255: Gaming's Social Contract

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

empty_other:
The bad AI in Farcry 2 is more a case of bad programming than badly AI-design.

I think in this context game design and programming are two sides of the same coin. (The same is true of the DA:O example as well.) In fact, I would go further and say that high level game design (the overall look, feel and playstyle) has to incorporate programming as part of it, along with level design, art etc. I doubt anyone really intends grants to be uber-tough due to duff AI, so yes, you could say it's a programming flaw. But if you knew, or find out, that you can't programme your AI to behave in a fair fashion in your current set-up, isn't it a design issue to change that set-up so it works? Game design is not just level design, attack patterns and so forth.

Oh, and anyone interested in the more programming aspects of the AI thing, check out Shamus Young's series at http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=4085 (also inspired by FarCry!)

ajbell:
The impossible things are (at least as far as I know them) a Douglas Adams quote. ("Done seven impossible things before breakfast? Then why not visit Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!")

First shame on you the impossible things before breakfast quote originally goes to a Lewis Carroll. The original quote I believe is from Through the Looking Glass; to be exact.

Second however, how would feel scaled AI would affect the social contract. For example early on in the game (or as one does bad, low points, no power ups, low stats etc... ) the AI is worse than you, horrible aim less health, etc... As you get better the AI gets better as well so when you have amazing stats, every resource whatever the AI gets super AIM, or tons of health or whatever based on the game you are playing.

Do you feel that is breach of the social contract? I have only encountered such a phenomena once in a game called civilization 4, However I was just curious how you felt it effected the social contract in question.

Personally I had no bother with dragon age. My first play through was on hard. I died plenty in the mid game, well placed traps, not having my strat down, needing to change around my party, things like that. Every time I died I went back to the drawing board and worked out my strategy.

A few encounters I had to come back at a later level, some of my decisions were a bit railroaded as I couldnt beat x forcing me to side with them and in the end I had to let Morrigan be my champion at the landsmeet. All of it felt harsh but fair. I got a lot of satisfaction beating it (on the 360 btw).

I'm surprised no one mentioned the obvious cheating in streetfighter. Without getting involved in the "Seth is cheap" shit storm it always upset me when Guile would throw Sonic booms while walking towards you. Something that cannot physically be done by a human player.

codemartin:

ajbell:
The impossible things are (at least as far as I know them) a Douglas Adams quote. ("Done seven impossible things before breakfast? Then why not visit Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!")

First shame on you the impossible things before breakfast quote originally goes to a Lewis Carroll. The original quote I believe is from Through the Looking Glass; to be exact.

Second however, how would feel scaled AI would affect the social contract. For example early on in the game (or as one does bad, low points, no power ups, low stats etc... ) the AI is worse than you, horrible aim less health, etc... As you get better the AI gets better as well so when you have amazing stats, every resource whatever the AI gets super AIM, or tons of health or whatever based on the game you are playing.

Do you feel that is breach of the social contract? I have only encountered such a phenomena once in a game called civilization 4, However I was just curious how you felt it effected the social contract in question.

Aiiiiie, shame on me indeed. Now that you've pointed that out, you are obviously right. One of the queens I seem to recall. (But we've already established my memory is pretty ropey on this.)

On your more substantive point, smarter AI would seem (to me) like a very good way of dealing with the progression aspect of the social contract. We expect progress in a game, and more challenging enemies is a part of this. More intelligent, rather than higher damage/more health/wearing a magical hat-of-bullet-proofness-that-also-mysteriously-protects-your-throat, baddies would be a nice change. Bloody hard to achieve though!

bjj hero:
Personally I had no bother with dragon age. My first play through was on hard. I died plenty in the mid game, well placed traps, not having my strat down, needing to change around my party, things like that. Every time I died I went back to the drawing board and worked out my strategy.

A few encounters I had to come back at a later level, some of my decisions were a bit railroaded as I couldnt beat x forcing me to side with them and in the end I had to let Morrigan be my champion at the landsmeet. All of it felt harsh but fair. I got a lot of satisfaction beating it (on the 360 btw).

Again, just to be clear, I don't think "hard" automatically equals either "unfair" or broken contract. (And I know you might not have been talking to me specifically, as there has been a bunch of DA:O chat here.) A game can be hard but fair. My problem with DA:O was not that it forced me to develop a good strategy, but rather that it didn't. The RNG and the fight AI conspired to, in effect, "throw" the fight at times by not using its most powerful abilities. The degree of difficulty that is ideal will always vary from gamer to gamer, but I doubt many (if any) of us want to play games where the computer will "let" us win in an obvious fashion.

Callate:
Thanks. I think this explains in a nutshell at least five of the reasons why I seem to be one of the few people in the world who really didn't like System Shock 2. (Stop shooting me with empty, broken shotguns, dammit!)

A reason for the shotguns being broken might be the fact that you might have broken them as you were killing the guy, which also would ruin all the ammo inside the shotgun.

Anyways, BFBC2 breaks the social contract of progression in its campaign. Once you get the SPAS and any LMG, you've got the best weapons in the game (this occurs by the end of the second level). I literally used the same weapon set for the entire game. Also of fairness, since they have many sections where they tell you to do something but there's always a catch. Shoot the villain? You have to wait a few seconds after we tell you to before you shoot him. Shoot the jeep? You have to have an LMG or else it'll paste you.

Never finished Far Cry 2 either.
I stopped when I headshotted by a fucking rocket launcher from waaaaaaay over on the other side of whatever the hell that place was.
I heard something, looked to the right, rocket in the face.

ultrachicken:

Callate:
Thanks. I think this explains in a nutshell at least five of the reasons why I seem to be one of the few people in the world who really didn't like System Shock 2. (Stop shooting me with empty, broken shotguns, dammit!)

A reason for the shotguns being broken might be the fact that you might have broken them as you were killing the guy, which also would ruin all the ammo inside the shotgun.

It happens way too often for that. It also happens regardless of whether the baddy carrying the gun was hit in the head, or taken out from behind with a melee weapon. Unfortunately, the real reason most of the shotguns carried by the zombies who have been shooting you are broken and empty is that the game's creators chose a highly contrived and poorly conceived method of limiting the resources available to the player.

Playing Deus Ex: HR - when I hack a console sometimes it aborts in 10 seconds and sometimes the alarm doesn't even turn on, what was an impossible task 30 seconds ago becomes a "gimme"

It's a shame the author doesn't know the difference between social contract and social convention.

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here