molyneux could have done everything in his power to make you love the dog in Fable 2, but the first thing gamers are going to try is taking a Claymore to its cerebral cortex. Because gamers are dicks and love breaking games.

But for everyone else, having Eleanor trying to get you to crouch because she has a secret to tell you, and then whispering something like "I love you" or "I hear an angel!" or something arbitrary, it makes her feel like a kid. Despite her appearance and her grotesque task, it would have given you a memory to latch onto as you go through each level searching for her. It would also make you curious as to how she turned out as a teenager.

Unfortunately, what we got was a decent cut-scene, but no emotion to it. It was, honestly, pretty lame.

Rocketboy13:
I definately like your take on how Bioshock 2 should have opened, that sounds very entertaining. Though fully interactive openers get to be a bit tedious on the second or third play through. I would have liked to just be able to make moral choices on a scan-tron in place of playing through the childhood sequence in Fable 2, and Mass Effect is so huge, and I wanted to see some of the alternate endings, having to play out 6-8 different dialogue trees gets a bit taxing when the only real difference is slight inflection. Sometimes I just want a bit of story handed to me right off so I can proceed to the next bit.

They could make an optional intro or something. Giving you the freedom to explore the early days of Rapture for as long as you feel like it, while tutorials come up in certain places to teach you what's what. They could throw in some kind of 'skip' button if you've already played the game, giving you an option that immediately advances the story.

Why does the plot to FSG:TG already sound better than most big budget games? I mean, idolize technology so they have ships shaped like the wheel? There some symbolism shit going on there.

If this goes well, is there any chance of you continuing this path and making Fun Stealth Game?

blackshark121:
Here's your plot for "Fun Space Game: The Game": Aliens attack, humans retaliate, aliens are actually humans from the future, now-humans turn to be evil, later-humans are good. I get a 7.6% cut on everything "Fun Space Game: The Game" earns.

Wouldn't the good guys from the future be killing their ancestors and destroying the time line that caused them to exist? Why wouldn't they just talk too the humans of the past and let them know what they are doing wrong?

Quickening666:
Really loved reading through your thought process in creating your new game Ben. It's very inspiring and I love the organic way you go about coming up with concepts. Can't wait to read more about the game as it develops.

Same here.

Any blackhole voo-doo in this one?

interesting point of view as always.
I rather enjoy reading about the game creation process from an independent creator.

I read such writings from mainstream game creators and they are usually about how they are using the latest hyper-x super physics deluxe engine with the giant grape shading systems to enhance your game play.

Honestly, I'm not surprised that Bioshock 1 would be considered the best opening... after all, these are the same people who wrote the opening sequence to System Shock 2 (/my/ vote for greatest opening ever).

You wake up, the world is going to hell around you, some weirdo is talking in your ear, telling you that you'll be sucked into the vaccum of space in a few seconds if you don't act now... the tension was brutal! And before you even know it, you've learned the game's basics from start to finish, without really noticing that you're going through a tutorial.

Huh, didn't know you jumped out of high school. Oh well, you learn new stuff everyday. And I agree on most parts. Although I did like the intro to Bioshock 2.

And I'm looking forward to hear more about FSG:TG. Sounds like a good concept. Just don't make it so you end up finding some sort of doomsday device to control the universe that everyone wants. Feels a bit cliché.

FSG sounds intriguing. In many ways, the Wheel could be utilized like the Flotilla (Mass Effect) or Armada (from China Miéville's The Scar). Their 'Wheel' is a vast collection of scavenged ships joined together to form one cohesive world. They go around, goggling up new technologies in honor of their technocractic religion. A lot of potential there.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Then comes the hypnosis plasmid, and suddenly you're powerless, interactivity taken away, frantically smashing at the buttons trying to stop yourself as the gun barrel inches closer and closer to your temple. Maybe it could have brought up a tutorial box saying PRESS RIGHT TRIGGER TO SHOOT, and the game couldn't continue until you'd done it.

Yes.

A simple act, loaded with meaning. Forcing the player to do what they don't want to mirrors the horrific effects that the character is going through.

I think when 2K was developing Bioshock 2, they yanked out the guts of Bioshock 1 trying to figure out what made that game so special. The answer they came up with (the setting) isn't the entirety of the answer, which is kind of disappointing.

Oh well, nothing entirely unexpected.

The Xtra Punct. reminded me a lot of Half Life-style storytelling, experience as much as you like and as little as you absolutely have to.

About FSG: TG, it really begins to sound promising. Especially since storytelling is something you could definitely build on, bearing in mind that your programming skills propably don't exceed those of the regular 20th century fuck.
Also, get yourself some voice actors. Having to read out the dialogues myself really does nothing for... immersion.
I like the idea about the 'Wheel' faction and how the protagonist gets caught up in things right away. Keep it going. Don't get bored.

If you like interactivity, I dread the day you have to play FFXIII, since that game seems to be breaking new ground in no player control. Then again, Yahtzee, you just hate J-RPGs anyway, so at least you'll get you bargained for.

Very true about the intros of BS1 and 2. When my head broke the surface of the water in BS1 I didn't even realise I was in control. Took me a few moments of going "hmm what now?" to decide to hit the joystick which shocked me when the camera moved. The entire treck down was impressive. I love the idea of how BS2 could have opened. That would have been killer. Too bad they were worried more with the combat and less on the narrative (although I really loved the gameplay of BS2).

Also, FSG:TG sounds like it's coming along nicely. I'm wondering if you're just leading us all on here, Yahtzee, but it'll be interesting if you ever let us see it.

So FSG:TG is actually Firefly in disguise then? Just without the opening war cinematic? =P

FSG:TG sounds awesome.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Interactivity

Why BioShock 1's intro sequence was so much better.

Read Full Article

Yahtzee,

I fear you will not read this, but man could i save you a hell of a lot of time....

Basically i have a much easier way for you to complete that space game your making

I think i get what your after so here goes,

ok, first hire out a large empty warehouse. Next get about 15 or so people blindfolded and a sack of rocks for each person. Then get yourself some bins and fill them with stuff, some valuable stuff and some worthless, spread them out across the warehouse. Finally make yourself a space suit and bring a tennis racket and a torch and your ready to go.

The controls are simple, you use your legs (rocket propellers) to explore the dark warehouse (space) the faster you move them the faster you go. You use the left arm for the torch (spaceship laser probe) to A)see incoming rocks (asteroids) randomly thrown at you by the blindfolded people and to B)search the bins (planets) for valuable resources. The right arm has two functions firstly to use the tennis racket (deflector beam) to repel the incoming rocks (asteroids) and secondly to reach down (tractor beam) into the bins (planets) to collect the valuable material posing an interesting dilemma that you can't rummage through the bins (explore a planet) and deflect the rocks (asteroids) at the same time.

Now that's immersion and interactivity taken to the greatest scale you may even forget you're still on earth!!

Of course you could then make it more complex and have other people (spaceships) in the warehouse to or even teams, make leader boards for most bins (planets) searched or rocks (asteroids) deflected. You could not give some people tennis rackets (defense beams) but better torches (space ship laser probes) and you could either ally yourself with them and be good helping them by using your tennis racket (defense beam) to escort them to safety or attack them and steal what they have for youself. Now you've got yourself a morality system!!

You could add a backpack (storage deck) to store your items in, now you have an inventory system. Even get another person to stand at a table (space station) where you can exchange the things you've collected in your back pack (storage deck) for upgrades like bigger backpacks (storage decks) or better tennis rackets (deflector beams) and there you have an RPG!

You could even charge people to come to "Yahtzee's space game the game" and be fellow explorers in your warehouse (universe) with you and they could go about doing these things as well, now you've made yourself a MMOG!!

Ahh the possibilities are endless, don't worry about royalties this ones on me.

It's just a shame you'll never read this and waste all that time sat at you're computer.....

blackshark121:
Here's your plot for "Fun Space Game: The Game": Aliens attack, humans retaliate, aliens are actually humans from the future, now-humans turn to be evil, later-humans are good. I get a 7.6% cut on everything "Fun Space Game: The Game" earns.

image
Simpsons Starflight did it!

yersimapestis:

Ninjamedic:
Well, Bioshock was one of a kind anyway, like modern warfare.

notreally. the mw was not so much interactive, rather you can move your head

I mean in the way you can't capture the same spark from the first one.

These blogs are getting better. I prefer reading the more informative ones.

The problem with using Lucifer as your megalomaniac villain is he is pretty much the embodiment of evil. Having him operate externally with a 'Take over the world!' plot is stupid. The devil needs a far more subtle approach (using temptation, cunning, manipulation, elusiveness etc.). Idea like good and evil are not some (meta)physical force but a philosophical concept concerning our choices and how we make them.

2 things:
First, your suggestion for the Bioshock 2 intro sounds mind-blowingly amazing. Seriously. I haven't played Bioshock 2, but I think that few intros could beat that.

Second, this "Wheel" faction sounds a hell of a lot like Fallout's Brotherhood of Steel and their worship of technology, mixed with the ridiculous superiority in power and tech of the Enclave or - speaking of Star Wars - the Empire.
Just a small observation, and I have to admit that a hugely zealous and malicious BoS sounds like a 'fun' enemy.

A pleasant read, good sir.

When I played Bioshock 1 I had just finished my first run trough Half-Life 2 (and Ep1 and 2); the intro was very atmospheric but I felt it lacked the level of immersion I experienced at the start of HL2.
I remember when, after meeting Barney, I was being chased; I felt very anxious thinking "where do I go?" "they're after me!" "oh no, oh no, I cant defend myself!"
I really thought I was there. That's true immersion.

BTW, Yahtzee, is there any chance you may review Monster Hunter Tri?

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: Interactivity

Why BioShock 1's intro sequence was so much better.

Read Full Article

I've not played BS or BS 2 but I'd like to put COD4 forward for best intro ever.

The car ride through the unnamed middle eastern city, seeing the chaos and brutality of a military coup, the air of menace that hangs over you as you are driven through the city by your captors.

Once you get to the destination you start figuring out whats happening, you see the gun and you are executed. Intense for an intro.

It then skips to Hereford and you are the new kid trying to fit in. Love the COD4 intro, No Russian doesn't come close. (Although thats not really an intro)

ciortas1:
Immediately after I read the word 'immersion' the Mass Effect 2 intro popped right in my head. You get to move around the way you want to, you get 2 or 3 dialog options, giving you a really basic understanding of the controls, and you get a piece of the story to understand what is to come later on in the game. The ressurection part kind of ruined it, but hey, that was pretty epic wasn't it?

ME2 had a pretty good opening, but the whole resurrecting thing ruined it for me too.

What's the point of killing the character off if you're going to revive him later? It's just a plot convenience set up to where Shepard owes it to Cerberus.

So the intro ending up meaning nothing.

Plus later on Shepard got the chance to walk around getting called out as people presumed he was dead, sorta like what they did with Ripley's character in Alien 4 and not to forget Snake in Escape from New York...=/

Ninjamedic:
Well, Bioshock was one of a kind anyway, like modern warfare.

I wouldn't call it "one of a kind". Based off what he said Bioshock's opening was like (never played it myself), it sounds SIMILAR (not entirely the same as) Metroid Prime. You are shown a quick cutscene and go through a whole area to investigate a distress signal while getting your tutorial on. There is even a boss fight before you lose all your gear and are shown another cutscene and follow Meta Ridley down to Tallon IV.

Interesting developments on FSG:TG so far. Good luck with finding a plot you like.

Regarding FSG:TG 2 questions, 1 suggestion.
Question 1: I remember you talking about being able to wander around your ship and maybe even the opponents ships (at least I think you did) as a game mechanic you would like. Are you planning on implementing anything like that or are you just sticking to space flight?
Question 2: Is this game going to allow stealth to be a big part of the game (I know you mentioned hiding from the Wheel, just wondering if it's a big part)?
Suggestion: Assuming the game has a lighting model could we have big spotlights on the ship and ai ships as well (toggle-able of course, can't ruin the stealth aspect), it just seems like seeing as space is dark and all it would be nice to be able to see (something other space games seem to ignore).
Thanks for your time.

The Bioshock intro was a fantastic one. I thought it ended once you stepped out of the Bathysphere, and from there is what I would call tutorial. Either way, it was all a well done opening.

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